Florida judge sets October 2023 trial date for Samantha Markle’s defamation case against Meghan
A Florida judge has set a trial date for Samantha Markle’s defamation lawsuit against her half-sister Meghan and is demanding a “speedy” trial.
Samantha Markle, 57, is suing her half-sister Meghan for damages, alleging that Meghan vilified and embarrassed her by saying in her Oprah interview that she was raised as an “only child.”
She claims the Duchess of Sussex, 41, told a “rags-to-riches” story, as well as comments made in Finding Freedom, the book written by Meghan’s close friend Omid Scobie.
Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell has now ordered both sides to submit their comments expeditiously, adding that she wanted to make it “cheap”.
The Duchess of Sussex’s team previously argued for the defamation case, claiming it was a “feeling” and not a “fact” that she grew up as an “only child”.
Samantha says the “false” statement not only undermined everything she’d previously said about linking up with Meghan as her half-sister, but it also humiliated her and caused her distress.
She is also suing over comments made about her in Finding Freedom, a book that Meghan and Harry advised and informed but did not write.
A judge has dismissed Meghan’s bid to have her sister’s defamation lawsuit thrown out and has set a timetable of events ahead of the hearing. Samantha claims Meghan falsely claimed she was an ‘only child’ during an interview with Oprah, pictured
The Duchess of Sussex’s team previously argued for the defamation case, claiming it was a “feeling” and not a “fact” that she grew up as an “only child”. But Samantha, pictured with her half-sister Meghan Markle during her 2008 graduation, and her lawyers say they have “viable evidence”
Samantha claims Meghan lied when she claimed she “essentially lifted herself out of virtual poverty” and had to take on from 13 low-paying jobs to “make ends meet”
Meghan claims she cannot be held liable for either, and in one legal filing, she argues that it was her opinion and not a “fact” that she was raised as an only child.
Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell, pictured, has now ordered both sides to expedite submissions and set a potential trial date for October 2023.
She also says that because she is not the author or publisher of Finding Freedom, she should not be held responsible for its contents.
But Judge Honeywell is allowing it to go ahead, and the couple must agree to a mediator by the end of September and complete the discovery by May next year.
If they fail to settle or resolve the matter through mediation, a trial date has been set for October 2, 2023, which would last no more than five days.
In previous court documents, Meghan dismissed Samantha’s complaints about information in Finding Freedom, a book by Omid Scobie, saying she can’t be blamed for not writing the book.
Samantha, the daughter of Thomas Markle, Meghan’s father, claims the Duchess of Sussex has launched a “premeditated campaign to destroy her and her father’s reputation”.
Samantha believed her sister was trying to ruin their credibility so that “they couldn’t interfere with the false story and fairytale life story made up by the defendant”
The Duchess of Sussex’s lawyers previously said Meghan’s saying she ‘grew up as an only child’ cannot be false because it is a ‘textbook example of a subjective statement about how someone feels about her childhood’
Samantha also lashes out at the book Finding Freedom, written by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, which she calls both her sister’s “fairytale life story” and “a book of lies.”
She claims her sister tried to ruin their credibility so that “they could not interfere with the false story and fairytale life concocted by the defendant.”
She also claims that Meghan lied when she claimed she “essentially lifted herself out of virtual poverty” and had to take 13 low-paying jobs to “make ends meet.”
Meanwhile, Samantha launched an astonishing spot on Omid Scobie, her sister’s boyfriend and biographer, as she labeled Finding Freedom “a book full of lies.”
Meghan’s lawyer has previously hit back at the lawsuit, claiming it was “unfounded” and that they would give it “the minimum necessary attention.” Scobie also dismissed the claims.
The sisters are believed to have last seen each other in 2008, but in recent years they have argued over versions of their childhoods.
Meghan’s attorneys argue that because she is not the author or publisher of Finding Freedom, she should not be held responsible for its contents
If they fail to settle or resolve the matter through mediation, a trial date has been set for October 2, 2023, which would last no more than five days. Pictured: Meghan with her father Thomas Markle, from whom she is also estranged
Samantha released a book about her sister last year titled The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister: A Memoir, Part One
Samantha’s rocky relationship with Meghan exploded into the public eye after her sister’s engagement to Prince Harry was announced in 2017.
She was quoted by journalists as “the Queen would be appalled” and called her a “ducha**” on Twitter.
She gave numerous interviews attacking the Duchess, but has since come back and complimented her.
Samantha released a book about her sister last year titled The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister: A Memoir, Part One.
It exposes details about the Markles’ upbringing, including the rivalry when their father was still married to the actress’s mother, Doria Ragland.
But Samantha also writes about her adoration for Meghan as a baby, describing the child as “bi-racial, beautiful, and the color of a peach as well as a rose.”