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Johnny Depp Dismissed Appeal in ‘Wife Beater’ Defamation Case – Deadline

Johnny Depp will not have his day in court (yet). The actor has been denied an appeal in his high-profile UK defamation case with The sun News Group Newspapers publisher.

Depp was seeking to overturn a ruling in which Judge Andrew Niccol ruled the tabloid was fair in calling him a “wife beater,” with the verdict claiming the charge was “substantially true” regarding his relationship with his ex-wife Amber Heard. This decision has now been upheld by the UK Court of Appeal.

It’s a big blow for Depp. After the initial trial he was kicked out of Warner Bros’ Fantastic beasts franchise and replaced by Mads Mikkelsen, and he’s now tarred with the “ woman beater ” brush ahead of his successful libel lawsuit against Heard in the United States next year.

Johnny Depp Awaits Appeal Decision in “Wife Beater” Defamation Case; Actor’s Team Call Amber Heard’s $ 7 Million Charitable Donation “A Manipulative Lie”

In response to today’s verdict, Depp’s attorney, Joelle Rich of Schillings Partners, sent a statement at Deadline saying that she ‘seriously questioned’ the UK court ruling and that the actor looked forward to ‘presenting full and irrefutable proof of the truth in the US libel case against Ms Heard, which she will have to provide full disclosure ”.

Appeals judges Lord Justice Dingemans and Lord Justice Underhill this morning released a 14-page document explaining their decision.

“The hearing before Nicol J was full and fair, and he gave thorough reasons for his conclusions which have not even been shown to be flawed by an error of approach or an error of law,” they said. declared.

The court explained that it did not believe that Depp’s team criticism of Judge Niccol had a real chance of success on appeal and that it did not accept that the judge was influenced by the idea of ​​Heard’s $ 7 million charitable donations from her divorce settlement with Depp. , which, according to representatives of the actor, had never been met.

Andrew Caldecott QC led the tender on behalf of Depp. Last week he told the UK Court of Appeal that an allegation against Heard in January – she falsely claimed her $ 7million divorce payment went to a charity – was a reason for the appeal to be heard.

During the initial UK High Court trial, Heard said she donated the full amount to causes such as the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union. , which was cited by lawyers for News Group as proof that the actress could not be called a “gold digger.” Earlier this year, his US attorney admitted Deadline that the donations had been “delayed” but claimed it was because of Depp’s lawsuit against the actress, which had cost him millions of dollars in legal fees.

Caldecott had argued that the donation had “tipped the scales from the very beginning” of the affair and that Heard had made a “calculated and manipulative lie”. He claimed the original court may not have been able to verify Heard’s credibility because he was swayed by the idea of ​​the $ 7 million donation.

News Groups representative Adam Wolanski responded by saying that Heard had not lied, that the donations would be made and that the information was available to Depp’s team long before the initial trial. He also said the “gold digger” argument was a “misogynistic trope”.

In today’s appeal decision, the judges said they had not concluded whether his statements about his donations were misleading, noting that Depp’s team did not did not raise the issue at trial and that they saw no reason to believe that the original judge’s decision had been influenced. by what had been said about the gifts.

In the United States, Depp’s $ 50 million libel lawsuit against Herd was recently postponed until April 11, 2022. The actress is also pursuing a $ 100 million counter-suit.

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