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LONDON — Hollywood star Johnny Depp lost a libel case on Monday versus British tabloid paper The Sun which released a short article that called him a “wife beater.”
Depp had actually taken legal action against the paper over the story in 2018, in which it was declared that he had actually been violent towards his ex-wife, starlet Amber Heard.
The short article questioned Depp’s casting in the 2nd instalment of the “Fantastic Beasts” film series, with the heading: “Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?'”
Depp rejected the claims and brought a case versus News Group Newspapers, which releases The Sun, and Dan Wootton, the reporter that composed the short article and now a managing editor at the paper.
The libel fight brought in extensive promotion for its lurid picture of the personal lives of Depp and his then-wife Heard, and their tempestuous relationship prior to the couple separated in 2017.
Details of the previous couple’s arguments, declared affairs and Depp’s difficulties with beverage and substance abuse were heard by Judge Mr Justice Nicol at the Royal Courts of Justice throughout 3 weeks in July.
Nicol ruled on Monday that the paper’s accusations were “substantially true,” stating in a judgment released online that “I accept that the defendants have shown that the words they published were substantially true in the meanings I have held them to bear.” The judgment might have a substantial influence on Depp’s profession.
‘Flawed’ and ‘perverse’
Lawyers for Johnny Depp knocked the High Court judgment, calling it “flawed” and “perverse,” and stated they would appeal, Reuters reported. They stated they hoped a different character assassination case that Depp has actually brought versus Amber Heard in the U.S. for a viewpoint piece she composed for the Washington Post in late 2018 would have a various result.
“This decision is as perverse as it is bewildering,” Depp’s law practice Schillings stated in declaration on Monday.
“The judgment is so flawed that it would be ridiculous for Mr Depp not to appeal this decision,” the declaration stated.
“In the meantime, we hope that in contrast to this case, the ongoing libel proceedings in America are equitable, with both parties providing full disclosure rather than one side strategically cherry picking what evidence can and cannot be relied upon.”
A representative for The Sun paper tweeted on Monday that the paper had “stood up and campaigned for the victims of domestic abuse for over twenty years. Domestic abuse victims must never be silenced and we thank the Judge for his careful consideration and thank Amber Heard for her courage in giving evidence to the court.”
U.S. counsel for Amber Heard, Elaine Charlson Bredehoft, stated in a declaration that she was not amazed by the outcome.
“For those of us present for the London High Court trial, this decision and Judgment are not a surprise,” she stated in a declaration reported by Reuters.
“Very soon, we will be presenting even more voluminous evidence in the U.S. We are committed to obtaining Justice for Amber Heard in the U.S. Court and defending Ms. Heard’s Right to Free Speech.”