Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle has cleared the defamation lawsuit filed by her half-sister, court documents show.
Samantha Markle, 58, filed a defamation lawsuit against her extended family member in a Florida court, accusing Meghan of making “demonstrably false and malicious statements” about her in the March 2021 Oprah Winfrey interview with Prince Harry, the New York Post reported Friday.
Samantha filed for $75,000 in damages against Meghan. The half-sister apparently struggled with blowback from the explosive interview, claiming the fallout put her through “humiliation” and “hatred,” the NY Post reported. In the interview, Meghan said she “grew up as an only child, which everyone who grew up around me knows, and I wished I had siblings,” according to the BBC.
Meghan wins bid to throw out defamation case brought by her half-sister https://t.co/QFnJuxKvOe
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) March 31, 2023
A Florida judge dismissed the case Thursday, saying Meghan was expressing an opinion, and an opinion cannot be proven erroneous, according to the BBC.
“As a reasonable listener would understand it, Defendant [Meghan Markle] merely expresses an opinion about her childhood and her relationship with her half-siblings,” U.S. District Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell wrote in an official court order letter.
“Thus, the court finds that defendant’s statement is not objectively verifiable or subject to empirical proof. … Plaintiff [Samantha Markle] cannot plausibly disprove defendant’s opinion of her own childhood,” the court document continues. (RELATED: Prince Harry And Meghan Markle To Be Questioned In Defamation Case)
Oprah Winfrey’s sit-down with the former royal couple was a global smash, with over 50 million people watching around the world, according to the court document. Samantha also accused Meghan of slander for allegedly passing along personal information in an unauthorized biography about the latter titled “Finding Freedom.”
The judge ultimately decided the duchess was not accountable for the contents of the book because she wasn’t the publisher, the BBC reported.