Meghan Markle wins defamation lawsuit against half-sister Samantha after judge dismisses case

The Duchess of Sussex has won the defamation lawsuit brought against her by her half-sister Samantha Markle. 

Meghan had been accused of making "demonstrably false and malicious statements" to a "worldwide audience" after the explosive 2021 Oprah Winfrey interview.

Samantha Markle claimed she was defamed by Meghan in the interview when the duchess "falsely and maliciously" said that she was "an only child".

A Florida judge dismissed the lawsuit on Thursday, saying the duchess was expressing "an opinion about her childhood and her relationship with her half-sibling" and a statement of pure opinion was "not capable of being proved false".

In a court order, US District Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell wrote: "As a reasonable listener would understand it, the defendant merely expresses an opinion about her childhood and her relationship with her half-siblings.

"Thus, the court finds that the defendant's statement is not objectively verifiable or subject to empirical proof.... plaintiff cannot plausibly disprove the defendant's opinion of her own childhood."

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Samantha Markle brought the defamation case against her younger sister in March 2022, also alleging the duchess had defamed her by giving "false information" to an unauthorised biography called Finding Freedom.

She listed a number of statements from the book she took issue with, including that the half-sisters had barely known each other growing up and that Samantha had been "handsomely paid" for an unflattering tabloid news story.

Judge Honeywell found the duchess could not be liable for the contents of the book because she did not publish it.