Samantha Markle’s lawyer said Meghan Markle ran a “calculated psyop to land a prince” and that she is “most probably a sociopath,” in comments that are likely to offend the Sussex camp.
Peter Ticktin, senior partner at The Ticktin Law Group, upped the rhetoric as the two half-sisters prepare for a court battle over whether Samantha’s libel lawsuit against Meghan can proceed to trial.
His comments will likely rile the Sussex team. Meghan has been called a sociopath before by former palace staff, according to biography Courtiers, by royal correspondent Valentine Low, the journalist who broke the 2021 story that Meghan had been accused of bullying by former aides.
“I’m not certain as to her exact diagnoses,” Ticktin told Newsweek. “I don’t know for sure whether she is a psychopath, a sociopath, or has a borderline personality disorder with narcissistic tendencies. I just believe she’s one of these, most probably a sociopath.”
Newsweek approached Meghan’s spokesperson for comment.
When the libel case was first launched, her lawyer, Michael Kump, said in a statement: “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.”
Samantha has accused Meghan of defamation over comments made to Oprah Winfrey in March 2021 and Netflix in December 2022 suggesting they had no real relationship growing up.
The Duchess of Sussex told the couple’s docu-series, Harry & Meghan, she lived with her mother, Doria Ragland, during the week and father Thomas Markle on the weekend as a child after her parents split.
And she argued that her father’s other children, Samantha and Thomas Markle Jr., were adults and had already moved out. Samantha’s team say she was highly involved in Meghan’s upbringing while the duchess lived with Thomas Sr. full time and that she saw Doria on some weekends.
If her case is going to proceed to trial, she will need to convince the judge not only that Meghan’s account was wrong, but also that it was damaging to her reputation.
Ticktin said: “We all loved Meghan when she started to date Harry. In time, though, when we learned that Meghan was not exactly what we thought she was. To many, the bloom came off the rose with a thud.”
“Here, you have a person who should have been on top of the world, and, instead, she sowed seeds of destruction and harm onto her father, the Royal Family, and her wheelchair bound sister,” he continued. “It is an unfortunate situation when a person is at odds with her own family. Here, you have Meghan at odds with the families on both sides.”
On Meghan and Harry’s relationship, he added: “This wasn’t love on first date. It was a calculated psyop to land a prince.”
He also took more general aim at Meghan’s account of her life, including the often-told story of a letter she sent to Procter & Gamble asking it to change the language on an advert for dishwasher soap Ivory Clear, which said: “Women are fighting greasy pots and pans with Ivory Clear.” He said: “This is a person who participated in a class project and on her father’s, recommendation wrote a letter to a soap manufacturer and to this day professes that she had a significant impact because the soap company neutralized its language in the ad.”
No one wrote to her thanking her and attributed the change to her. Yet, she assumed she caused it, and this is her one claim of accomplishment.
“The unnecessary lies about all she blames, and the harm she committed is the basis of my opinion. I will stick to the term.”
Low, who is royal correspondent for The Times, described in Courtiers how some palace staff who worked with Meghan called her a “narcissistic sociopath.”
“By the time the relationship had deteriorated completely, Harry and Meghan’s team, who would refer to themselves as the Sussex Survivors’ Club—core members: [Meghan’s former private secretary] Sam Cohen, [former press secretary] Sara Latham and assistant press secretary Marnie Gaffney, another Australian—would come up with a damning epithet for Meghan: that she was a ‘narcissistic sociopath’.
“A Mayo Clinic definition of sociopathy reads: “Antisocial personality disorder, sometimes called sociopathy, is a mental health condition in which a person consistently shows no regard for right and wrong and ignores the rights and feelings of others.”
“People with antisocial personality disorder tend to purposely make others angry or upset and manipulate or treat others harshly or with cruel indifference. They lack remorse or do not regret their behavior.”
The phrase is also often used as a term of abuse.
A court filing by Meghan’s team, seen by Newsweek, read: “Three times Plaintiff has tried—and failed—to turn a personal grudge into a federal case for reasons unbeknownst to Meghan, relying solely on non-actionable opinions and third-party statements. This action should be dismissed with prejudice.”