Meghan Markle has won her bid to have a defamation case brought by her half-sister thrown out.
A Florida judge dismissed the lawsuit Friday, in which Samantha Markle attempted to sue The Duchess of Sussex for alleged defamation and “injurious falsehood.”
It was ruled by U.S. district judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell that Meghan’s remarks were opinions and “not capable of being proven false.”
“As a reasonable listener would understand it, Defendant merely expresses an opinion about her childhood and her relationship with her half-siblings,” Honeywell wrote in her order, as reported by the BBC.
“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 brought the civil case forward in March 2022, alleging that Meghan had exposed her to “humiliation, shame and hatred on a worldwide scale” and misrepresented their relationship.
She was seeking damages of US$75,000 over what she claimed were “malicious lies” told about her during Harry and Meghan’s 2020 televised Oprah Winfrey interview and the 2020 biography Finding Freedom.
In the interview, Meghan told Winfrey that she grew up as “an only child.” Samantha accused Meghan of giving the impression that they were “virtual strangers” growing up and that Samantha had “no relationship whatsoever with her sister Meghan.”
The lawsuit claimed that Meghan constructed a “false rags to royalty narrative” that was damaging to both Samantha and their shared father, Thomas Markle.
Last month, Honeywell ordered that both Meghan and her husband, Prince Harry, would have to give testimony under oath as part of the case after the couple filed a motion to block their depositions.
The case was part of a long-standing drama between the half-siblings, fanned by the Sussexes’ Netflix series, Harry & Meghan, and the publication of Harry’s revealing memoir Spare earlier this year.
In the documentary series, the former Suits actor claimed she hadn’t seen Samantha “for over a decade” and had little to no relationship with her.
“I don’t know your middle name. I don’t know your birthday,” Meghan told the cameras. “You’re telling these people you raised me, and you coined me ‘Princess Pushy?’ I hadn’t had a fallout with her. We didn’t have a closeness to be able to have that. And I wanted a sister!”