Meghan Markle has won the defamation lawsuit filed against her by her half-sister Samantha Markle.
A Florida judge has ruled that Samantha could not sue her half-sister over claims made in her unauthorized biography Finding Freedom and comments made during Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey.
In March last year, Samanth filed a lawsuit against Meghan and sought $75,000 in damages.
However, U.S. District Attorney Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell has ruled that Meghan “cannot be held liable for statements in a book that she did not publish” and that telling Oprah she “grew up as an only child” is not falsifiable as a protected opinion.
According to People, Samantha claimed the sisters “were close during childhood” until Meghan started Dating Harry, whom she married in 2018.
Additionally, Samantha took issue with a chapter titled “A Problem Like Samantha” in Finding Freedom, written in August 2021 by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand.
Around 50 million people watched the CBS television show Oprah with Meghan and Harry in March 2021. Samantha claimed in her lawsuit that the Duchess of Sussex’s statement that she “grew up as an only child” was defamatory. She also asserted that Meghan’s statement that Samantha “changed her last name back to Markle” once she began dating Prince Harry had defamatory overtones.
“As a reasonable listener would understand it, Defendant merely expresses an opinion about her childhood and her Relationship with her half-siblings. Thus, the Court finds that Defendant’s statement is not objectively verifiable or subject to empirical proof,” Honeywell wrote.
She said, “For the foregoing reasons, the Court grants the motion to dismiss. Plaintiff’s claims based on Finding Freedom will be dismissed with prejudice, as Plaintiff cannot plausibly allege that Defendant published the book, and amendment of these claims would be futile. Plaintiff will be allowed one final opportunity to replead her claims related to Defendant’s CBS interview and her claim for injurious falsehood.”