Depp Loses in Court
Actor Johnny Depp is back in the news as one of the court proceedings related to his ongoing feud with ex-wife, Amber Heard, has ended. Depp has blamed the ongoing feud with Heard, in part, on a story published by Britain’s The Sun newspaper. In the article, The Sun claimed that Depp was an “abusive husband,” accusations that have led to a serious PR crisis for Depp and an ongoing war of words with both Heard and The Sun. The court testimony, which included statements by both Depp and Heard, as well as some of their former employees, became an international headline grabber in entertainment media.
During the case between Depp and The Sun, the publication’s attorneys claimed that Depp, “beat his wife, causing her to suffer significant injury, and on occasion leading to her fearing for her life…”
During the trial, Depp admitted to “long-term drug and alcohol problems” but added that any allegations he had been violent toward Heard in any way were “completely untrue…” Unfortunately for Depp, Judge Andrew Nicol looked at the evidence presented and argued that the newspaper’s claims were “substantially true…” In delivering the verdict denying the libel claims, the judge said, “I have reached these conclusions having examined in detail the 14 incidents on which the defendants rely, as well as the overarching considerations which the claimant submitted I should take into account…”
Judge Nicol went on to say that there was sufficient evidence to believe that at least 12 of the incidents of violence alleged in the article happened, citing as evidence one particularly dark message in which Depp apparently said, “She’s begging for total global humiliation… She’s gonna get it… I have no mercy, no fear, and not an ounce of emotion or love (for Heard)” who Depp went on to disparage at length.
Nicol added that, “A recurring theme in Mr. Depp’s evidence was that Ms. Heard constructed a hoax as an ‘insurance policy…’” then he noted that Heard donated her multi-million-dollar settlement to charity, opining, “(That) is hardly the act one would expect of a gold digger…”
Depp has continued to deny that he had ever abused Heard, even as the courts decided there was enough evidence that the claims made in The Sun’s article were backed by evidence and, thus, could not be defined as libel.
In a statement about the verdict, The Sun, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., used the opportunity to position the publication as a staunch defender of domestic abuse victims, “The Sun has stood up and campaigned for victims of domestic abuse for 20 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…”
Heard’s legal representative added this: “For those of us present for the London High Court trial, this decision and judgment are not a surprise.”