Meghan Markle has claimed that she was referring to her “perception” of her childhood when she told Oprah Winfrey that she grew up as an only child, rather than the “objective” fact, as she hit back against her half-sister Samantha’s defamation claim.
Samantha has alleged in previous court documents that Meghan defamed her by telling untruths in her interview with Oprah and by including “false information” in the book Finding Freedom, which was written by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand.
Samantha claimed the book caused “substantial and irreparable prejudice, injury, and harm” to her reputation.
Meghan has previously admitted in a British court case that her communications secretary briefed the writers of the book at her behest.
However in the new document filed in a Tampa court this week, Meghan’s legal team argued that whether or not a member of her team briefed Scobie and Durand is irrelevant, saying, “Meghan did not make the statements; she cannot be liable for them. It is that simple.”
Meghan’s team also contested Samantha’s claim that Meghan made three false statements about her in the Oprah interview, which Samantha said falsely portrayed her life as a rags-to-riches story.
Meghan said in the interview, while discussing her half-sister, that she “grew up as an only child,” which Samantha said was intended to portray her as “a prevaricator who was attempting to cash in on the fact that her barely known half-sister married into the royal family. By publishing these false facts, she was making it apparent that her older sister was an opportunist of the worst kind.”
However in their response, Meghan’s lawyers said that Meghan was talking about her “perception” of her childhood, saying: “Meghan’s response to that question that she ‘grew up as an only child’ was obviously not meant to be a statement of objective fact that she had no genetic siblings or half-siblings. Rather, it was a textbook example of a subjective statement about how a person feels about her childhood.”
Meghan’s team added: “This perception is inherently unfalsifiable. It is hard to imagine a more personal and subjective feeling than how one views their own childhood.”
Samantha has accused Meghan of running a “premeditated campaign to destroy” her credibility and whipping up her fans against her with a false tale of her childhood.
But Meghan has repeatedly claimed she hardly knows her half-sister and had nothing to do with her for many years.
In a clip released ahead of the Oprah interview, Meghan said of Samantha: “I don’t feel comfortable talking about people that I really don’t know but I grew up as an only child, which everyone who grew up around me knows, and I wished I had siblings, I would have loved to have had siblings… The last time I saw her [Samantha] must have been at least 18 or 19 years ago, and then before that, 10 years before that.”
She added: “She changed her last name back to Markle, she was in her early 50s at that time, only when I started dating Harry, so I think that says enough.”