Johnny Depp loses bid to appeal libel case ruling against him

Clea Skopeliti
·2-min read
<p>The judge ruled the domestic violence allegations were substantially true</p> (AFP via Getty Images)

The judge ruled the domestic violence allegations were substantially true

(AFP via Getty Images)

Johnny Depp has been denied the right to appeal by the High Court following its ruling which found that the claims that he assaulted his ex-wife Amber Heard were “substantially true”.

Mr Depp’s libel claim against the publisher of the Sun, News Group Newspapers (NGN), was dismissed last month and the judge has since said an appeal does not have a "reasonable prospect of success".

The Pirates Of The Caribbean actor sued the publisher after a 2018 article described him a "wife beater".

He has been ordered to begin paying NGN for its legal fees, which came to nearly £630,000, after the judge ruled that 12 of the 14 allegations made in the Sun’s article had occurred.

Mr Depp has been given until 7 December to apply directly to the Court of Appeal to overturn the judgement.

Both Mr Depp and actor Ms Heard gave evidence at the Royal Courts of Justice in London in July during the three-week trial.

Allegations of domestic violence between 2013 to 2016, when the couple's relationship ended, were considered in court. Of the 14 alleged incidents, there were only two the judge did not rule as having occurred, including one which he said could not be proven as it was not put to Mr Depp in cross-examination.

Judge Mr Justice Nicol said: “Although [Mr Depp] has proved the necessary elements of his cause of action in libel, the defendants have shown that what they published, in the meaning which I have held the words to bear, was substantially true.

“I have reached these conclusions having examined in detail the 14 incidents on which the defendants rely, as well as the over-arching considerations which the claimant submitted I should take into account.”

Mr Depp's lawyer called the ruling "perverse", while Ms Heard's lawyer said the judgement was "not a surprise" and said the team will soon be "presenting even more voluminous evidence in the US" in a separate case.

In the 2018 column, the Sun’s executive editor Dan Wootton questions how author JK Rowling could be "genuinely happy" that the actor had been cast in the latest film in the Fantastic Beasts franchise given the domestic abuse allegations.

The actor resigned from his role as Gellert Grindelwald after losing the case. He has since been replaced with Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen. Mr Depp had only shot one scene, but will be paid his full fee for the film.

Read More

Johnny Depp will be replaced by Mads Mikkelsen in Fantastic Beasts 3

Johnny Depp given special acting award weeks after losing libel case

Fans launch petition to reinstate Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts

How the Johnny Depp and Sun libel case unfolded

As we enter lockdown, victims of domestic abuse must come forward