Meghan Markle Gets Huge Legal Win in Lawsuit Brought by Half-Sister Samantha

A judge dismissed Samantha's defamation claim.

Meghan Markle won a defamation lawsuit brought against her by her half-sister, Samantha Markle. On Tuesday, Samantha's claims against the Duchess of Sussex were dismissed with prejudice, preventing her from bringing them again.

Page Six obtained court documents that state Samantha "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…"

In particular, the judge's ruling noted no instances of defamation to be found in Meghan and Prince Harry's Netflix docuseries, Meghan & Harry, or in Omid Scobie's book, Finding Freedom. Moreover, the judge found no evidence of defamation in the couple's CBS interview with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021.

In her ruling, District Court Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell held that Samantha, 59, provided "mischaracterizations of the [interview] transcript" and that the remarks the couple made regarding Samantha and their father, Thomas Markle, constitute "quintessential examples of opinion."

Samantha sued Meghan, 42, in March 2022, alleging she made "false and malicious statements" during her interview with Winfrey. She claimed the former Suits star lied about the timeframe when they last saw each other and falsely stated she was an only child. 

Samantha released a book in 2021 titled The Diary of Princess Pushy's Sister. It contained her theories and assessments of Meghan's personality and mind, as well as some insight into her decision-making as a royal. 

Meghan explained during her interview that Samantha was not qualified to make these assessments because she had never been close to her. "I grew up as an only child, which everyone who grew up around me knows, and I wished I had siblings. I would have loved to have had siblings," said Meghan, who said she hadn't spoken to Samantha for "at least 18, 19 years."

In her lawsuit, Samantha claimed that this was not the case. In the aftermath of Meghan's dismissal, she faced "humiliation and hatred," as well as death threats from her fans. In addition, she blamed Meghan for the suspension of one of her social media accounts. Moreover, she claimed Meghan publicly slammed Thomas in a bid to sell a false "rags to royalty" narrative of her rise to fame. Samantha sought a total of $75,000 in damages, along with court and attorney fees. Meghan responded by calling the lawsuit "meritless." 

"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,'" Meghan wrote in her legal response at the time. "Courts are not equipped to adjudicate the legitimacy of a person's feelings about their childhood and relationships. Nor should they be."