Meghan Markle will have to wait several more weeks to find out if the defamation case being brought against her by her half-sister Samantha Markle will go to trial.
Samantha was in court in Tampa, Florida on Wednesday, November 8 to hear from Judge Charlene Honeywell, who heard arguments from the former royal’s lawyers about why the case should be dismissed.
The ruling, which HELLO! has seen, revealed that a written order, marking Judge Honeywell’s final decision, will be issued at some point in the coming days or weeks; in the Florida justice system there is no deadline for deciding a motion.
Samantha told The Sun newspaper after the hearing that she was “optimistic’ the ruling would go in her favor.
“I think the truth stands on its own so I’m optimistic and thankful that we have a justice system that gives us the chance to present the facts,” she said.
“Hopefully someday she can embrace the truth and a better part of herself,” Samantha added, sharing: “I would want that for her but until then I have to get back a lot of my life that was lost from a lot of damage over several years. All we can do is move forward based on truth and positivity.”
Samantha, the daughter of Meghan’s father Thomas Markle, has accused the Duchess of Sussex of spreading “demonstrably false and malicious lies” to a “worldwide audience” during the royal couple’s tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021 and also in the book Finding Freedom, a book that was reportedly unauthorized by Meghan or Prince Harry.
Judge Honeywell dismissed part of the lawsuit in March 2023, writing in her ruling that Meghan had been expressing “an opinion about her childhood and her relationship with her half-sibling” and a statement of pure opinion was “not capable of being proved false”.
However, she gave Samantha 14 days to refile for another chance to prove she had a case to take to trial, and the amended lawsuit focused specifically on the Oprah interview and the Netflix documentary, Harry & Meghan.
In court on Wednesday, Samantha’s lawyer Peter Ticktin alleged that the Netflix documentary series Harry & Meghan had wrongly implied that his client was among a hate group spreading coordinated “disinformation” against Meghan.
He also claimed that the accusations led to harassment of Samantha, and “it made her hated and made it so she can’t go out in public at times because of fear”.