Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle's sister, Samantha, blamed herself for their father's staged photos. Pictured: Markle attend the Dawn Service at Wellington Arch to commemorate Anzac Day on April 25, 2018 in London. Getty Images/Toby Melville


  • Meghan Markle successfully persuaded the court to dismiss part of Samantha Markle's case against her
  • Samantha still has one chance to refile her case, and her legal team is preparing for it
  • Samantha's new legal action will focus on Meghan's statements during her interview with Oprah Winfrey

Meghan Markle's legal battle against her estranged half-sister, Samantha Markle, is not yet over despite the duchess' recent small victory in court.

Samantha's legal team revealed to the U.K.'s The Telegraph that they would refile an "even stronger" defamation case against the Duchess of Sussex after the latter successfully persuaded a court to dismiss the majority of claims in the author's lawsuit against her.

Samantha's new legal action will target her sibling's comments during her and Prince Harry's 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Samantha's lawyers announced their next move after a Florida judge last week threw out part of the defamation case related to "Finding Freedom," the 2020 biography about the Sussexes by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand.

In her $75,000 lawsuit, Samantha, who shares a father, Thomas, with Meghan, accused her estranged half-sister of spreading "demonstrably false and malicious lies" to a "worldwide audience" in the unauthorized biography and the CBS interview with Winfrey.

She alleged that it was defamatory that the Duchess of Sussex said she "grew up as an only child," and claimed Meghan said Samantha "changed her last name back to Markle" after she started dating Prince Harry with defamatory implications.

Samantha also took issue with a chapter titled "A Problem Like Samantha" in "Finding Freedom," which focused on Prince Harry and Meghan's love story and their decision to step back from royal duties.

However, U.S. District Attorney Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell ruled in favor of Meghan after determining that the duchess "cannot be held liable for statements in a book that she did not publish" and that her telling Winfrey that she felt she grew up as an only child is not falsifiable as a protected opinion, People reported.

"As a reasonable listener would understand it, Defendant merely expresses an opinion about her childhood and her relationship with her half-siblings. Thus, the Court finds that Defendant's statement is not objectively verifiable or subject to empirical proof," Honeywell said.

However, although she can no longer sue the Duchess of Sussex for defamation over claims made in the biography, Samantha still has one chance to plead her claims again.

"For the foregoing reasons, the Court grants the motion to dismiss. Plaintiff's claims based on 'Finding Freedom' will be dismissed with prejudice, as Plaintiff cannot plausibly allege that Defendant published the book, and amendment of these claims would be futile. Plaintiff will be allowed one final opportunity to replead her claims related to Defendant's CBS interview and her claim for injurious falsehood," the judge said about the lawsuit.

Meghan Markle
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex makes the keynote speech during the Opening Ceremony of the One Young World Summit 2022 at The Bridgewater Hall on Sept. 5 in Manchester, England. IBTimes/Chris Jackson/Getty Images