Meghan Markle’s relationship with Rory McIlroy has been laid bare in the bombshell new biography on the Duchess of Sussex.
Revenge, which is released later today, sees author Tom Bower devote an entire chapter to the top golfer.
Entitled ‘The Irishman’, it details how Markle used her relationship with McIlroy to promote her profile around the world. Bower also claims the former Suits star actively encouraged the media to publish details about their close relationship – and that she admitted to “occasionally” setting up a paparazzi photo or letting information “slip out to the press”.
The book also publishes Markle’s thoughts on McIlroy which she penned on her Tig website, which was deleted ahead of her wedding to Prince Harry in 2018.
Gushing about the 33-year-old golfer, Markle writes: “Ah yes. Rory McIlroy. THE Rory McIlroy. Whispered (and shouted) to be the foremost golfer in the world, loved by Tiger, respected by Palmer.”
Describing him as “a force” who has “the propensity to actually work hard and play hard”, she said he drank Opus One, which can cost more than €400 a bottle, and described his tipple as “a bold and impressive choice”.
But she says “beyond his work/play ethic”, the most “endearing quality” was his “character”.
“As real and honest as they come, appreciating a simple smile, never shunning a fan photo, enjoying a plate of pasta with veal ragu, and expressing a love for his parents that is rarely seen in men his age. Or at any age, to be honest. He is not just the real deal… he is real,” she enthused.
She said: “He, alone, could be the impetus for his [hometown] Hollywood’s own Walk of Fame. I imagine they would be glad to welcome that gilded boulevard in his honor.”
Elsewhere, the book claims that Meghan had “lobbied hard” to be invited to the One Young World conference in Dublin, which she again used as leverage to raise her profile.
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Knowing the star appeal in Hollywood can be enhanced by philanthropy and activism, it says that, to secure her first platform she asked Misan Harriman, an Anglo-Nigerian photographer, for “a favour”.
Harriman’s friend, the tennis champion Boris Becker, was due to address young people at the Dublin event and Harriman asked Becker if he could get a slot for Meghan.
In turn, Becker is claimed to have introduced Meghan to his agent, Gina Nelthorpe-Cowne, a South African whose job it is to negotiate appearances by famous people in conferences, advertisements and campaigns.
Bower writes that “having booked another client, Bob Geldof, to speak in Dublin, she was well placed to ask the conference organiser Kate Robertson to give Meghan a slot”.
The actress then used her time to speak to the world’s media about gender equality and ‘positive change’.
Nelthorpe-Cowne, who met and spoke to Markle in her Dublin hotel while she was in “a towelling bathrobe with her hair tied back”, told Bower Meghan’s “obvious purpose” in Dublin was “to promote her profile, increase her income and become influential”.
The book claims that – at the VIP conference – star guests including Mary Robinson, Ireland’s former president, and Kofi Annan, the former United Nations’ Secretary General, “were drawn to the flash of her engaging smile and the flicker of an eyelid”.
Meanwhile, Bower also reveals how Markle was confronted by her then love interest about her feelings for McIlroy during her time in Dublin.
When a newspaper report by an Irish entertainment reporter published onlooker details of McIlroy and Markle’s “very cosy” dinner at Fade Street Social restaurant, it was said to have been met with anger by chef Cory Vitiello, whom she had been dating.
Vitiello had flown to Dublin from Toronto with Meghan, which Bower writes that “some would suggest” was in “a NetJet paid for by Rory McIlroy”.
He was introduced as a famous chef to friends at parties.
Vitiello allegedly “challenged” Meghan over whether they had been having an affair. He says Meghan denied that she had betrayed Cory, and that she and McIlroy were just friends.
‘Revenge: Meghan, Harry and the war between the Windsors’, by Tom Bower, is out now in hardback, ebook and audio (Blink, £22)
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