Meghan’s estranged half-brother Thomas Markle Jr joins Big Brother VIP in Australia πŸ’₯πŸ‘©πŸ’₯

Meghan Markle was today braced for embarrassment as her estranger half-brother Thomas Markle Jr prepares to join the Australian version of Big Brother.

Mr Markle Jr, 54, was spotted by staff at Sydney Airport today before going into hotel quarantine, where he will stay for 14 days before he can appear on ‘Big Brother VIP’.

The window fitter, who lives in Grant’s Pass, Oregon, does not have a relationship with Meghan, her husband Prince Harry or their two children Archie and Lilibet.

He has previously labelled Meghan as a ‘phony’ and a ‘jaded, shallow, conceited woman’, while also criticising her for cutting off their father, Thomas Markle Sr, 77.

And Meghan will therefore be braced for more embarrassing claims during his time on the programme on Channel Seven, which is not set to air until later this year.

Mr Markle Jr’s arrival in Australia comes just days after another contestant, British columnist Katie Hopkins, was deported for threatening to break quarantine rules.

Meghan’s half-brother Thomas Markle Jr with his fiancΓ©e Darlene Blount in Oregon in 2018

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are pictured in Wellington, New Zealand, in October 2018

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are pictured in Wellington, New Zealand, in October 2018

Filming of Big Brother VIP is set to begin at a purpose-built complex at Sydney Olympic Park

Filming of Big Brother VIP is set to begin at a purpose-built complex at Sydney Olympic Park

A Channel Seven spokesman told Daily Mail Australia: ‘We are not commenting on speculation about the cast of Big Brother VIP. All will be revealed soon and Big Brother is looking forward to meeting the new collection of housemates.’

Mr Markle Jr has previously said the last time he saw Meghan was in 2011, telling the German newspaper Bild that his family believed she was now a ‘changed person’.

Who are Meghan’s family members?

Thomas Markle Sr: Meghan’s father is a retired lighting director living in Mexico, previously married to Roslyn Markle – with whom he had Thomas Markle Jr and Samantha Markle.

Doria Ragland: Meghan’s mother is a former make-up artist and married Thomas Markle Sr in 1979. They had Meghan in 1981 but divorced in 1987.

Samantha Markle: Thomas Markle Sr’s daughter and Meghan’s half-sister, also known as Samantha Grant, has been divorced twice and has three children.

Thomas Markle Jr: Meghan’s older paternal half-brother, was married for 11 years to Tracy Dooley until they divorced in 2001, and they had two sons – Thomas and Tyler Dooley.

He was living with her father; sister Samantha Grant, also known as Samantha Markle; and stepmother Doria Ragland when Meghan was born in 1981.

Mr Markle Jr, who is Meghan’s older paternal half-brother, was married for 11 years to Tracy Dooley until they divorced in 2001, and they had two sons – Thomas and Tyler Dooley.

In January 2017, Mr Markle Jr was charged after allegedly holding a gun to his fiancΓ©e Darlene Blount’s head during a drunken argument. He later apologised but it is not clear how the case ended.

It is also not yet clear if he is replacing far-right commentator Ms Hopkins, who was sent back to the UK on Monday.

The former BBC Apprentice candidate had sparked outcry in Australia when she boasted on Instagram of trying to violate quarantine rules by opening her door naked and maskless to hotel staff.

Ms Hopkins, 46, who has become known in recent yers for her extreme views on immigration and Covid-19, had her visa revoked on Sunday and was put on a flight back to Britain the next morning.

Other notable contestants taking part in Big Brother VIP include Caitlyn Jenner, who flew in from Los Angeles last week and is also now in hotel quarantine.

The 71-year-old American personality, who is also running for Governor of California, is rumoured to be getting $500,000 (Β£364,000) for her appearance on the show. Mr Markle Jr’s salary is unknown.

He would have likely obtained a ‘critical skills’ visa in order to be allowed entry into Australia during the pandemic, while thousands of Australia citizens remain stranded overseas and unable to come home.

This visa is granted when there is a demonstrable economic benefit by allowing the person into the country.

A Seven spokesman said: ‘It’s important to note that Seven ensures the arrival of international artists in Australia does not impact or impede on Australians returning home from overseas.

‘Any international artists associated with Seven are on arrangements that exist outside of the flight cap on international arrivals and have been granted exemptions by the government to come here.

Katie Hopkins

Caitlyn Jenner

Another Big Brother contestant, Katie Hopkins (left), was deported for threatening to break quarantine rules, but American personality Caitlyn Jenner (right) is set to take part in the show

‘All our artists also undertake quarantine measures in line with government legislation.

‘Much like the arrival of world-class international actors bolstering Australia’s film industry at present, these artists are contributing to the making of leading TV productions, creating jobs for many people at a difficult time for the creative and production sectors.’

Filming of Big Brother VIP is set to begin at a purpose-built complex at Sydney Olympic Park in the coming months.

The set is currently being constructed despite the ban on building works in the city, after the producers were granted special permission.

Meghan’s estranged half-brother Thomas Markle Jr joins Big Brother VIP in Australia

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