Johnny Depp v The Sun libel case: When is the verdict out? All eyes on trial that captivated the world

In February this year, Depp sued The Sun newspaper over claims that the media outlet branded him as a 'wife-beater' through a column published in April 2018


                            Johnny Depp v The Sun libel case: When is the verdict out? All eyes on trial that captivated the world
(Getty Images)

Unless you live under a rock or are not following the news regularly, you might be aware of the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard legal battle that has been going on for quite some time now.

A quick refresher. The couple who married in 2015 finalized their divorce in 2017. Then in 2018, Heard had written an opinion piece for The Washington Post, where she spoke about how women in domestic abuse cases are treated. As reported by Insider, she had written, "I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture's wrath for women who speak out." Depp was not mentioned in the op-ed. In 2019, Depp filed a $50M defamation case against Heard for the opinion piece. As quoted by Insider, Depp's lawyers said: "The op-ed depended on the central premise that Ms Heard was a domestic abuse victim and that Mr Depp perpetrated domestic violence against her."

The report further states that in an attempt to dismiss the defamation suit, in a court filing, Heard shared multiple instances of alleged abuse that she claimed to have suffered during their marriage and referred to him as "the monster", according to Variety. In January 2020, phone recordings were obtained by Daily Mail where Heard allegedly admitted to "hitting" Depp.

In February this year, Depp sued The Sun newspaper over claims that the media outlet branded him as a "wife-beater" through a column published in April 2018. According to Daily Mail, the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' actor brought a lawsuit against The Sun and its executive editor Dan Wootton for libel, two years after the latter wrote a piece where he claimed that the star hit his ex-wife Heard during their tumultuous 18-month marriage. The article in question chastized author JK Rowling for casting Depp in her film 'Fantastic Beasts' even after the 'Aquaman' actress alleged in 2016 that he was a "monster" who had physically abused her multiple times during their marriage, including instances where he choked her and ripped out clumps of her hair.

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard attend the 'Black Mass' premiere during the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival at The Elgin on September 14, 2015, in Toronto, Canada (Getty Images)

As per a July report in Variety, Depp's attorney David Sherborne in his concluding remarks in the libel case had referred to the original The Sun article in question as "deliberately and wholly one-sided". The report states that both parties have presented their arguments before Justice Andrew Nicol and his judgment can be expected by late September.  

A Page Six report claimed that legal experts told The Post that it could take anywhere from a few weeks to two or three months for the verdict to come. The report quotes Ryan Dunleavy, a partner at UK law firm Stewarts and head of its Media Disputes division, as saying: "This is a tricky case for a judge to consider because of the volume of evidence and the complex factual, rather than legal, dimensions to it." Page Six reports that Dunleavy told The Post, "The loser pays the winner’s cost. If The Sun wins the case, then Johnny Depp has to pay all their costs, and if Johnny Depp wins the case, The Sun has to pay his costs."

According to a recent Daily Mail article, Depp has found a supporter in Oscar-winning actor Sir Mark Rylance. The actor who is working with Depp in the movie ‘Waiting for the Barbarians’, told The Times, as per Daily Mail: "My impression of him was a very loving, and very sensitive and very trustworthy person." He added, "The accusations that were around at the time we were making the film were of physical violence. And he obviously denied this and I found his denial completely believable. It didn't seem to be part of his character at all."

In recent news, according to Page Six, Heard is countersuing Depp for $100M. The report claimed that she is alleging that Depp used trolls and fake social media accounts in a “smear campaign” to ruin her life, according to court documents.

MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) cannot independently verify these claims and does not support the claims made on the Internet.

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