Duchess Meghan‘s future sister-in-law Darlene Blount was arrested on suspicion of assault for the second time this year on Friday, July 20.
The 37-year-old, who is the fiancée of the royal’s half-brother, Thomas Markle Jr., was charged with assault in the fourth degree, according to the Daily Mail, which reports that police were called to Markle and Blount’s home in Grants Pass, Oregon, on a domestic violence call.
Blount was held in Josephine County Jail overnight before being released on bail on Saturday, July 21.
Police were previously called to the home on New Year’s Day, after Markle, 51, was involved in a drunken brawl with his fiancée and she landed in jail on another charge of fourth-degree assault. After initially claiming that Blount hit him in the face, Markle paid her $1,000 bond and insisted that his injuries were self-inflicted.
In an interview with the Mail on Sunday shortly after the incident, Markle blamed his half-sister’s engagement to Prince Harry for contributing to the fight.
“It hasn’t been easy. Meghan’s relationship with Prince Harry has shone a spotlight on our family,” he told the newspaper. “It doesn’t help when you have issues and your sister is engaged to royalty. It adds a whole new level of scrutiny. We’ve been under a lot of stress because of all the attention. At some point you find yourself drinking too much to escape the pressure.”
Markle said at the time that both he and Blount were planning to seek alcohol and relationship counseling. The pair did not attend the Suits star’s wedding to the British royal in London in May.
Markle and his fiancee aren’t the only members of Duchess Meghan’s family making headlines — her father, Thomas Markle Sr., and half-sister Samantha Markle have also been taking shots at the duchess.
Thomas Sr. — who didn’t attend the wedding after claiming he’d had a heart attack in the wake of a paparazzi photo scandal — has done interviews with British tabloids about his strained relationship with his daughter and has criticized the royal family, which has deeply upset Meghan, a source close to the former actress told Us Weekly earlier this week.
“She’s upset for a couple of reasons. She doesn’t even know how to communicate with her dad without knowing he won’t exploit her,” the source explained. “She lives in fear that he’ll leak their communication. If he’s spoken this much already, why wouldn’t he leak their conversation?”
Samantha, meanwhile, recently tweeted that if their father dies, it will be Meghan’s fault, but the duchess isn’t taking her harsh words to heart.
“She hasn’t seen or really spoken to Samantha since she was like 10,” the source told Us. “They were never close.”