Meghan Markle’s brother’s former fiancée revealed he drove her to drugs and she slept with a gun under her pillow because she was so terrified he might kill her after their bitter break up in a shocking exclusive interview with RadarOnline.com. Erin Specht, 40, dated Tom Markle Jr. for 16 years and got to know his family intimately, and she gushed over the soon-to-be princess as a “normal, everyday person who’s gotten to live a fairytale.” But she revealed the dark side of the Markle family, branding her breakup with Tom as a “nightmare” that found her spiraling into drug use that included meth, heroin, cocaine and alcohol. “What do you do when someone you love tells you that they hate you? You feel like they’re going to hurt you. He’s a very intense person. When that intensity comes out and is aimed at you in anger, it’s terrifying,” she told Radar about Meghan’s brother. Click through Radar’s gallery to see exclusive photos of young Meghan Markle and watch her brother’s ex describe their frightening relationship.
Specht, first met Meghan in Easter of 2001 at a family gathering. She was immediately struck by her poise and grace: “Meghan was sweet and kind and had a lovely graceful manner about her.”
But Meghan’s brother struggled with feelings of animosity towards his sister and their father Tom Sr. Doria Ragland, Meghan’s mother, was his wife by second marriage. Specht said Tom’s reaction to his sister was all jealousy. “It was never Meghan’s fault,” she told Radar. “But she got two parents and she was the baby. Her father was so proud of her as well, and is, and would talk about what she was doing all the time.”
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Watch the video! Specht reveals her thoughts on Meghan and the trauma she survived while dating her half-brother.
Meghan’s father’s favoritism infuriated Tom. “He couldn’t keep that away from her because he was jealous of their father’s relationship with her and saw that she was going to these good schools and this good college. He saw things happening to her that of course everyone wants. But he would talk about how his sister was holding the suitcase on TV on Deal or No Deal, but then would be angry about her doing well. He would say; ‘She’s got two parents and gets to go to college.’”
Specht told Radar “Meghan would try and ignore it (the jealousy) but you couldn’t really avoid it. He wasn’t angry at her. He was angry at his parents. I think his dad ended up taking the brunt of it. He would be like, ‘They spent a fortune on her schooling and her colleges and she was born and was all of sudden more important than us!’
She says she was also impressed by the way Meghan related to her nephews, Ty and TJ, who were nine and ten years old at the time. Specht told Radar: “She was great with them, playing games, running around. She was a teenager. They adored her, and she was clearly a great Aunt. She has a good heart.”
With Meghan prepared to marry Prince Harry, Specht said her “selfless” attitude will mean the British nation will take her to their hearts in a way that surpasses Diana. And she believed she will also be more popular than Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge: “She has a sense of goodwill about her. It’s selfless.”
Meghan’s roots would help shake up the British aristocracy Specht said. “The Royal Family is lucky to have her . Meghan is just a normal, everyday person who’s gotten to live a fairytale. It couldn’t have happened to a better person.”
The family rift led to Meghan and her brother not speaking for several years as he tried to come to terms with his feelings towards his father and half-sister. And it resulted in Tom Jr not getting an invite to her first wedding to Trevor Engelson and he wasn’t given one to the royal wedding either.
But Specht’s relationship with Meghan’s brother was far worse. She first met Tom in a bar in Los Angeles in 1999, and within weeks he had moved into her home. “When things were great they were great. But we could argue. And I gave as good as I got.” The couple were engaged twice – they split for a year in 2008 but got back together.
Specht said her relationship with Tom came to an acrimonious end in 2016 after the pair had a series of arguments and the police were called: “We would throw things at each other – coffee cups, ashtrays, words. The cops were called. I gave as good as I got. He thought I was cheating on him.”
Tom’s ex-fiancée told Radar they started not getting along and she blamed herself because she was depressed: “I don’t know if he was responding to that. But, I was needy and kind of fell into a black hole. And, I don’t know if he was angry at me or thought I was doing something because I had changed, but it got bad. It went really bad really quick .”
She told Radar Tom couldn’t “stand her” she says she felt “hated.” Specht recalled he would drink beer and they would then get into heated arguments. “He really shouldn’t drink. It was not a good mix. What do you do when someone you love tells you that they hate you?
“You feel like they’re going to hurt you,” Specht told Radar about Tom. “He’s a very intense person. When that intensity comes out and is aimed at you in anger, it’s terrifying. He’s a big guy. And he is intense. But it’s one of his best attributes too.
Specht said she was frightened of Meghan’s half-brother. “He can put that intensity towards anything. But, when it comes out at you as anger, it’s terrifying.” Adding she thought at one point he was going to “kill” her she said she was in fear of her life.
“We kind of hit a series of escalating fights,” Specht told Radar. “It was actually my mom who called the police because I was at the house with her. And she called because we were yelling back and forth in the yard and it was scaring my mom. I couldn’t let it go. I would have some little comment about where he was or what he was doing. I had to have the last word. And neither of us would stop.”
She told Radar that their split was not final. “Finally, when he left, that was it. That was the end of our contact. But I thought he would come back. That was the most terrifying thing I could imagine.”
But that drove her to drinking and doing drugs. “Heroin, meth, cocaine, I did everything. I was just trying to numb everything out. I hadn't done anything up until that point. Let me tell you taking drugs to try and get over a break up, or deal with depression, is not the way to go. I should know.”
Specht started sleep with a loaded shotgun under her pillow: “In retrospect I was probably suffering from terrible paranoia. That paranoia and fear, mixed with thinking that he hated me, and wanted to kill me, led to having guns around. And, having accidents with them.”
When she discovered her ex was back in the neighborhood, it led to disaster. “That day, I had some friends come over. We went into my room and they sat down on the corner of the bed. I realized at that point that I had a loaded gun under my pillow. I ran over and put my hand on the trigger and shot myself. Through the leg. In the thigh.” Specht had to be helicoptered out to the nearest hospital and the police were called: “I told them I was high and I was drunk. They understood. There was no point in lying to them. That was kind of a wake-up call for me.”