POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The half-sister of the Duchess of Sussex said she moved to Polk County after being stalked and receiving threats at her home in Virginia.
Samantha Markle has been vocal about her frustration towards Meghan Markle, who married Prince Harry in May 2018. She believes Markle could do more to connect with their father Thomas, who did not attend the couple’s wedding.
“There’s a real family issue there,” said Markle from her Polk County home. “The public got involved. They took it too far without saying, ‘Hey, they’re family. They can speak out if they want to. It’s not really our business.’”
Since the royal wedding, Samantha Markle has used social media to rail against the royal couple, attaching a picture of a hamster to a tweet about Prince Harry, for example. At another time, she called the Duke of Sussex a “wuss.”
“The problem with tweets though is that you can’t hear tone of voice. While I thought I was saying something maybe cynical, maybe witty – people couldn’t hear it. They were interpreting it through their own life lessons,” she said.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have recently come out against online harassment and false tabloid reports.
“I never thought that this would be easy, but I thought it would be fair. And that’s the part that’s really hard to reconcile,” Meghan Markle said in a recent interview.
Her half-sister said she has compassion for the royals’ concerns.
In July, Samantha Markle filed a criminal complaint with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office for online harassment, stalking and hacking.
“[People] were taunting me with my address and my location, letting me know they were out there sharing it. They were also sharing screenshot admissions of having my social security number,” she said.
A Polk County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson confirmed the complaint but declined to comment on the investigation.
Markle wants social media sites to be held accountable for online harassment and death threats.
“If you’re going to be out there threatening people, you can’t hide behind the shield known as an avatar. You’re not going to be protected by Facebook or Twitter or Instagram. You will be held legally accountable,” she said.
She also told us she hopes her sister will reconnect with their father, who she says is having health problems.
Markle told 8 On Your Side she last saw Meghan Markle in 2008 and last spoke to her in December 2015.