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Markle v Markle: Meghan faces defamation trial against half-sister Samantha as judge tables court date
28 November 2023, 06:03 | Updated: 28 November 2023, 08:41
Meghan Markle faces a court battle against her half-sister Samantha after being accused of defamation in an amended complaint.
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Samantha Markle, 59, is set to take her half-sister Meghan, 42, to court next year after she has accused the Duchess of Sussex of defamation during her 2021 Oprah Winfrey interview.
She has alleged that Meghan defamed her when she claimed she grew up an only child and that she ‘doesn’t really know’ her half-sister.
These statements, Samantha alleges, have damaged the credibility of her book ‘The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister Part 1’, which writes of the pair’s relationship growing up.
Samantha is now seeking $75,000 in damages.
It comes after Samantha initially brought legal action against Meghan in March 2022.
The case was thrown out in March this year after a US District Judge ruled that Meghan’s remarks were opinion and “not capable of being proven false”.
Her initial complaint claimed that Meghan intentionally defamed her by providing false information to the authors of Finding Freedom.
But Samantha filed an amended complaint the following month, instead focusing only on the bombshell Oprah interview.
The Duchess tried to have the amended complaint thrown out in May but the judge is yet to rule on her request.
The provisional trial date is set for November 2024 with ‘in person’ meetings to take place beforehand. However, there remains the possibility the case could be thrown out again before it reaches trial.
As the case is in civil court, the Duchess will not have to make an appearance if the case goes to trial.
Speaking outside of court when the provisional date was set, Samantha said she felt “optimistic” about the renewed case against her half-sister.
“Once Meghan started to have success as an actress, she no longer had time for her older sister, Samantha, and by 2016, the two had stopped visiting, though there were no bad feelings between them, as far as Samantha knew,” Samantha’s lawsuit against Meghan reads.
“Unfortunately, once Meghan met and began dating Prince Harry Meghan became hostile to Samantha, as well as her half-brother and her father, and Meghan's relationship with Samantha became estranged.”
Meghan’s lawyer, Michael Kump, said of Samantha’s renewed complaint: “This has always been a lawsuit in search of a viable claim.
“The case has failed because it runs head first up against defamation law and the First Amendment.”