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Duchess of Sussex treated her half-sister with ‘ridicule, contempt, and disgrace’

meghan markle wearing white
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The Duchess of Sussex insulted her estranged sister by depicting her as a “disgusting opportunist,” a court heard.

Samantha Markle‘s lawyer, Peter Ticktin, said that Meghan had caused her half-sister “great harm” by suggesting that she had only changed her surname back to Markle to cash in after she began dating Prince Harry.

Ms. Markle, the eldest daughter of Thomas Markle, the Duchess’s father, is seeking $75,000 in damages over comments the Duchess made in her March 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey, which she has stated led her to “humiliation, shame, and hatred on a worldwide scale”.

She has accused Meghan of telling “false and malicious lies” about her fairytale “rags-to-royalty” childhood at her family’s expense and has questioned her half-sister’s assertion that she “grew up as an only child”. according to the Telegraph.

The Duchess’ legal team is hoping to have the lawsuit dismissed, claiming that she did not deny having a half-sister and that her thoughts and recollections of growing up were not “proper subject matter” for court proceedings.

Florida judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell heard the motion to dismiss the lawsuit on Wednesday.

‘Opinions are not and cannot be defamatory’

According to Michael Kump, the Duchess’s lawyer, “not every perceived slight” should be litigated, and calling someone an opportunist is not defamatory.

Meghan Markle
(Getty)

“The right to voice opinions, to even criticise, are even fundamental rights granted by the First Amendment,” he said. “Opinions are not and cannot be defamatory…there’s no way to determine if it’s true or false.”

Mr. Kump said that the Duchess had not accused Ms. Markle of changing her identity to “cash in on her newfound fame”.

Instead, he said she informed Ms. Winfrey that her half-sister changed her name when she was in her early 50s and started dating Prince Harry, adding, “So I think that says enough.”

He told the judge: “The fair reading of that is that Megan is saying to the interviewer, we’ve talked enough in this very short period about Samantha Markle.”

He also stated that Meghan did not claim to have only met her sister “a couple of times,” as the complaint suggests.

Mr. Kump told the court: “(It) was not a statement of an objective fact involving genetic or DNA or biology. Rather, it was a statement and expression of her own personal and subjective feelings and beliefs about how she experienced growing up and how she feels today about her childhood.”

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