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Meghan Markle’s Family Will Not Leave Her Alone

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images, Shutterstock

Ever since her engagement to Prince Harry launched her into the public eye, Meghan Markle’s father, Thomas Markle Sr., and his family have insisted on inserting themselves into the narrative. Thomas, who’s long been described as “estranged” from his daughter, has repeatedly bad-mouthed Meghan to the press while concocting drama out of thin air. Meanwhile, his other children, Samantha Markle and Thomas Markle Jr., have used interviews, open letters, and social media to further insult Meghan and paint themselves as victims of her narcissism. And it doesn’t seem like they plan to back off anytime soon: TMZ reports that Samantha is now suing Meghan for defamation, claiming a number of things she said in her now infamous Oprah interview are false.

Previously, Samantha has accused her half-sister of social climbing and complained about not getting invited to the royal wedding. Last year, she further capitalized on her proximity to Meghan by publishing a memoir titled The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister — which may have something to do with her new lawsuit.

In the suit, Samantha contests that Meghan called herself an “only child” in the interview — Meghan is 17 years younger than her siblings and was raised in a different household — and denied Meghan’s claim that Samantha only changed her last name to Markle once Meghan started dating Harry. Samantha also claims that Meghan did not grow up with the financial strain she’s discussed publicly. In an open letter to Congress about parental leave, Meghan said that she started working at 13 to help her family “make ends meet.” Samantha claims Thomas paid for Meghan to attend “elite and expensive private schools” and “dance and acting classes.” The suit also reiterates Thomas’s claim that he covered Megan’s tuition and expenses as a college student at Northwestern, which Meghan said both in the Oprah interview and on the Ellen Show that she worked to pay herself.

If that all seems rather petty, that could be because Samantha’s real concern is her book sales, which her lawsuit claims were damaged as a result of Meghan’s “lies.” Per her account, Meghan’s discussion of her family in the press has also prevented Samantha from getting jobs and caused her emotional and mental distress. The suit does not seem to mention the fact that Markle has endured an astounding amount of harassment and racism stoked by the press and social-media trolls and compounded by attacks from her own family. In her Oprah interview, Meghan called her father’s relentless press appearances a “betrayal.” When asked about her sister’s book, she said that it would be “very hard to tell all when you don’t know me.”

Meghan’s attorney Michael Kump has responded to the lawsuit, telling TMZ, “This baseless and absurd lawsuit is just a continuation of a pattern of disturbing behavior. We will give it the minimum attention necessary, which is all it deserves.” Sounds about right.

Meghan Markle’s Family Will Not Leave Her Alone