Amid escalating family drama that's playing out on the world stage -- it now appears their father, Thomas Markle Sr., won't be at the wedding as he prepares to undergo heart surgery he's said was brought on by the stress of his older kids' public comments about Meghan as well as his own embarrassing paparazzi-photo scandal -- Samantha Grant says she doesn't care that Meghan wants her to zip it.
"If it's about my life or my fathers's, there's something in this country known as freedom of speech," Samantha told TMZ on May 15. "She doesn't have a copyright on that and she's not going to tell me that I can't speak about my own life or my father's where it's a matter of public self-defense."
Earlier in the week, Samantha claimed she's to blame for her father's decision to work with a paparazzi agency to set up photos of him prepping for Meghan's wedding. "The bad press over my father doing staged photos is my fault. The media was unfairly making him look bad so I suggested he do positive photos for his benefit and the benefit of the royal family," she tweeted before further discussing her role in the scandal in multiple media interviews.
Defending herself to TMZ, Samantha said, "The media is disparaging us. I'm not going to take it. [Meghan] is not qualified to suggest that I don't under any law in this country. This is not Great Britain. I am a United States citizen. That's all there is to it."
Meghan, her half-sister added, is "way out of her league to tell me that I can't speak. I'm not saying anything about her but if I'm talking about my life or my father's, she has to respect it."
Samantha -- who has repeatedly talked to the press about Meghan and their family and shared her views in epic Twitter rants -- obviously chose to sidestep the real issue, which is, of course, despite the fact that she's legally allowed to speak out on anything she likes, should she?
Samantha also stated the obvious: "Meg and I do not have a relationship now," she told TMZ (in fact, she and the former "Suits" actress have been estranged for years). "The last year I think has been strained because of what tabloids have said. But Meg doesn't have a relationship, that I've seen, with anyone in the family."
People magazine has previously reported that Samantha and brother Thomas Markle Jr. -- who's also repeatedly trashed half-sister Meghan in the media ahead of her marriage -- have overstated their closeness to Harry's bride. "Meghan has no relationship with her half-siblings, nor has she ever had one," a source close to the princess-to-be told People. "They were out of the house by the time she was born."
TMZ dared to ask Samantha if she's planning to send a card or wedding present to Meghan and Harry. She says she is.
"I searched the world for something that I thought was really sentimental. And you know, I'd like to give it to her in person, but if not, I will certainly send it," she explained, demurring to share what gift she chose. "Then it wouldn't be a surprise, right?"
- May. 24, 2018 See which stars expanded their families this year