Johnny Depp Denied Appeal in “Wife Beater” Defamation Case – Deadline

Johnny Depp won’t have his day in court (again). The actor has been denied an appeal in his high-profile defamation case in the UK with Sun editorial News Group Newspapers.

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

This is a significant blow for Depp. After initial testing, it was removed from Warner Bros’ Fantastic Animals franchise and replaced by Mads Mikkelsen, and is now blacked out with the ‘wife beater’ brush before his defamation trial against Heard in the US next year.

Johnny Depp Awaits Appeal Decision In “Wife Beater” Defamation Case; The cast 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 to Term saying that he “seriously questioned” the UK court’s decision and that the actor was eager to “present full and irrefutable evidence of the truth in the United States defamation case against Ms Heard, where he will have to provide a disclosure complete “.

A spokesman for Heard said they were “pleased but in no way surprised” by the decision and called the Depp team’s claim of “important new evidence” as “no more than a press strategy.”

“The evidence presented in the UK case was overwhelming and undeniable. To reiterate, the original verdict was that Mr. Depp committed domestic violence against Amber on no less than 12 occasions and she was left in fear for her life, “they added.

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

“The hearing before Nicol J was complete and fair, and gave detailed reasons for his conclusions that have not been shown or even debatable that they are flawed by any error of approach or error of law,” they said.

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

Andrew Caldecott QC spearheaded the appeal offer on Depp’s behalf. Last week, she told the UK Court of Appeal that an accusation made against Heard in January, that she had falsely claimed that her $ 7 million divorce payment had been turned over to a charity, was grounds for it to be hear the appeal.

During the original trial in the UK High Court, Heard stated that he donated the entire amount to causes such as the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union, and this was cited by lawyers for the News Group as evidence that the actress could not be characterized as a “gold digger”. Earlier this year, his American attorney admitted Term that donations had been “delayed” but claimed this was due to Depp’s legal action against the actress, which had cost him millions of dollars in legal fees.

Caldecott had argued that the donation had “tipped the scales early on” in the case and that Heard had made a “calculated and manipulative lie.” He asserted that the original court may not have been able to determine Heard’s credibility because he had been swayed by the idea of ​​the $ 7 million donation.

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

In today’s appeal ruling, the judges said they found no conclusion as to whether his statements about his donations were misleading, noting that Depp’s team had not raised the issue at trial and that they saw no reason to believe. that the decision of the original judge was influenced. for what has been said about donations.

In the United States, Depp’s $ 50 million defamation lawsuit against Herd was recently delayed to April 11, 2022. The actress is also filing a $ 100 million counterclaim.

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