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Johnny Depp loses libel case against The Sun over wife-beating allegations

Johnny Depp loses libel case against The Sun over wife-beating allegations

Johnny Depp "Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds With Shane Macgowan" Photocall - 68th San Sebastian Film Festival

Johnny Depp has lost a libel case against The Sun newspaper and executive editor Dan Wootton after a lengthy legal battle.

Depp will now have to pay a substantial amount of money in legal costs to News Group Newspapers.

A spokesperson for The Sun said: “The Sun has stood up and campaigned for the victims of domestic abuse for over twenty years.

Johnny Depp "Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds With Shane Macgowan" Photocall - 68th San Sebastian Film Festival
Actor Johnny Depp attends ‘Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds With Shane Macgowan’ photocall during the 68th San Sebastian International Film Festival at the Kursaal Palace on September 20, 2020 in San Sebastian, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

“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.”

In his written judgement, Justice Andrew Nicol wrote that News Group Newspapers and Wootton “have shown that what they published … was substantially true.”

Johnny Depp "Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds With Shane Macgowan" Photocall - 68th San Sebastian Film Festival
Actor Johnny Depp attends ‘Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds With Shane Macgowan’ photocall during the 68th San Sebastian International Film Festival at the Kursaal Palace on September 20, 2020 in San Sebastian, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

During the hearings, the Sun’s lawyers had told the court they had shown Depp had beaten Heard during violent rages brought on by alcohol or drugs. They said he assaulted Heard on at least 14 occasions between 2013-16.

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Depp told the court he was never violent towards his ex-wife, and instead insisted that she had regularly attacked him. He told the court that he lost the tip of a finger after she threw a vodka bottle at him during an argument.

Johnny Depp "Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds With Shane Macgowan" Photocall - 68th San Sebastian Film Festival
Actor Johnny Depp attends ‘Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds With Shane Macgowan’ photocall during the 68th San Sebastian International Film Festival at the Kursaal Palace on September 20, 2020 in San Sebastian, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

Depp’s lawyer David Sherborne argued Heard was a “wholly unreliable witness” and a compulsive liar.

Heard and Depp are now set for a second legal showdown in the States. Depp is suing Heard for $50M in Virginia over a Washington Post column she wrote about domestic violence. The actor has been ordered to sit for deposition next month by Fairfax County VA Circuit Court Chief Judge Bruce White.


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