Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could be grilled by lawyers in deposition over Samantha Markle’s libel suit
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could soon be grilled by lawyers over their 2021 Oprah interview as part of Samantha Markle’s ongoing libel suit.
According to reports, a judge has refused the Duchess of Sussex’s bid to stop depositions being recorded over her half-sister’s defamation lawsuit – meaning she and Harry may be subject to an interrogation.
The duchess’ lawyers reportedly failed to bring the discovery process to a halt, however the libel case could still be thrown out before depositions even take place.
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Samantha, 58, is seeking $75,000 (approx. $99,221) in damages over claims aired during Harry and Meghan’s 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey and in their 2020 book Finding Freedom.
She claims the allegations about Meghan’s childhood were “demonstrably false and malicious statements” and says she was subject to “humiliation, shame and hatred on a worldwide scale” as a result.
Thus far, Meghan’s lawyers have not responded to 38 questions filed in the Florida federal court lawsuit from Samantha’s legal team.
In a recent ruling, Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell said: “Defendant Markle does not show that unusual circumstances justify the requested stay, or that prejudice or an undue burden will result if the Court does not impose a stay.”
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“Although a preliminary peek at the motion to dismiss suggests that some of the claims against her may be ripe for dismissal, the review does not reveal, at this time, a clear indication that the Court will dismiss the action in its entirety.
“Thus, defendant Markle does not satisfy the high standard required to stay discovery pending the resolution of a dispositive motion.”
Honeywell’s ruling means the former senior royals will legally have to submit to a deposition, which will take place before July if the lawsuit is not dismissed.
Samantha has also requested Harry give a video deposition under oath later this month and has issued a list of admissions and questions she would like the duchess to address, totalling 38 separate items, according to the Telegraph UK.
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Some of the topics covered in a deposition could relate to allegations made during their interview with Oprah, including claims about a racist royal.
Samantha is also challenging Meghan’s claims she drove an old Ford Explorer which could only be accessed through the boot and wants an admission that the duchess is “not an only child”.
Meghan’s California-based legal team has declined to go into detail about the lawsuit, however The Telegraph reports her team labelled Samantha’s requests and claims “irrelevant,” “vague” and “speculative.”
Her lawyer, Michael Kump, has applied to have the case dismissed.
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