For those interested, the Complaint is available here. Here is the main allegation.
On March 7, 2021, CBS aired a “Primetime Special” — viewed by approximately 50 million people worldwide — featuring Oprah Winfrey interviewing Meghan and Prince Harry. In a deliberate effort to harm and discredit Plaintiff and her autobiography, the defendant conducted the interview. False and maliciously stated that: (1) she was “an only child”; (2) she last saw the Plaintiff “at least 18, 19 years ago and before that, 10 years before that”; and (3) Plaintiff only changed her surname to Markle in her early 50s when Meghan started dating Prince Harry….
The following defamatory and false statements were published by Defendant with intent and actual malice. He knew the falsity of them and had the intention to do significant harm to Plaintiff’s reputation.
[a.]SAMANTHA “dropped out from high school.” It is false. MEGHAN claims that SAMANTHA is a high school dropout and an uneducated person in her discrediting of SAMANTHA. However, SAMANTHA sustained serious injuries when she fell from a rope-swing. The paralysis left side of her brain and the blindness in the right eye caused multiple sclerosis. SAMANTHA was paralysed, blinded, and diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. SAMANTHA completed high school and has earned two degrees, including a Masters Degree in Mental Health Counseling/Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling.
[b.]MEGHAN has only seen SAMANTHA “a handful” of times, and Meghan has never had a “relationship” with the two of them. [SAMANTHA or TOM]. It is false. SAMANTHA had a close relationship with Defendant all through her childhood. She even shared an apartment with Defendant at one point. SAMANTHA collected MEGHAN at school, took MEGHAN to the mall and ice cream shop regularly and shared many holidays with the defendant. MEGHAN had MEGHAN as his primary caregiver. MEGHAN, SAMANTHA and MEGHAN saw each other often. MEGHAN visited SAMANTHA, Virginia, and was there for SAMANTHA’s 2008 college graduation (see Exhibit 9). They spoke by telephone and sent emails. MEGHAN also called SAMANTHA via the Green Room while MEGHAN was Briefcase Model in the TV show Deal or No Deal. MEGHAN is trying to give the impression that MEGHAN was an isolated child, with no family contact, or, as MEGHAN said on Oprah: that MEGHAN had “no siblings.” MEGHAN wanted to make it seem that MEGHAN’s family knew very little about MEGHAN and were therefore not qualified to refute the false narrative MEGHAN created about MEGHAN.
[c.]”When Meghan dated Harry, SAMANTHA changed Meghan’s last name back from MARKLE.” False. SAMANTHA was born with MARKLE as her surname and MARKLE has been her maiden name since birth. SAMANTHA, who was twice married to SAMANTHA GRANT but changed her name when she got married to SAMANTHA RASSEN, although MARKLE remained her maiden surname. MEGHAN is trying to discredit SAMANTHA. She falsely claims that SAMANTHA altered her name in order to cash-in MEGHAN’s when she began dating Prince Harry.
[d.]SAMANTHA was a journalist who began “a career making stories for sale to the press.” It is false. SAMANTHA has never created any story for the press. The media have harassed and contacted SAMANTHA constantly and she has agreed to an interview to protect herself against the fake stories published by print media and TV media.
[e.]SAMANTHA was “victim to all three of her children” It is false. SAMANTHA has never been stripped of custody of any of her children. MEGHAN is trying to ruin SAMANTHA’s reputation and credibility by claiming that SAMANTHA lost custody.
[f.]SAMANTHA was the mother of three children by three different fathers. It is false. SAMANTHA is a married mother of three and was previously divorced twice. MEGHAN is trying to “slut shame” SAMANTHA, a reporter said. This will further undermine her credibility.
[g.]SAMANTHA arranged press deals for her dad. It is false. It has not been possible to obtain an interview, statement, etc., through SAMANTHA. SAMANTHA did not receive a single penny in exchange for her interview with her father. MEGHAN is trying to discredit SAMANTHA again by suggesting that she was selling her father’s access.
While I cannot verify or deny the authenticity of these claims, it will certainly be an interesting watch to see the development of this case. You should note that some statements might be considered defamatory, even though they are false. Generally speaking, a statement that is likely to cause substantial damage to a person’s image must not be misleading. For example, claiming that her father brokered press deals with someone else would not be considered defamatory.