A British court on Thursday refused Johnny Depp permission to appeal a judge's ruling that he assaulted ex-wife Amber Heard, saying his attempt to overturn the decision had "no real prospect of success." Two Court of Appeal judges said the 57-year-old Hollywood star can't challenge the High Court's rejection of his libel lawsuit against the publisher of the Sun newspaper for labeling him a "wife beater" in an article, per the AP. High Court Justice Andrew Nicol had ruled in November that allegations against Depp, made in a April 2018 article, were "substantially true." The judge ruled that Depp assaulted Heard, now 34, on a dozen occasions and put her in fear for her life. The appeals court judges say the earlier court hearing was "full and fair" and that the trial judge's conclusions "have not been shown even arguably to be vitiated by any error of approach or mistake of law." Also, "the appeal has no real prospect of success," with "no other compelling reason for it to be heard."
Depp and Heard married in February 2015. Heard, a model and actress, filed for divorce the following year and obtained a restraining order against Depp on the grounds of domestic abuse. The divorce was finalized in 2017. The High Court ruling came after a headline-grabbing three-week trial in July, in which Depp and Heard gave conflicting accounts of their brief, tempestuous marriage, with each accusing the other of being controlling, violent, and deceitful. Heard's public relations firm said in a statement that she was "pleased, but by no means surprised" by the Court of Appeal decision. Depp's British lawyer says, "There are clear and objective reasons to seriously question the decision reached in the UK court." Depp is also suing Heard for $50 million in Virginia over a Washington Post op-ed essay that she wrote about domestic violence. The trial in that case was recently delayed until April 2022.
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