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British Court Delivers Bad News to Johnny Depp

Actor loses libel suit over 'wife beater' allegation
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 2, 2020 6:06 AM CST

(Newser) – A British court ruled Monday against Johnny Depp in his libel case against the owner of the Sun tabloid newspaper, which labelled him a "wife beater," per the AP. In a ruling, Justice Andrew Nicol said Depp has "not succeeded in his action for libel," adding that the defendants had shown what they published was "substantially true." Depp sued News Group Newspapers, publisher of the Sun, and the newspaper’s executive editor, Dan Wootton, over an April 2018 article that accused him of assaulting his wife Amber Heard. Elaine Charlson Bredehoft, Heard’s US counsel, said in a statement the verdict is “not a surprise” for anyone who followed the trial over the summer.

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“Very soon, we will be presenting even more voluminous evidence in the US,” she said. Depp is also suing Heard for $50 million in Virginia over a Washington Post story about domestic violence. The trial is due to be held next year. Both Depp and Heard spent several days in the witness box during the three-week trial in July, giving irreconcilable accounts of their volatile relationship. The pair met on the set of 2011 comedy The Rum Diary, married in 2015, and split the following year. Heard, 34, testified as the main witness for the defense, saying Depp turned into a violent alter ego he dubbed the "Monster" when under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Depp, 57, branded the allegations "sick" and a "hoax" and claimed Heard was the aggressor.

(Read more Johnny Depp stories.)

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