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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Defamation lawsuit against Meghan Markle by half-sister dismissed by judge

Samantha, who is half-sister to Meghan through their father Thomas Markle, will not be able to refile the lawsuit since it was dismissed with prejudice.

Meghan Markle has obtained a court victory in a defamation case brought forward by her half-sister Samantha Markle.

U.S. District Attorney Judge Charlene Honeywell has dismissed with prejudice the case — in which Samantha, 59, claimed Meghan, 42, defamed her in multiple interviews, including her CBS interview with Oprah Winfrey — in court documents filed Tuesday and obtained by PEOPLE.

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The Florida judge said in the filing that the motion to dismiss the case was granted after Samantha failed to produce statements that supported her defamation claim. In the filing, Honeywell wrote that the allegations “suggest” that Samantha “disagrees” with Meghan’s “opinions rather than statements of fact.”

In a statement obtained by PEOPLE, Meghan’s attorney, Michael J Kump, said: “We are pleased with the court’s ruling dismissing the case.”

Samantha, who is half-sister to Meghan through their father Thomas Markle, will not be able to refile the lawsuit since it was dismissed with prejudice. The author had been seeking $75,000 from the Duchess of Sussex for defamation.

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Samantha claimed in her original filing that the Duchess of Sussex made defamatory statements during her interview with Winfrey when she said she “grew up as an only child.” She said in the documents that she and Meghan “were close during childhood” but drifted after Meghan started dating Prince Harry.

She also claimed that there were defamatory implications made when Meghan said during the interview that Samantha “changed her last name back to Markle” after she began dating Harry, and alleged that she got negative press after saying in a December 2018 interview that their father should have been at Meghan and Harry’s royal wedding.

Samantha also took issue with the contents of a chapter titled “A Problem Like Samantha” in the book Finding Freedom, written by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand in August 2021, which focused on Harry and Meghan’s love story and step back from their roles as senior working royals.