Johnny Depp loses case against 'The Sun' involving ex-wife Heard
Actor Johnny Depp has legally failed to substantiate his claims against tabloid The Sun over an article that branded him a "wife-beater" while mentioning his and ex-wife Amber Heard's tumultuous relationship. London High Court Judge Andrew Nicol delivered his decision, stating that Depp, the claimant, has failed to counter the publication and Heard's pieces of evidence that point fingers at him. Here's more.
"I have found that the great majority of alleged assaults of Ms Heard by Mr Depp have been proved to the civil standard. The claimant has not succeeded in his action for libel," stated the judge. After hearing the case for three months, the judge gave his verdict that The Sun's allegations were substantially true. "It follows that this claim is dismissed," he said.
Depp was suing The Sun's parent company News Group Newspapers for a column by executive editor Dan Wootton in April 2018 with the following headline: "Gone Potty - How can JK Rowling be "genuinely happy" casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?" Depp's lawyer David Sherborne said the article maligned his client with references of #MeToo and Time's Up movements.
Judge Nicol heard pieces of evidence that narrated gross details of faecal matter dumped on Depp's bed allegedly by Heard and/or her friend. There was also a lengthy argument on the "three-day ordeal" of "sustained and multiple assaults" at a rented home in Australia wherein Heard claimed that Depp abused her. Sherborne claimed Heard had faked photos and staged a "choreographed hoax" against him.
Reacting to the defeat, Depp's lawyer Jenny Afia has maintained that her client must appeal against the "perverse" verdict. Claiming that a "mountain of counter-evidence from police officers, medical practitioners, Heard's former assistant, and other documentary evidence" were disregarded in this case, Afia said, "The judgment is so flawed that it would be ridiculous for Mr Depp not to appeal this decision."
Meanwhile, Depp's fight against Heard continues with a $50mn defamation lawsuit in Virginia over allegations of indirect reference to Depp as the perpetrator of domestic violence in an op-ed piece written by the Aquaman star for The Washington Post. Thereafter, Heard filed a countersuit of $100mn on August 9, accusing Depp of pushing dozens of bots on social media to malign the actress.