November 26, 2020

Johnny Depp refused permission to appeal against ‘wife beater’ ruling


Johnny Depp has been refused permission to appeal against the findings of a judge who ruled that he was a wife beater.

The Pirates of the Caribbean actor, 57, has also been ordered to pay £628,000 in legal costs to The Sun for his failed libel action against the newspaper.

Depp had sued The Sun over a 2018 article in which he was called a “wife beater” for his alleged abuse against his then wife Amber Heard.

He had vehemently denied the claims and said that it was Heard, 34, who was abusive to him – claims she then denied.

After a three-week trial, Mr Justice Nicol found that Depp had beat Heard on 12 occasions.



Johnny Depp outside court in July

Depp’s lawyers had said that that he would appeal against the judgment, which in a statement he called “perverse as it is bewildering”.

The same judge has now dismissed Depp’s appeal application, saying that he did not believe that it had a “reasonable prospect of success”.

In his ruling Mr Justice Nicol wrote: “The findings of fact by a first instance tribunal (particularly one, such as myself, who has heard oral evidence) are rarely open to challenge on appeal.



Amber Heard outside court

“In any event, I do not consider that the proposed grounds of appeal have a reasonable prospect of success (and that is also the case so far as the grounds of appeal suggest that I erred in principle or in law) and there is not some other compelling reason why permission to appeal should be granted.”

The judge has ordered Depp to pay The Sun £520,000 towards its defence bill by December 7 and a further £108,235 by January 22.

The remainder of the legal bill will be paid after a detailed assessment of the costs.



Johnny Depp and Amber Heard have both accused each other of abuse, which they both deny

The actor can take the case directly to the Court of Appeal.

As part of his findings, the judge found that Depp beat Heard 12 of the 14 times he was alleged to have been violent towards her.

The judge awarded victory to the publisher, saying: “I have found that the great majority of alleged assaults of Ms Heard by Mr Depp have been proved to the civil standard.”



Depp has also been ordered to pay legal costs

Mr Justice Nicol said The Sun and its parent company NGN had proved what was in the article to be “substantially true”.

The judge said: “The claimant has not succeeded in his action for libel.

“Although he 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.

Mirror Online has contacted reps for Johnny Depp and Amber Heard for comment.





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