Meghan and Harry will be deposed in Samantha Markle defamation lawsuit, judge rules

Meghan and Harry will be deposed in Samantha Markle defamation lawsuit, judge rules


Prince Harry And Meganethe Duchess of Sussex will be filed in a defamation case brought against the Duchess in the United States by her half-sister, Samantha Marklea Florida judge ruled on Tuesday.

Markle is suing Meghan for “defamation and abusive lying” following the couple’s 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey, British news agency PA Media reported after obtaining legal documents in the case.

Samantha Markle’s March 2022 lawsuit, also obtained by PA, claims Meghan made ‘patently false and malicious statements… to a global audience’, including ‘approximately 50 million people in 17 countries’ who watched the interview.

Meghan filed a motion in September last year to stop depositions – the sworn out-of-court testimony of a witness used to gather information – in the case.

Presiding judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell dismissed the motion, ruling that Meghan ‘does not show that unusual circumstances justify the requested stay, or that any prejudice or undue burden will result if the Court does not impose a stay’ .

“Defendant Markle does not meet the high standard required to stay discovery pending resolution of a determinative motion.”

Samantha Markle said in the initial filing that Meghan defamed her during the interview when she said she grew up as an “only child”.

The filing says “Meghan…published and disseminated false and malicious lies,” which subjected Samantha Markle to “humiliation, shame and hatred on a global scale,” and spread “lies in the whole world” about their father, Thomas Markle.

He alleges that Meghan orchestrated “a premeditated campaign” to “defame and destroy the reputation and credibility of her sister and father in order to preserve and promote the false ‘rags-to-royalty’ narrative”.

The latest developments in the case follow the release of Prince Harry’s memoir last month and the couple’s six-part Netflix series airing in December, in which Meghan spoke on his relationship with Samantha Markle.

“My stepsister, who I hadn’t seen in over a decade – and it had only been a day and a half – suddenly felt like she was everywhere,” Meghan said in the documentary.

“I don’t know your middle name. I don’t know your date of birth. You tell these people that you raised me and called me “Princess Pushy”.

A statement shown in the episode read: “Samantha Markle maintains that she and Meghan had a close relationship until 2018 and that the media fabricated quotes attributed to her.”

CNN’s Amarachi Orie contributed reporting.

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