Meghan Markle's father in successful heart op: report

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Meghan Markle's father has successfully undergone the heart surgery that prevented him from attending her wedding to Britain's Prince Harry, celebrity news website TMZ said on Wednesday.

The online gossip portal said it had spoken with 73-year-old Tom Markle, who "seemed alert and coherent" and said doctors had implanted up to three stents in his blood vessels.

Hounded by the paparazzi, Markle's father has been caught up in the complex and often bitter relationship between Britain's royals and the media ahead of Saturday's ceremony at Windsor Castle in southeast England.

He revealed on Tuesday he was undergoing heart surgery, according to TMZ, and would not be able to walk his daughter down the aisle.

But his presence was already mired in scandal after he staged photographs for the media of his wedding preparations, despite earlier having complained about press intrusion.

The fiasco has turned into a PR disaster that risks further souring relations between the media and Prince Harry, who blames the paparazzi for the death of his mother Diana.

There was another traumatic collision between a Markle and the media on Wednesday, TMZ said, as Meghan's half sister Samantha suffered what appeared to be a broken ankle and knee in a fracas with a paparazzo.

She and boyfriend Mark were driving near a toll booth in Florida when a photographer veered in front of them, he told the gossip site.

The boyfriend was quoted by TMZ as saying he swerved left in an attempt to avoid an accident and hit a concrete barrier, throwing Samantha into the windshield and twisting her foot backwards.