News  /  March 13, 2024  /  

KHIKS Wins Big Victory for Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex

For the past two years, KHIKS partners Michael Kump, Jonathan Steinsapir and Nicholas Soltman have represented Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, in a defamation action filed by her half-sister in federal court in Tampa. When the original complaint was filed in March 2022, KHIKS filed a motion to dismiss, which caused plaintiff to file a new amended complaint. KHIKS then filed a second motion to dismiss, which U.S. District Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell granted in February 2023 with leave to amend. After a new amended complaint and a third motion to dismiss were filed, the Court heard oral argument in Tampa on November 8, 2023. Then, on March 12, 2024, Judge Honeywell granted the motion to dismiss the Third Amended Complaint filed by KHIKS in full and with prejudice, thereby ending the case. In her 58-page ruling, Judge Honeywell held that each of the 18 statements cited by plaintiff “is non-actionable, either because it is a protected opinion, substantially true based on judicially noticed evidence, not capable of being considered defamatory, or because plaintiff is precluded from meeting the actual malice standard (because the statement in question was presented together with plaintiff’s version of events).” (Order, pp. 9-10.) The Court’s ruling has been widely reported by the press, including a statement from Mr. Kump that “we are pleased with the Court’s ruling dismissing the case.”

Judge Throws Out Defamation Lawsuit Against Meghan, Duchess of Sussex – The New York Times