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Meghan Markle Wins Defamation Suit Brought Against Her by Half-Sister Samantha Markle

Meghan Markle has scored a legal victory against her half-sister, Samantha Markle.

On Tuesday, March 12, a judge dismissed Samantha’s defamation lawsuit against Meghan, 42, with prejudice, meaning Samantha, 59, cannot level her claim again.

In court documents obtained by Us Weekly, Florida District Court Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell found that Samantha “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.”

The judge specifically noted that there were no examples of defamation in Meghan and Prince Harry’s March 2021 tell-all CBS interview or their 2022 docuseries Harry & Meghan. The ruling called the couple’s statements about Samantha and Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle, “quintessential examples of opinion.”

Doria Ragland Meghan Markle Thomas Markle

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Meghan’s attorney Michael J. Kump told Us in a statement: “We are pleased with the Court’s ruling dismissing this case.”

Meghan Markle Wins Defamation Suit Brought Against Her By Half Sister Samantha Markle
Meghan Markle, Samantha Markle Gary Miller/Getty Images;Kevin Manning/MEGA

Samantha sued Meghan in March 2022, claiming that the Duchess of Sussex had lied about growing up in “virtual poverty” and mischaracterized her relationship with Samantha by claiming she grew up as an old child. (In addition to Samantha, Meghan has a half-brother, Thomas Markle Jr.)

Samantha sought damages in excess of $75,000 “in the form of lost employment, lost income from sales of her autobiography, emotional and mental distress, including anxiety and fear due to the threatening and violence emails and messages she receives regularly, and harm to her reputation and credibility,” per court documents obtained by Us at the time.

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Related: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Royal Family Drama: Everything to Know

Meghan subsequently filed a motion to dismiss the suit, calling her half-sister’s claims “meritless” in court documents.

“We do not empanel juries to rule on whether two people are ‘close,’ or whether one genuinely feels that they ‘grew up as an only child,’” the June 2022 filing continued. “Courts are not equipped to adjudicate the legitimacy of a person’s feelings about their childhood and relationships. Nor should they be. … This dispute has no place in this Court or any other.”

During her and Harry’s March 2021 CBS interview, Meghan claimed that she had not seen Samantha in nearly 20 years.

“[She] changed her last name back to Markle in her early 50s … only when I started dating Harry. So, I think that says enough,” she said.

Meghan and Harry, 39, who tied the knot in 2018, relocated to the United States in 2020 after stepping down from their roles as senior royals. They share son Archie, 4, and daughter Lilibet, 2.

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