Meghan Markle's brother-in-law Mark Phillips was arrested in Florida for allegedly hitting her estranged sister Samantha, according to a report. Phillips was charged with domestic violence and booked into the Polk County Jail and awaited trial after being released the same day.
According to DailyMail.com, the 62-year-old was arrested on Dec. 14 after the law enforcement officials were called in at the couple's house in Lakeland. The news outlet, citing Phillips' arrest affidavit, reported that he got into an argument with Samantha — who is wheelchair-bound— after she required his help to use the toilet. Phillips was angered for being asked to help late at night and then slapped his 56-year-old wife "on the right side of her face in the ear area" during the argument, DailyMail.com reported.
Markle's brother-in-law fled the scene but was later taken into the custody and charged him with one count of domestic violence. Phillips and Samantha, who lived in Florida since 2016, had multiple run-ins with law previously. Police were repeatedly called to their former house in Albuquerque for domestic abuse.
Samantha and Meghan Markle's Fallout
Markle and Samantha have been estranged since 2008. The actress-turned-royal maintained distanced with her estranged half-sister, who vocally criticized her for not contacting their father Thomas Markle Sr.
Samantha had strong opinions after Markle and Prince Harry decided to step down from their royal duties. She said the couple's announcement was a "slap in the face" to the Queen and the British royal family. Harry and Markle blamed the British press for their incessantly critical coverage of Markle.
However, Samantha denied that the press was the actual reason behind Harry and Markle's decision to get out of the royal spotlight. She called her sister's behavior was "attention-seeking."
"That's ridiculous, they stepped into the spotlight knowing what the duties were, knowing what the media would be like for them," Samantha said at the time, adding that Markle was exhibiting "attention-seeking behavior."