Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

The Appeal Process for Meghan Markle’s Half-Sister Samantha Could be Costly

By Michael Mar 14, 2024

Samantha Markle’s two-year long defamation lawsuit against half-sister Meghan Markle could be done for good after the case was dismissed with prejudice.

“The judge says even if everything you say is true as a matter of law, it’s not defamation. You don’t have a case, it can’t go to a jury,” attorney Neama Rahmani, who is not associated with the case, exclusively told Us Weekly on Tuesday, March 12. “The judge ruled that as a matter of law, Samantha has no case and the case was dismissed with prejudice, which means it can’t be amended, it can’t be refiled. So all Samantha can do is appeal if she wants to move forward.”

Rahmani added that if Samantha, 49, decided to move forward with the appeal process, she would have to go through the Court of Appeals, which could be a costly decision.

“If the appellate court reverses the dismissal, Samantha could then resume the case in the trial court,” he explained. “The appeal will cost thousands or tens of thousands of dollars.”

Samantha Markle’s Defamation Lawsuit Against Meghan Markle: What to Know

Samantha, 59, originally sued Meghan, 42, in March 2022 following her CBS interview with husband Prince Harry in November 2021, claiming that her sister had lied about her childhood. (Both Samantha and Meghan are the daughters of Thomas Markle.)

Meghan scored a legal victory on Tuesday when the judge threw out the case two years later. According to court documents obtained by Us, 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.”

“When you’re looking at defamation, right, it has to be a statement about a person. It’s got to be published, it has to be untrue,” Rahmani said. “But really what we’re dealing with here is a statement of opinion.”

In the sitdown, Meghan claimed that she had not seen Samantha in nearly 20 years. The legal expert explained that the two instances that Samantha alleged were defamatory were Meghan’s opinion “which usually can’t be defamatory.”

“Meghan made two statements. That one, she grew up as an only child even though she had a half-sister [and] didn’t really have much of a relationship,” Rahmani said. “She hadn’t seen her for many, many years. So the judge said, well, that’s her opinion about her childhood and her upbringing. That’s not defamatory.”

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Meghan also claimed that her elder sister changed her last name to Markle after she started dating Harry. The judge ruled similarly on that statement as well. Before the Tuesday ruling, the judge gave Samantha the chance to change her lawsuit but she did not follow through.

“The judge gave Samantha an opportunity to amend her lawsuit, really clarify or really specify what was defamatory. And when Samantha was unable to do so, the case was dismissed,” Rahmani told Us. “Now Samantha wants to appeal, she can go to the court of appeal, but it doesn’t strike me as a strong defamation case.”

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

By Michael

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