Meghan's Lawyer Uses Her Pre-Royal Name as He Waives Service in Libel Case

Meghan Markle's lawyer has waived service in her half-sister's libel lawsuit—but unusually did not refer to her as a duchess in the paperwork, Newsweek can reveal.

Samantha Markle is suing for defamation in part over the Oprah Winfrey interview, but also based on private emails Meghan sent her former Kensington Palace communications secretary.

Michael Kump, Meghan's attorney, has submitted a court filing, seen by Newsweek, giving the green light for the case to proceed without formal, in-person service.

Interestingly, he refers to the royal as "Meghan Markle," as she is publicly known and referred to by many media organizations, including Newsweek. However, she has generally referred to herself as "Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex," since marrying Prince Harry and her Archewell website refers to her that way.

Kump has previously referred to her as a duchess when he filed a lawsuit against paparazzi who had been using drones to photograph baby Archie playing in private.

The plaintiffs in that case were listed as: "Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex and Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex."

The reason behind the change in style is not clear but may relate to the fact Samantha Markle named her sister as "Meghan Markle" in her own complaint.

Kump's recent court filing read: "I, or the entity I represent, agree to save the expense of serving a summons and complaint in this case.

"I understand that I, or the entity I represent, will keep all defenses or objections to the lawsuit, the court's jurisdiction, and the venue of the action, but that I waive any objections to the absence of a summons or of service."

The form contains a box asking for the "printed name of party waiving service of summons" which is filled in as: "Defendant Meghan Markle."

Samantha Markle accused her sister of "slut shaming" in the lawsuit after the duchess told palace aide Jason Knauf she had three children by three different husbands, which she says is false.

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The complaint form, seen by Newsweek, describes Meghan's allegations and lists Samantha's rebuttals.

It read: "Samantha had three children from three different fathers. This is false. Samantha has been married twice and has three children.

"As one reporter noted, this is Meghan's attempt to 'slut-shame' Samantha
and further destroy her credibility and reputation."

The filing added: "Samantha had 'lost custody of all three of her children.' This is false. Samantha never lost custody of any of her children.

"This is Meghan trying to destroy Samantha's credibility and reputation because a mother must be doing something very wrong to lose custody of her children."

Meghan and Samantha's father, Thomas Markle, has indicated he is ready to give evidence during any trial that may result from the case.

However, Meghan's team initially appear dismissive of the case, suggesting they may seek to get it thrown out.

Kump issued a March 3 statement, seen by Newsweek, which read: "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."

Meghan Markle in Fiji
Meghan Markle, seen at a statue unveiling in Nadi, Fiji, on October 25, 2018, is being sued by her half-sister Samantha Markle. Her lawyer gave the green light for the case to proceed without service. Karwai Tang/WireImage

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