A US paparazzi is suing the Australian television network channel 7 for defamation over an interview with Meghan Markle’s estranged father in which he claimed the photographer conspired to frame him and sabotage the royal wedding.
Jeff Rayner, a paparazzi and co-owner of the Coleman-Rayner photo agency, was at the center of a photography scandal that resulted in Thomas Markle Snr not attending his daughter’s 2018 wedding to Prince Harry.
In the run-up to the royal wedding, Rayner took a series of staged paparazzi photos of Markle Snr that reportedly sold for over $130,000 and led to the collapse of his relationship with his daughter.
Three years after the incident, Markle Snr shared an interview channel 7 breakfast show, sunrise in which he condemned Rayner for staging the photos and claimed the paparazzi took photos for disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein.
Australia @channel7 deleted a September 15 interview with Thomas Markle in which he made allegations @ColemanRaynerLA boss Jeff Rayner and former American Media Inc. CEO Dylan Howard to use him to sabotage the Sussexes’ wedding. Howard’s attorneys deny the allegation and are threatening legal action. pic.twitter.com/ctNdvkveX0
— Omid Scobie (@scobie) 09/18/2021
In conversation with sunrise Hosts Natalie Barr and David Koch in September 2021, Markle Snr says: “The photos were a setup. I was set up by a guy named Jeff Rayner… And the whole thing was actually a plan to screw up the wedding, and I was just a part of it.”
“Basically, they went to my eldest daughter [Samantha Markle] and persuaded my eldest daughter to convince me to have photos to polish my image because the photos before it always made me look bad so i bought it and went with it and to this day I regret it because it was a total sentence. up,” he claims. “Jeff knew it, in fact he bragged about it on Facebook. He boasted about it in front of everyone. One day I would like to sue him.”
Markle Snr then claims, “If I don’t succeed in suing him, I hope to see him with Weinstein one day because he also shot young women for Weinstein to make them look bad so they wouldn’t sue him for rape.” could.”
Corresponding news.com.auRayner is now suing Seven Network for defamation in Australian federal court over the allegations made by Markle Snr in the interview sunrise.
In his lawsuit, Rayner says the interview falsely portrayed him as “dishonest” and “Mr. Tricked Markle (by deceiving his daughter Samantha) into attending a photoshoot as part of a plot to disrupt the royal wedding.”
The photographer also alleges he conveyed a false insinuation that he “conspired with Harvey Weinstein, a notorious rapist, to take compromising images of Harvey Weinstein’s victims that could be used to dissuade these women from committing Harvey Weinstein.” to sue”.
According to court documents, Rayner said he was hurt, distressed and embarrassed as a result of interviewing Markle Snr, which damaged his personal and professional reputation. He is also seeking increased damages, claiming that Seven should have known that Markle Snr. made defamatory remarks and did not pre-record the interview.
Sunrise presenters Barr and Koch apologized a day after interviewing Markle Snr. However, Rayner describes the apology as inadequate and in a “sarcastic” and “frivolous” tone.
Seven has yet to file a defense and no court date has yet been set for the matter, reports said news.com.au.
In 2019, Prince Harry received “significant damage” and an apology from Los Angeles-based photo agency Splash News after they flew a helicopter low over his rural retreat home and snapped photos into the living room and bedroom.
Photo credit: Header photo licensed through Depositphotos.