Johnny Depp loses libel case
Johnny Depp lost a libel case against the publisher of British newspaper The Sun, whose claim to be an abusive husband led to a courtroom showdown between the Hollywood star and his ex-wife, the actress Amber Heard, earlier this year.
Johnny Depp is suing News Group Newspapers and Dan Wootton – editor of The Sun – over an article alleging that the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star was violent towards Heard while they were together.
But the UK Supreme Court ruled in favor of the publisher on Monday.
Citing evidence, including photos, audio recordings and text messages from Johnny Depp , lawyers for the news group have argued in court records that Depp “beat his wife Amber Heard, causing her serious injuries and, in some cases, his fear for his life “.
Johnny Depp admitted long-term problems with drugs and alcohol during the trial, but said the tabloid’s claims that he was violent towards Heard were “completely false.”
However, Judge Andrew Nicole said in his 129-page ruling on Monday that the newspaper’s claims had been “substantially true”.
The judge said: “I came to these conclusions after studying in detail 14 incidents on which the defendants depend, in addition to the overall considerations presented by the prosecutor which I must take into account.”
The massive trial included days of strained testimony in July from Depp, Heard and several acquaintances of them, with Heard telling the court that Depp had threatened to kill her “multiple times”.
In their testimony, the publisher’s attorneys detailed 14 alleged incidents of physical assault by Depp, which took place in l. at. , Tokyo, Australia and elsewhere between 2013 and 2016, according to the court ruling. Depp has denied all incidents of abuse.
During the first suspected incident in early 2013 to l. at. , lawyers for the newspaper claimed Heard laughed at something Depp said, and the actor responded by “repeatedly slapping Ms. Heard in the face” and knocking her down.
Lawyers said Johnny Depp told Heard he “sometimes bumps into something he calls ‘the monster.’
Lawyers for Depp said the actor did not recall the specific conversation with Heard, but “explicitly denied” slapping or hitting her, according to the verdict.
It is unknown how much the lawsuit will damage the reputation of Johnny Depp, one of Hollywood’s most famous and famous stars.
In a statement, Depp’s law firm Shillings said it would appeal the ruling, saying, “The ruling is so flawed that it would be absurd for Depp to appeal that ruling.”
The Sun, owned by media mogul Murdoch News Corp, said in a statement after the verdict: “The sun has risen and campaigned for victims of domestic violence for more than 20 years. Victims of domestic violence should never be silenced. We thank the judge for his careful thinking and we thank Amber. Heard praised her for her courage to testify in court. ”
“For those of us who attended the High Court trial in London, this ruling and judgment is not surprising,” Hurd’s lawyer added in a statement to PA Media.
The case, which was based in part on the veracity of the testimony of Heard and several people close to the couple, shed light on the fickle relationship of the stars and was widely covered by international media.
Centered around a 2018 column in The Sun that criticized writer JK Rowling for his support for portraying Depp in the “Harry Potter” spin-off “Fantastic Beasts: Grindelwald Crimes”, calling the actor a “female” slut”.
The column, written by Wootton, was titled: “GONE POTTY: How Can JK Rowling Be” Really Happy “Choosing Johnny Depp’s Drummer Wife in New Fantastic Beasts?
The judge acknowledged that 12 of the 14 alleged incidents of violence used to support the article occurred. Cited as proof of Depp’s feelings towards Heard in 2016, Johnny Depp wrote of his then-wife: “She’s begging for total worldwide humiliation. You’ll get it … I have no mercy, no fear, no ounce of passion or what I thought was love for that gold mine Discreet, a dime a dozen, sweet, useless, hung excessively on the plaice market.
In his ruling, the judge noted that “a recurring theme in Mr Johnny Depp testimony is that Ms Heard prepared a hoax and she did it as an ‘insurance policy’ – most likely in the event of marriage breakdown. ” Donating her $ 7 million divorce settlement to charity “is not an act you would expect from a gold miner.”
The judge also accepted Heard’s claim that the allegations negatively impacted her acting and activist career.
It was deemed “unlikely” that Heard or a friend of hers defecated on Depp’s bed while he was away, an alleged incident which Depp said during his testimony in court was the last straw in their relationship and the factor that prompted him to seek divorce.
“As long as he was away,” the judge wrote, “Heard was more likely to suffer from the feces on the bed, not him.” “Therefore, it was a particularly inefficient way for Mrs. Heard or a friend of her to return to Depp.”
Heard and Depp met in 2009 co-starring in “The Rum Diary” and married in 2015. The American actress rose to fame through supporting roles in “Pineapple Express” and “Zombieland”, and is involved in the fight for women’s rights and LGBT +. The couple separated in 2017.
They got involved in a controversial split that lasted for months, with alleged bad behavior on both sides. Depp denied abusing Heard at the time and claimed through his cast that Heard faked the abuse.
Heard said in a written statement submitted to the court: “When Johnny draws his attention to you with all his might and darkness, it is unlike anything I have experienced in my life.”
Heard told the court: “Some of the incidents were so serious that I was afraid he would kill me, either on purpose or just to lose control and go away. He openly threatened to kill me on several occasions, especially more. late in our relationship, ”according to UK news agency PA Media.
reported by cnn