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  • Accountability News Staff

Johnny Depp loses UK Libel Case against The Sun

Johnny Depp, the Pirates of the Caribbean star, sued the Sun over allegations of Depp being a 'wife beater'. The high court judge, Justice Nicol, in the United Kingdom deemed that 12 out of 14 allegations were true.

In the 129-page ruling, the judge, Mr. Justice Nicol, said: “The claimant [Depp] has not succeeded in his action for libel … The defendants [the Sun and News Group Newspapers] have shown that what they published in the meaning which I have held the words to bear was substantially true.

The judge added: “I have found that the great majority of alleged assaults of Ms. Heard by Mr. Depp have been proved to the civil standard.” He also said he accepted Heard’s evidence that the allegations she made against Depp “have had a negative effect on her career as an actor and activist”.

“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. In those circumstances, parliament has said that a defendant has a complete defence.”

The judge said he did not accept Depp’s characterization of his ex-wife as a gold-digger. “I recognize that there were other elements to the divorce settlement as well,” Nicol noted, “but her donation of … $7m to charity is hardly the act one would expect of a gold-digger”.

The high court then dismissed the claim by the Pirates of the Caribbean star for compensation at the end of one of the most widely followed libel trials of the century. His lawyers said he would most likely appeal against the “perverse and bewildering decision”. They were not successful.

Lisa King, the director of communications and external relations at the domestic violence charity Refuge, said: “A common tactic used by perpetrators of domestic abuse is to repeatedly tell victims that no one will believe them – and to use power and control to try and silence them. What we have seen today is that power, fame and financial resources cannot be used to silence women. That is a welcome message for survivors of domestic abuse around the world. We stand in solidarity with Amber Heard, who has shown immense bravery in speaking up and speaking out.”


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