Johnny Depp Fails In Libel Case Against The Sun Following Publication Of 'Wife Beater' Headline

Alex Waite

Johnny Depp has lost his libel legal case against British newspaper The Sun. The Hollywood actor sued the publication after it referred to him as a "wife beater" in April 2018.

The BBC reported that Depp was refused any compensation after claiming damages to his reputation following the Sun's headline "Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be 'genuinely happy' casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?"

Depp took legal action against the newspaper, which is part of News Group Newspapers (NGN), and the publication's executive editor Dan Wootton.

Throughout the trial, Amber Heard provided evidence towards acts of domestic violence from the 57-year-old actor. Friends, previous employers and relatives also gave accounts during the case.

According to reports from the Guardian, the 34-year-old actress was able to provide evidence of 14 instances in which Depp allegedly assaulted her.

In response to the ruling on November 2, a spokesperson for News Group Newspapers praised Heard's "courage" in talking about the alleged instances of domestic violence during the trial.

Depp strenuously denied the allegations and his lawyer David Sherborne said in his closing statement that the actor's case was about "clearing his name."

Mr Justice Nicol, the judge leading the trial, summarised his ruling and found the newspaper's publication to truly reflect Depp's actions.

"The claimant [Depp] has not succeeded in his action for libel … The defendants [The Sun and News Group Newspapers] have shown that what they published in the meaning which I have held the words to bear was substantially true. I have reached these conclusions having examined in detail the 14 incidents on which the defendants rely as well as the overarching considerations which the claimant submitted I should take into account. In those circumstances, parliament has said that a defendant has a complete defence." Mr Justice Nicol said.

The final decision was made on Monday, November 2 at 10 a.m and the ruling took over three-months to be reached. It was one of the most followed libel trials in history and evidence was given over 16 days throughout July in the Royal Courts of Justice.

Libel is a law that allows people to protect their character and reputation if they feel wrongly portrayed by a permanent form, such as print publications.

The Inqusitr previously reported on another libel issue after Jared Kushner & Ivanka Trump threatened to sue the Lincoln Project after the group purchased a billboard advertisement in Times Square that criticised the Trump Administration's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.