Meghan Markle’s sister Samantha to refile ‘even stronger’ case against Duchess of Sussex

Meghan won a defamation lawsuit filed against her by Samantha Markle, her half-sister

Ellie Muir
Monday 03 April 2023 14:38 BST
Meghan says she hasn’t seen half-sister Samantha Markle in 19 years

Meghan Markle’s sister, Samantha Markle, is planning to refile an “even stronger” case against the Duchess of Sussex.

On Friday (31 March), Meghan won a defamation lawsuit filed against her by her half-sister Samantha Markle, 58.

The actor and estranged royal had been accused by her relative of spreading “malicious lies” during a 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey and alleged statements to journalists in 2020.

But a Florida judge dismissed the lawsuit, stating that Samantha Markle’s statements were opinion and “not capable of being proved false”.

"As a reasonable listener would understand it, Defendant merely expresses an opinion about her childhood and her relationship with her half-siblings," wrote US District Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell her order.

Samantha filed her lawsuit in March 2022, alleging that Meghan had defamed her by giving information to an unauthorised biography called Finding Freedom and by discussing their relationship with Winfrey on live TV.

According to Judge Honeywell’s order, which was reported earlier by The Daily Beast, Finding Freedom had claimed that Samantha Markle had barely known her half-sister growing up, had "never been close" to her, and had been "handsomely paid" for an unflattering tabloid news story.

Meghan has previously said in interviews that she grew up as an only child.

Samantha filed her lawsuit in March 2022, alleging that Meghan had defamed

Samantha has disputed this, alleging that the pair had a “wonderful relationship” during childhood and that she had “regularly driven [Meghan] to school and helped her with her homework”.

However, Judge Honeywell ruled that “no siblings” did not mean “no half-siblings”.

Samantha Markle’s team intends to put greater emphasis on statements made by Markle during her interview with Winfrey in 2021, reports suggest.

A statement written by Samantha’s attorney reads: “This upcoming amendment will address certain legal issues that are related to our claims for defamation as it specifically relates to the Oprah interview on CBS.”

The attorney added that they look forward to presenting an “even stronger argument” for the defamation.

It comes as Prince Harry is involved in his own privacy lawsuit against Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL)

Harry appeared in court at the Royal Courts of Justice on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday last week, alongside other high-profile figures including Sir Elton John.

The Independent has contacted representatives of the Duchess of Sussex.

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