Harry and Meghan ‘could copy Trump’ in defamation case

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could copy Donald Trump and invoke the fifth amendment if they are called to give a deposition, a leading lawyer has revealed.

Samantha Markle is currently suing the Duchess of Sussex accusing her of “ridicule, contempt and disgrace” for various comments she has made about her.

Earlier this month, a Florida judge refused a stay of discovery in the defamation lawsuit filed by Meghan Markle’s half-sister against the duchess.

This could leave Harry and Meghan having to give depositions – an out-of-court testimony a witness gives under oath before an officer authorized to administer oaths for use later in the proceeding – in the case.

Nathaniel Mack, a lawyer who has conducted hundreds of depositions during his 20-year career, said that while depositions can be like “torture” and last for hours, Harry and Meghan can go no comment to all of the questions.

Speaking to JamPrime.com, he added: “The plaintiff’s counsel has requested depositions of both defendants to take place before any motions to dismiss are considered.

“Depositions can be seen as a form of torture, especially for high-profile individuals who may be asked to disclose private information.

“They can also be a test of one’s will and stamina.

“High-profile cases involving Governor Cuomo and President Trump involved nine and 11-hour depositions.

“But, if Harry and Meghan are forced to sit for a deposition, their testimony will more than likely be limited in scope and reveal few new details.

“This will be more of a procession than anything else.”

He explained that Samatha’s case is currently in the preliminary steps – known as the discovery stage.

During this time, both sides have the chance to request information and evidence from the other side in preparation for a trial.

“This involves written and oral discovery. The depositions that are in question are a form of oral discovery,” he explained.

“The case seems to have skipped the written discovery phase as the defendants may have refused to provide the requested answers.”

He also expressed surprise at the “miniscule” £62,000 ($75,000) that Samatha is suing for and why she picked Florida.

“The amount she is seeking in compensation for her alleged injury is rather minuscule in comparison to her claims,” he said.

“However, her legal team seems committed to pushing this case forward.

“The fact that she decided to file in Florida instead of a more liberal venue is interesting, considering the defendants are domiciled in California.

“Nonetheless, the alleged defamatory statements being claimed by the plaintiff seem to be subjective.

“Samantha must substantiate the claims in her pleadings by meeting the burden of proof set forth under United States Federal Law.

“If the case survives dismissal, it will be fascinating to see what type of evidence the plaintiff can introduce to support her claims.”

The judge’s ruling means that Samatha’s lawyers will question the prince and duchess before July if the case continues.

The deadline for disclosure of expert reports is 5 May, rebuttal is 5 June, and the discovery deadline is 3 July, according to court documents.

Samantha has taken issue with comments made in the royal couple’s bombshell 2021 interview with Oprah and the 2020 book Finding Freedom.

Her lawyers have presented the court with nearly 40 questions they want answered.

A mediator has also been appointed in the case with the hope of resolving the suit without a trial.

Source: independent.co.uk