Meghan Markle Faces Fresh Legal Battle as Samantha Appeals Defamation Case

Sibling rivalry escalates in court as accusations and appeals unfold

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on July 6, 2024, 14:19:37



Meghan Markle faces another potential court battle as her sister, Samantha Markle, prepares to challenge a previous defamation lawsuit that ruled in the duchess' favour, "readying revenge," according to reports.
Samantha is set to take her case to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeal, with her lawyers due to file their initial brief by this month, according to Express UK. She originally filed the case against Meghan in March 2022.

Samantha's legal team argues that the court failed to consider the "cumulative" meaning of Meghan's remarks, which they claim were "disparaging, hurtful and false," portraying Samantha as "a stranger, a liar, and... a deceptive fame-seeking imposter with avaricious intentions."
"The cumulative inferences and remarks made by (Meghan) have resulted in a cumulative meaning, which the court did not consider," the court documents state.

"In March 2024, Meghan secured a legal victory when Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell dismissed Samantha's defamation case against her, stating that the duchess “barely mentioned Samantha, only noting that at some point during Meghan's childhood, Samantha moved out of her father's house”.
Samantha had accused Meghan of defamation and defamation by implication, primarily based on statements Meghan made during her interview with Oprah Winfrey, where she suggested she grew up as an only child and began using the Markle surname "when I (Meghan) started dating Harry." Samantha was seeking a minimum of $75,000 in damages.

"I was with my mum during the week and with my dad on the weekends," the Suits star said in their Netflix documentary. "And my dad lived alone; he had two adult children who had moved out of his house."
She added, "I don't remember seeing her (Samantha) when I was a kid at my dad's house, if and when they would come around."
The judge found that Samantha "failed to identify any statements that could support a claim for defamation."
Judge Honeywell dismissed Samantha's case "with prejudice." She found the claim that Samantha only started using the Markle surname after Meghan's relationship with Prince Harry became public to be "substantially true," based on the evidence presented.
"That Plaintiff used one last name and then the name Markle soon after reports of Defendant's relationship with Prince Harry were published is substantially true, based on the exhibits in the record, of which the Court has taken judicial notice," Judge Honeywell wrote in her ruling.
Samantha also cited other statements in the royal biography Finding Freedom and the Netflix series Harry & Meghan as part of her case. However, the judge dismissed the case "with prejudice."

"Plaintiff's claims will be dismissed with prejudice, as she has 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 either the book Finding Freedom, the Netflix series Harry & Meghan, or Defendant and her husband's hour-long televised CBS Interview," the judge concluded.

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