It’s a surprise to no one, but Samantha Markle, the outspoken older half-sister of the Duchess of Sussex, has lost her defamation case against her royal sibling. And, if you’re Meghan, this a small — yet highly significant — win.
Why? Because if you strip away all the other lawsuits that Meghan and hubby Prince Harry are currently embroiled in against the British tabloids, this one hits closest to home for the duchess. It’s one thing to go to court against the faceless media giants that publish unfounded gossip; it’s another thing entirely to have to face off against an unruly relative in court who is trying to capitalize off your name and fame.
See also: 6 ways Princess Diana and Meghan Markle are more alike than you think.
Who is Samantha Markle?
Half-sister to the duchess, Samantha is also the daughter of Thomas Markle, a retired TV lighting director. Samantha, 58, is the offspring of Thomas’ first marriage to secretary Roslyn Loveless.
There’s a considerable age gap between Samantha and half-sister Meghan, 41, who is the daughter of social worker and yoga instructor Doria Ragland.
During her bombshell Oprah interview in March 2021, Meghan revealed that Samantha legally changed her last name back to Markle once the former Suits star started dating Harry. “[She] changed her last name back to Markle in her early 50s… only when I started dating Harry,” Meghan said at the time. “So, I think that says enough.”
In 2021, Samantha wrote a tell-all memoir with the eye-grabbing, albeit ridiculous, title, The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister.
See also: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announce second docuseries ‘Live to Lead.’
Why did Samantha Markle sue Meghan Markle?
Samantha lodged her case in Florida back in March 2022, citing “defamation and injurious falsehoods” and “malicious lies” stemming from various alleged instances. One of those alleged examples includes the fact that Meghan referred to herself as an “only child” who had only met Samantha “a handful of times” in her March 2021 televised interview with Oprah Winfrey.
In response, Meghan filed a motion for the case against her to be dismissed.
Samantha was seeking $75,000 (USD) in damages, says the BBC. According to Daily Beast, US District Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell sided with Meghan, stating, “A reasonable listener would not think that Defendant was suggesting that she has no half-siblings, that Plaintiff does not actually exist, or that Plaintiff is not related to her.”
Related: Everything we know about King Charles’ coronation so far.
Where does Meghan Markle go from here?
Chances are, ties are irrevocably severed between the half-siblings — if they weren’t already.
It’s never fun to battle it out in court with family, but it’s tough to deny that Samantha has been a thorn in her half-siblings side since pretty much the moment Meghan met her prince.
In the popular Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan, which premiered in December of last year, audiences met Samantha’s daughter, Ashleigh Hale. The real surprise, though, came in the revelation that Ashleigh and Meghan share a close bond IRL. Due to Meghan’s strained relationship with Samantha, however, the duchess revealed that the palace asked her not to invite Ashleigh to avoid complications. So, in short: the Markle family is highly fractured.
There are plenty of Meghan and Harry detractors out there who consider them litigious, but honestly, can you blame the royal pair? From the moment their relationship went public in 2016 they’ve essentially been living in a tabloid hellscape. From unfounded rumours to overt racism, the Sussexes have been hounded out of Britain and into the (mostly) kinder embrace of Meghan’s native California.
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