Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, is set to face a trial next year in response to defamation allegations made by her half-sister, Samantha Markle. The 59-year-old author is suing Meghan for $75,000 in damages, accusing her of spreading “malicious lies” during an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2020.
Accusations and Legal Proceedings
Samantha Markle claims that she has endured “humiliation and hatred” due to statements made by Meghan during the Oprah Winfrey interview. The accusations include Meghan allegedly lying about the nature of her relationship with her half-sister for the sake of a “rags-to-royalty story.”
“She wants the duchess to admit she ‘lied’ when she claimed to Oprah that she and her half-sister had ‘little to no relationship’ for the sake of selling a ‘rags-to-royalty story.'”
Markle is also demanding that Meghan retract her suggestion that the late Queen Elizabeth was “racist” based on the claim that there were “concerns” raised by unnamed members of the royal family during Meghan’s pregnancy with her son Archie.
Previous Dismissal and Renewed Complaint
The case was initially thrown out in March, with US District Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell ruling that Meghan’s statements were opinions and not capable of being proved false. However, a new complaint has been filed, leading to the scheduling of a trial in November 2024.
“In March, US District Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell ruled Meghan’s statements were simply opinions and ‘not capable of being proved false.'”
Legal Defense and Defamation Claims
Meghan had previously mentioned in the Oprah interview that she “grew up as an only child” and had not grown up with her half-siblings, a statement challenged by Samantha Markle. The judge ruled that Meghan’s statements were expressions of her subjective experience and not objectively verifiable or subject to empirical proof.
“Thus, the Court finds that Defendant’s statement is not objectively verifiable or subject to empirical proof… Because the statement is not ‘capable of being proved false, it is protected from a defamation action.'”
Dismissal of Previous Complaints
Samantha Markle had also raised objections to statements made in the book ‘Finding Freedom,’ but the judge ruled that Meghan could not be held liable for its contents as she did not publish it. The claims were dismissed without prejudice.
In conclusion, the legal battle between Meghan Markle and her half-sister Samantha Markle continues, with a trial scheduled for November 2024, centering on defamation allegations stemming from Meghan’s statements during the Oprah Winfrey interview.
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