Meghan, Duchess of Sussex wins huge legal victory over half-sister

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. Picture: Henry Nicholls / Reuters

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. Picture: Henry Nicholls / Reuters

Published Mar 13, 2024


Meghan, Duchess of Sussex has won a major legal victory in the defamation lawsuit brought against her by her half-sister.

The suit against the mum-of-two, 42, was brought by Samantha Markle, 59, in March 2022, with the court claim stating Meghan had made “false and malicious statements” during her TV chat with Oprah Winfrey that aired on CBS in 2021.

Samantha had also accused Meghan of falsely claiming to be “an only child” and alleged the duchess lied about the time frame of when they last saw each other — and claimed Meghan publicly bashed her estranged dad Thomas Markle, 79, in an attempt to sell a “rags-to-royalty” narrative of her life.

Florida District Court Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell has now dismissed the suit against Meghan on Tuesday, March 12, with prejudice – meaning Samantha cannot level her claim again.

Court documents obtained by Page Six showed it was decided Samantha had “failed to identify any statements that could support a claim for defamation or defamation-by-implication by this point, her third try at amending her complaint”.

Judge Honeywell noted there were also no examples of defamation to be found in Meghan and her 39-year-old husband Prince Harry’s Netflix documentary show ‘Meghan and Harry’ or Omid Scobie’s ‘Finding Freedom’ book about the couple.

There were also no examples of defamation found by the judge in the couple’s hour-long sit-down interview with 70-year-old Oprah.

It was ruled Samantha supplied “mischaracterisations of the (Oprah interview) transcript” and it was decided the couple’s statements about Samantha and Thomas Markle were “quintessential examples of opinion”.

Samantha had asked for $75,000 in damages and the cost of court and attorney’s fees to be covered – but Meghan hit back by branding the lawsuit “meritless”.

The duchess’ legal team previously said in a statement: “We do not empanel juries to rule on whether two people are ‘close,’ or whether one genuinely feels that they ‘grew up as an only child.’

“Courts are not equipped to adjudicate the legitimacy of a person’s feelings about their childhood and relationships. Nor should they be.”

Meghan’s attorney also told the suit was “baseless and absurd” and “a continuation of a pattern of disturbing behaviour”.

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