Who is Mark Phillips? Meghan Markle's brother-in-law arrested for punching Samantha Markle
Police were called to Phillips' Lakeland home in Florida on December 14 after the couple rowed over Markle needing help to use the toilet
Mark Phillips, the brother-in-law of Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, has been charged with domestic violence following an alleged attack on his wife, the Duchess' sister, Samantha Markle, according to reports. 62-year-old Mark Phillips will face trial for the same in 2021 and the case is listed as in the pre-trial stage.
According to Daily Mail, police were called to Markle and Phillips' home in Lakeland, Florida, at 1 am local time on December 14 after the couple rowed over her needing help to use the toilet. Markle has been wheelchair-bound since she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2008. 56-year-old Markle told the police that Phillips had hit her in the face during a fight. The publication reports that Phillips allegedly became angry after being asked to help Markle off the toilet late at night and then slapped her "on the right side of her face in the ear area," during the fight. Phillips fled the scene but was arrested later after police decided he was the "primary aggressor" and charged him with one count of domestic violence.
This is not the first time that Markle and Phillips have had a brush with the law due to their violent relationship, according to the Daily Mail. Phillips, who works in storage unit clearance, has also been involved in a series of bust-ups with Markle's ex-husband Scott Rasmussen, 60, with Markle and Rasmussen taking out restraining orders on each other. The publication states that police were reportedly called to Markle and Phillips' former home in Albuquerque as well, with one incident listed as a domestic abuse call.
In 2015, Rasmussen and his daughter with Markle, Noel, allegedly had to be accompanied by police officers when they went to Markle's home to collect Noel's things. During the custody battle, Phillips was accused of harassing Noel with abusive text messages. The Daily Mail reports that Phillips called Noel a liar in the text messages and had written, "Perjury is a serious charge and you will not lie or you will be charged and granny as well." That same year, Phillips was accused of being abusive to Noel inside the court, according to an affidavit filed by Rasmusson. Daily Mail accessed the documents which stated that Phillips shouted at the then-17-year-old Noel, "Stupid f***ing b***h" while she passed him in the corridor.
In 2018, Markle and Phillips alleged they got in a car crash allegedly caused by paparazzi. According to The Sun, Phillips said that he had been behind the wheel and was apparently trying to avoid a photographer who had veered in front of them to take pictures. However, police refuted the claims and they could not find any evidence of a crash, with Lt. Kim Montes telling Daily Mail, "Even if they hit a stationary property such as a wall under Florida law you are required to report that to law enforcement. If you didn't that's considered to be a hit and run." She said police scouted the 133 mile stretch of road where the incident took place for three hours. Lt. Montes added: "We can't find any reports basically from all of central Florida. We can't find a report by name or a scenario that was similar to this."
Samantha and Meghan Markle have been estranged since 2008 and the former has been an outspoken critic of the Duchess of Sussex. Most recently Samantha called the Duchess and Prince Harry “horribly cruel” for abandoning the royal family when the UK is in the grips of a coronavirus pandemic, saying, "Just the idea of abandoning both families during such a horrific time, without so much as a phone call is shocking. Considering he [Thomas Markle] went through two heart attacks without so much as a call, I guess this is status quo for her."