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31 March 2023

Defamation case against Meghan Markle by her half-sister dismissed by judge

31 March 2023

A US court has dismissed a defamation case brought against the Duchess of Sussex by her half-sister, Samantha Markle.

The duchess was accused of spreading “demonstrably false and malicious lies” to a “worldwide audience” in the royal couple’s tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021.

On Thursday, a Florida judge dismissed the lawsuit, saying the former Suits actress 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 court papers seen by the PA new agency, US District Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell wrote: “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…. plaintiff cannot plausibly disprove defendant’s opinion of her own childhood.”

Samantha Markle brought the defamation case against her younger sister in March 2022, alleging the duchess had defamed her by giving information to an unauthorised biography called Finding Freedom and by discussing their relationship with Winfrey on live TV.

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

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