Meghan Markle and Johnny Depp have a lot of things in common.
In addition to both being actors who have worked their way up through various social and political circles — for which they are to be commended — they’re both suing the parent company of “The Sun” family of newspapers for libel.
But whereas Depp will, most likely, walk away as the victor, the Duchess of Sussex may not be so lucky.
So what’s the difference between the two?
At the crux of Depp’s lawsuit against “The Sun” — and more specifically, the gossip rag’s parent company — lies the accusation that they called him a “wife-beater.” Specifically, too, Depp claims that “The Sun” got their information from his now-ex-wife, Amber Heard.
And as Depp revealed on Monday, it was Heard who was abusing him , not the other way around.
“It’s just a type of wild swinging … kind of a roundhouse punch, as it were,” Depp elaborated of the alleged physical abuse. “It’s a bit of a wild swing, but effective if it reaches the target.”
But where Depp and Meghan Markle differ is that Depp is not only shored up by a mountain of evidence, he has countless witnesses that have testified in his favor.
And, unfortunately, Markle has made a powerful enemy in Jessica Mulroney.
To be clear: Jessica Mulroney was 100% in the wrong for her behavior leading to the Sasha Exeter scandal. And her bad behavior, which got back to Meghan Markle, ultimately spelled the end of their friendship.
But as we’ve seen with the ostentatious Depp trial, what began as an accusation of libel has become a long and drawn-out battle extraordinaire that features the most intricate details of Depp’s life laid bare for the public to see, in all its embarrassing glory.
To understand why this is so, it’s important to understand the difference between American and British libel trials.
Legal experts make clear that while American libel trials place the burden of proof on the victim, British libel trials place the burden of proof on the publication. As a result, an American libel trial places the burden of proof on the victim (who only has to show damages), whereas a British libel trial places the burden of proof on the press (who has to prove that their statements are true — and they often lose).
The press is getting clobbered tremendously in the Depp trial because he’s unafraid to let it all hang out.
But Meghan Markle, unfortunately, can’t say the same. Inasmuch as I’ve been supportive of her in the past — and continue to be, even in the face of unprecedented rancor — this might prove to be a battle she cannot win.
If Jessica Mulroney does, indeed, release her promised tell-all book, Meghan Markle might find herself soundly beaten in the British courts.