Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s $14m home was breached twice by a trespasser over Christmas, report says

Ohio man allegedly trespassed on the property on 24 and 26 December

Danielle Zoellner
New York
Tuesday 16 March 2021 15:27
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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle explain how Tyler Perry helped them with security

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Santa Barbara home was breached twice by an unwanted visitor in December, TMZ reported.

Nickolas Brooks, 37, was allegedly caught trespassing on the property of the $14m home (£10m) located in Montecito, California, law enforcement officials told the tabloid.

The man, who is an Ohio resident, first breached the property on Christmas Eve and he was let off with a warning by the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department. But he was then arrested on 26 December after trespassing on the property again.

In a statement to The Independent, the Santa Barabara Sheriff’s Department confirmed the two trespassing incidents and Brooks’ arrest. He was charged for misdemeanour trespassing and booked at the county jail.

He is no longer in custody, the sheriff’s department said.

Read more: Palace ‘appoints outside lawyers’ to probe Meghan’s bullying claims

Revelations about the reported trespassing incident come after Prince Harry told Oprah Winfrey about the security concerns he and his family have faced in recent years.

When speaking to Oprah, Prince Harry detailed an especially stressful situation in 2020 after the Daily Mail revealed his family's location in Vancouver, Canada, when they left the United Kingdom.

"Suddenly it dawned on me, 'Hang on, the borders could be closed. ... The world knows where we are. It's not safe, it's not secure, we probably need to get out of here," Prince Harry said, referencing the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

That was why he, Meghan, and their son, Archie, moved into a Los Angeles home provided by film mogul Tyler Perry, who also gave the couple a security team to use while they figured out their situation.

"We didn't have a plan," Meghan told Oprah, adding that the invitation from the close friend "gave us breathing room to try to figure out what we were going to do."

Security concerns mounted for the royal couple prior to them stepping back from duties. Meghan revealed that the couple learning their son would not receive security protection led them to their decision to step back.

"We haven't created this monster machine around us in terms of clickbait and tabloid fodder," Meghan said. "[The institution] allowed that to happen, which means our son needs to be safe."

The couple has received backlash for accepting deals from companies like Netflix and Spotify after they used "privacy" as one reason for stepping back from their royal duties. But Prince Harry defended their latest business ventures and why they've needed the deals in order to afford security, stating those deals were initially "not part of the plan".

"That was suggested by somebody else by the point of where my family literally cut me off financially, and I had to afford security for us," he added.

Money left to Prince Harry in a trust set up by his mother, Princess Diana, also allowed the couple to settle in Santa Barbara after being cut off from Buckingham Palace, he said.

"And look, from my perspective, all I needed was enough money to be able to pay for security to keep my family safe," Prince Harry added.

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