Meghan Markle’s half-sister Samantha has slammed the royal’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, saying ‘the truth was totally ignored and omitted’ while providing photos and documents to disprove each of the Duchess of Sussex’s claims about her.
The 56-year-old also admitted that she has no sympathy for Meghan, 39, who revealed during the shocking interview that she battled suicidal thoughts during her time as a royal – instead accusing the Duchess of using her ‘depression as an excuse for treating people like dishrags’.
In newly-released footage from Prince Harry and Meghan’s explosive CBS interview, the pregnant Duchess of Sussex told Oprah, 67, that Samantha ‘doesn’t know’ her, claiming she was raised as ‘an only child’ – but her half-sister has now insisted that couldn’t be further from the truth.
‘I don’t know how she can say I don’t know her and she was an only child. We’ve got photographs over a lifespan of us together. So how can she not know me?’ she told Inside Edition, while sharing images of the two women together at different stages throughout their lives – most recently in 2008, just 13 years ago.
Fury: Meghan Markle’s half-sister Samantha has slammed the Duchess’ interview with Oprah – and accused her of using her ‘depression’ as an ‘excuse to treat people like dishrags’
Clapback: In new footage from the interview that was shared on Monday morning, Meghan, 39, was seen insisting that her half-sister ‘doesn’t know her’
When Oprah had asked Meghan about Samantha’s tell-all book, The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister, the Duchess retorted: ‘I think it would be very hard to tell all when you don’t know me.’
The expectant mom added that she had grown up ‘an only child’ and claimed she hadn’t seen her half-sister in nearly two decades.
However, Samantha provided photos that show them together throughout the years, including one of them at her college graduation in 2008.
The Duchess also claimed that Samantha only changed her surname back to Markle after Meghan struck up a romance with Harry – suggesting that her half-sister was trying to capitalize on the public interest in her name.
‘She changed her last name back to Markle… only when I started dating Harry. So I think that says enough,’ she said.
But Samantha insisted that this claim was wholly inaccurate, and shared further evidence to refute it.
‘I was a Markle before she was,’ she said. ‘I though that was kind of weird that she would say I only changed my name back when she met Harry. Markle has always been my name.’
Samantha then showed Inside Edition her petition to change her name that was dated back to December 1997 and her college diploma, which says Samantha M. Markle.
When asked about her half-sister’s revelation that she struggled with suicidal thoughts, Samantha said that she had little sympathy for her, and actually accused Meghan of using her mental health an ‘an excuse’ for treating people ‘like dishrags’.
‘Depression is not an excuse for treating people like dishrags and disposing of them,’ she said.
During the interview, a tearful Meghan told Oprah that the stress of her role as a royal became so bad that she felt suicidal as a result of the pressure she was under.
Evidence: Samantha blasted Meghan’s claim that the two women haven’t seen each other in 20 years, sharing an image of them at her college graduation in 2008
Hitting back: According to Samantha, Meghan’s claim that she was raised ‘as an only child’ is wholly inaccurate – and she shared images of the two women over the years to disprove this
Further proof: Samantha legally change her first name from Yvonne in 1997 as seen in this petition which lists her surname as Markle – decades before Meghan began dating Harry
Firing back: Her college diploma from the University of New Mexico, which Samantha earned in 2006, also lists her surname as Markle
‘I didn’t want to be alive any more -this was a very real and frightening constant thought,’ she said.
She said she didn’t want to tell Harry at first because of the loss he had suffered as a result of his mother’s death, but she did and he ‘cradled me’.
Meghan said she begged a senior member of the royal to assist her get help for mental health issue but she was left to suffer alone.
‘I said that I needed to go somewhere to get help,’ she told Oprah. ‘I said that I’ve never felt this way before and I need to go somewhere. And I was told that I couldn’t, that it wouldn’t be good for the institution.’
In one of the most recently-released clips from Meghan’s interview – which were aired the morning after the bombshell sit-down was broadcast – she also spoke about her father Thomas, who is Samantha’s father.
She said she cannot fathom hurting her son Archie the way her own father ‘betrayed’ her before the royal wedding, admitting she ‘found it hard to reconcile’ with Thomas after he insisted that he had not been speaking to the media.
‘I look at Archie, I think about this child, and I genuinely can’t imagine doing anything to intentionally cause pain to my child,’ she said.
Meghan drew a contrast with her mother Doria Ragland, who she praised for remaining ‘in silent dignity for four years’.
The tension between the Markles was addressed in unaired sections of the Sussexes CBS sit-down with Oprah, who probed about her relationship with Thomas.
Thomas was supposed to walk Meghan down the aisle in May 2018 but pulled out of the ceremony following health problems.
The two were also engaged in a row about him speaking to the press.
Oprah asked: ‘Did it feel like betrayal when you found that your father was working with the tabloids?’
After weighing up if she was ‘comfortable’ delving into the issue, Meghan said her father had assured he had ‘absolutely not’ spoken to the press.
She said: ‘If we’re going to use the word betrayal it’s because when I asked him, when we were told by the comms team this was a story that was going to be coming out which, by the way, the tabloids had apparently known for a month or so and decided to hold until the Sunday before our wedding because they wanted to create drama, which is also a key point in all this, they don’t report the news, they create the news.
Upset: Samantha has no sympathy for Meghan, who admitted she suffered with suicidal thoughts, accusing her of ‘using depression as an excuse for treating people like dishrags’
Family: During the newly-released interview clips, which were shared on Monday morning, Meghan accused her father, Thomas, of ‘betraying her’ (seen together in a childhood photo)
‘We called my dad, and I asked him, and he said no, absolutely not.
I said, you know, the institution has never intervened for anything for us, but they can try to go in and kill this story. But if they do this once, we’re not going to be able to use that same leverage to protect our kids one day.
She added: ‘I said we won’t be able to protect our own kids one day, and I said, I just need you to tell me. If you tell me the truth, we can help.
‘And he wasn’t able to do that. And that for me has really resonated, especially now as a mother.’
Meghan went on: ‘And also me saying just full stop, if we use this to protect you, we won’t be able to protect our own children one day, I’m talking about your grandchildren.
‘I look at Archie, I think about this child, and I go I genuinely can’t imagine doing anything to intentionally cause pain to my child. I can’t imagine it. So it’s hard for me to reconcile that.’
Meghan also said that despite her sister Samantha releasing a book about her, she ‘doesn’t know her’ and they’ve never been close.
Samantha’s autobiography, titled ‘The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister: A Memoir, Part One, goes into detail about their childhood.
But the Duchess said: ‘I don’t feel comfortable talking about people that I really don’t know. But I grew up as an only child, which everybody who grew up around me knows.’
She added she wished she had had siblings and was pleased Archie was going to have a younger sister.
Meghan and Harry’s sensational claims fact-checked: How friend contradicted Meghan’s claim she never Googled Harry, the truth about that secret wedding and whether Archie really should have been a prince
Meghan and Harry unleashed bombshell after bombshell in their Oprah interview that was sure to send shockwaves pulsing through the heart of the monarchy.
They made jaw-dropping claims of brazen racism and delved into difficult conversations of family rifts.
Although much of the interview was an outpouring of emotion, many of the claims can be stood up – or knocked down – with facts.
Here, MailOnline drills down into some of the central claims of the interview.
Meghan never researched the Royal Family prior to joining
Meghan said: ‘I didn’t do any research about what that would mean,’ she said. ‘I never looked up my husband online.’
Fact check: Unlikely
Meghan’s claim that she never researched Harry, nor the Royal Family, before entering into the relationship is at odds with claims made in the couple’s biography.
Although the Sussexes maintain they did not contribute to Finding Freedom, it was written by friendly journalists Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, who say the book was impeccably well-sourced by those closest to the couple.
Prior to their first date at Dean Street Townhouse in 2016, the authors write: ‘Naturally both participants in this blind date did their homework with a thorough Google search. Harry, who scoped out Meghan on social media, was interested.’
A friend is also claimed to have impressed on Meghan the attention she would command for dating Harry, saying: ‘This could be crazy…you will be the most wanted woman’.
Harry and Meghan were actually secretly wed three days before the Windsor ceremony by the Archbishop of Canterbury
Meghan said: ‘You know, three days before our wedding, we got married. No one knows that… We called the Archbishop and we just said, ‘Look, this thing, this spectacle is for the world but we want our union between us.’
Fact check: Unlikely
Church of England marriages require at least two witnesses and the public must also have unrestricted access to the building during any marriage ceremony to allow for valid objections against the marriage.
At the time the couple were living in the grounds of Kensington Palace, and their residence is off limits to the public.
A couple who are already lawfully married cannot choose to re-marry each other, unless there is some doubt as to the validity of the earlier marriage.
Reverend David Green, Vicar of St Mary’s, West Malling and the Rector of St Michael’s, Offham, said it was impossible to have had two weddings, adding: ‘I think the Archbishop needs to clarify what did or did not happen three days before.’
This means that one of the two ceremonies was more likely just an exchange of vows rather than a legally recognized wedding.
Archie has a birthright to be a prince
Meghan said: Idea of the first member of colour in this family, not being titled in the same way that other grandchildren would be… It’s not their right to take it away’
Fact check: False
Archie did not have a birthright to be a prince, but could potentially become one when Charles accedes to the throne.
That William and Kate’s children have the HRH title and are styled as prince and princesses – and Archie is not – stems from a ruling more than 100 years ago.
In 1917, King George V issued a written order that only royal offspring who are in the direct line of succession could be made a prince and receive HRH titles.
The Letters Patent read: ‘…the grandchildren of the sons of any such sovereign in the direct male line (save only the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales) shall have and enjoy in all occasions the style and title enjoyed by the children of dukes of these our realms.’
Under the rules, only Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge’s eldest son Prince George – as a great-grandson of the monarch down the direct line of succession to the throne – was originally entitled to be a prince.
The Queen stepped in ahead of George’s birth in 2013 to issue a Letters Patent to ensure all George’s siblings – as the children of future monarch William – would have fitting titles, meaning they were extended to Charles and Louis.
Under the George V rules, Archie would be entitled to be an HRH or a prince when his grandfather Charles, the Prince of Wales, accedes to the throne.
Archie wouldn’t get 24/7 security because he wasn’t a prince
Meghan said: In those months when I was pregnant, all around this same time, so we (had) the conversation of he won’t be given security, he’s not going to be given a title.
Fact check: False
Being a prince or princess does not automatically mean royals have police protection.
Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie’s security is no longer paid for by the taxpayer.
Harry and Meghan no longer receive British police protection, and are understood to be paying for private security.
Kate made Meghan cry before her wedding to Harry
Responding to claims that she reduced Kate to tears, Meghan said: ‘No, no. The reverse happened.’
Fact check: Contested
Reports of a pre-wedding clash between the duchesses first emerged in November 2018, when sources claimed Meghan had been left displeased with a ‘stressful’ dress fitting for the flower girls.
Accounts differed as to the source of the row. Some said it was a disagreement on whether the bridesmaids should wear tights – Meghan reportedly believed they should not.
Other reports said it stemmed from Princess Charlotte’s dress not fitting, meaning another had to be scheduled.
A source said at the time: ‘Kate had only just given birth to her third child, Prince Louis, and was feeling quite emotional.’
But during the Oprah interview Meghan flatly denied the reports and claimed it was Kate that left her upset.
Couple witnessed racism inside the monarchy
Meghan said: [There were] concerns and conversations about how dark his [Archie’s] skin might be when he’s born’
Fact check: Almost impossible to verify
Harry and Meghan said they will never reveal the person who made these comments.
However Oprah revealed that Harry confirmed it was not the Queen nor Prince Philip.
While currently not commenting on the contents interview, Buckingham Palace are almost certain to push back on suggestions of institutional racism.
They could launch an investigation – as they have done with claims of bullying.
Harry was financially cut off by the royals
Harry said: ‘My family literally cut me off financially, and I had to afford security for us’
Fact check: They wanted to be financially independent
When Harry and Meghan announced their intention to step back from being senior royals, they said they wanted to be ‘financially independent’.
Before cutting ties, 95 per cent of their money came from Prince Charles’s income from the Duchy of Cornwall, and 5 per cent from the taxpayer-funded Sovereign Grant.
Princes William and Harry received most of a £13million fortune left by their mother Princess Diana. Harry is also thought to have had millions left to him by the Queen mother.
Meghan has not seen Samantha Markle in almost 20 years
Meghan said: ‘The last time I saw her must have been at least 18, 19 years.’
Fact check: False
During the interview Meghan distanced herself from her half-sister Samantha, who she said she hardly knows and she grew up ‘an only child’.
A photograph from 2008 – 13 years ago – shows Meghan with Samantha at her graduation.
Meghan had to turn over her passport, keys and driving licence to royal aides
Meghan said: ‘When I joined that family, that was the last time I saw my passport, my driving licence, my keys – all of that gets turned over.’
Fact check: Difficult to verify
Senior royals are often pictured driving themselves and it is believed there have never been prior claims of a royal having keys and passports held.
Harry and Meghan received police protection, meaning their travel was meticulously planned by officers.
Meghan’s press team didn’t defend her when ‘things weren’t true’
Oprah asked Meghan about stories that she made Kate cry, saying: ‘So, all the time the stories were out that you had made Kate cry, you knew all along, and people around you knew that that wasn’t true.’ Meghan replied: ‘Everyone in the institution knew it wasn’t true.’ And Oprah then said: ‘So, why didn’t somebody just say that?’ Meghan said: ‘That’s a good question.’
Fact check: Contested
Making a wider point, Mail on Sunday royal correspondent Emily Andrews has said that Meghan’s press team did in fact defend untrue stories, saying this was ‘just not right’.
Ms Andrews said that she interacted with a press team who defended the Sussexes ‘again and again and again, told me things were wrong – so didn’t publish – and indeed tried to stop me when true.’