- Meghan Markle transformed from an actress into a royal upon marrying Prince Harry of England in 2018
- Meghan’s relationship with her half-sister, Samantha Markle, and the father they share, Thomas Markle, deteriorated quickly leading up to the royal wedding
- Samantha has continuously criticized Meghan publicly and even sued her for defamation in 2022
- Meghan has expressed that she feels sad about the family drama but has also stated she never had a relationship with Samantha in the first place
Meghan Markle, 41, shared a number of shocking revelations during her intimate (and televised) conversation with Oprah Winfrey on March 7, 2021. No topic was off limits in the interview, which also featured Meghan’s husband, Prince Harry. The Duchess of Sussex unsurprisingly discussed her estranged relationship with members of her family, including her half-sister on her father’s side, Samantha Markle.
Following the interview, Samantha sued Meghan for defamation, accusing her of lying about their family history and relationships. However, the $75,000 case was dismissed in March 2023. Learn about Samantha and Meghan’s relationship with her below.
Who Is Samantha Markle?
Samantha Markle, 58, is the daughter of Thomas Markle and Roslyn Loveless, Thomas’ first wife. She also has a brother named Thomas Markle Jr. Samantha followed in her father’s footsteps and worked in the entertainment industry for a number of years as a writer and actress. Prior to changing her last name to Markle, Samantha went by the last name Grant.
As news of Meghan’s relationship with Prince Harry became widely publicized, Samantha appeared on several talk shows in Britain and America to speak about her relationship with Meghan. Consequently, Samantha went on to publish a supposed tell-all book, The Diary Of Princess Pushy’s Sister Part 1, which came out in 2021. In the book, Samantha claimed Meghan was treated like a princess her whole life and never appreciated it.
“I don’t recall ever hearing Dad say no to Meg, about anything,” she alleged in the book, adding that Meghan became more “demanding” as she got older. “He was paying for Meg to get a great education, and instead of showing gratitude, she was being belittling and controlling,” she wrote.
Samantha also spoke about Meghan’s education in a fiery Twitter rant that has since been deleted in 2018. After Meghan addressed students at the University of the South Pacific and spoke about the importance of education and leveled with them by explaining that she’s aware of prohibiting costs, Samantha called Meghan a liar. “Our father paid for all of her education! This speech is not true,” she complained, per Page Six. “Stop the enabling! Do not ever reward a lie it does not matter how fluffy it is! It is wrong and there is no force on the planet that will take this away from my father,” she continued. “She should inspire women with the truth and with gratitude! Roll [sic] model thankfullness [sic] and truth, not lies.”
The estranged sister of Meghan continued to share her dismay with her over the years, claiming she only cared about money and left her family in the dust upon becoming a royal. During a July 2021 radio interview, she even claimed Meghan had an uncontrolled personality condition. “I definitely see a narcissistic personality disorder. I’m not diagnosing her. She needs to see a counselor,’’ she hypothesized on the Australian radio show Fifi, Fev and Nick, per Page Six.
Samantha went on to say she feels sad for Harry, who has been married to Meghan since 2018 and shares two children with her. “She pulled him away from his family, all of his friends, the life that he knew,” she claimed. “He reminds me of one of those kidnap victims who eventually starts to believe that their life was so horrible and they’re in love with their captor.”
Meghan Markle Said She Never Had A Relationship With Samantha
WATCH: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, tells @Oprah she wasn't close with her half-sister Samantha and she "changed her last name back to Markle… only when I started dating Harry. So I think that says enough."#OprahMeghanHarry pic.twitter.com/unfrStscZl
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) March 8, 2021
Throughout her relationship and subsequent marriage to Prince Harry, Meghan’s relationship with members of her father, Thomas Markle’s, family, became strained. Leading up to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding, Meghan’s half-sister continued to appear on morning talk shows and talk about Meghan. The drama in Meghan’s family became even worse when Meghan’s father suffered a heart attack and made the decision to skip his daughter’s wedding — after he staged photos of himself picking out a suit for it, that is. Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, was in attendance at the royal wedding.
More recently, Meghan went into detail about her relationship with her sister during her bombshell CBS interview with Oprah. “I think it would be very hard to ‘tell-all’ when you don’t know me,” Meghan said, referencing her half-sister’s book. “This is a very different situation than my dad. When you talk about betrayal, betrayal comes from someone you have a relationship with. I don’t feel comfortable talking about people I really don’t know.”
“I grew up as an only child, which everyone who grew up around me knows. I wished I had siblings. I would’ve loved to have siblings. I’m so excited to be pregnant so that Archie has someone. The last time I saw [Samantha] must’ve been at least 18, 19 years ago. Before that, 10 years before that,” Meghan shared with Oprah.
Meghan even claimed that her sister only changed her last name when Meghan and Prince Harry started dating. “She changed her last name back to Markle, I think she was in her early 50s at that time, only when I started dating Harry. So, I think that says enough,” Meghan alleged.
Samantha Sued Meghan In 2022
Following the release of the 2020 book, Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of A Modern Royal Family, and Meghan and Prince Harry’s revelatory Oprah interview, Samantha filed a defamation lawsuit against the former Suits star. The 2022 suit claimed Meghan “published and disseminated false and malicious statements” in the book and that Samantha’s reputation was tarnished thanks to “false and malicious statements made by her half-sister to a worldwide audience” during the interview, per court documents obtained by Entertainment Tonight.
Meghan filed a response to the lawsuit in July 2022, writing, “It is hard to imagine a more personal and subjective feeling than how one views their own childhood.” The documents went on to say Samantha was taking Meghan’s statements about being an “only child” out of context. “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,” the documents read.
Meghan tried having the lawsuit dismissed in Sept. 2022, but was unsuccessful and had to provide a deposition for the lawsuit, a Florida judge ruled in Feb. 2023. However, one month later, on March 31, 2023, the case was dismissed and Meghan was victorious. Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell wrote in court papers she filed on March 31 that Meghan was not responsible for remarks made in Finding Freedom, as she did not write it, and that she gave her “opinion” during the Oprah interview. “As a reasonable listener would understand it, defendant merely expresses an opinion about her childhood and her relationship with her half-siblings,” the judge’s filing read, per BBC. “Thus, the court finds that defendant’s statement is not objectively verifiable or subject to empirical proof…. plaintiff cannot plausibly disprove defendant’s opinion of her own childhood.”