Johnny Depp's lawyers vow to appeal 'perverse' verdict as he loses libel case11/02/2020
Johnny Depp’s lawyers intend to appeal the verdict in his libel trial against The Sun’s publishers NGN, which he lost today.
A judge at London’s High Court ruled against Depp, 57, after he sued The Sun’s executive editor Dan Wootton, in relation to a column the journalist wrote in April 2018 where the actor was described as a ‘wife beater’.
Depp’s lawyer, Jenny Afia of Schilling’s law firm who represented the actor, has now spoken out on his behalf following the ruling.
‘This decision is as perverse as it is bewildering,’ Afia began.
‘Most troubling is the judge’s reliance on the testimony of Amber Heard, and corresponding disregard of the mountain of counter-evidence from police officers, medical practitioners, her own former assistant, other unchallenged witnesses and an array of documentary evidence which completely undermined the allegations, point by point.’
Suggesting how Depp may proceed following the verdict, Afia continued: ‘All of this was overlooked. The judgment is so flawed that it would be ridiculous for Mr Depp not to appeal this decision.
‘In the meantime, we hope that in contrast to this case, the ongoing libel proceedings in America are equitable, with both parties providing full disclosure rather than one side strategically cherry picking what evidence can and cannot be relied upon.’
Depp’s ex-wife Heard also reacted to the news via her US counsel who said: ‘For those of us present for the London High Court trial, this decision and Judgment are not a surprise.
‘Very soon, we will be presenting even more voluminous evidence in the US. We are committed to obtaining Justice for Amber Heard in the US court and defending Ms. Heard’s Right to Free Speech.’
The ruling was handed down today by Mr Justice Nicol, three months after closing statements.
Justice Nicol said in court on Monday: ‘The claimant has not succeeded in his action for libel.
‘Although he has proved the necessary elements of his cause of action in libel, the defendants 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.
‘I have found that the great majority of alleged assaults of Ms Heard by Mr Depp have been proved to the civil standard.’
Justice Nicol found that 12 of the 14 alleged incidents of domestic violence did occur.
Depp denied all allegations of assault.
MORE : Amber Heard ‘not surprised’ as Johnny Depp loses libel case against The Sun’s publishers over wife beater article
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