Johnny Depp has lost his libel case against The Sun newspaper.
The Pirates of the Caribbean actor had taken action against the British publication in aafter they branded him a wife beater who had assaulted then-spouse Amber Heard — in a column executive editor Dan Wootton wrote in April 2018 — but a judge at London's High Court has now thrown out his defamation accusation.
The verdict follows a three-week hearing in July at London's Royal Courts of Justice, with testimonies from Depp, Heard, and the star’s security team and personal assistant, and Amy's sister, friends and acting coach, amongst others.
Following Mr Justice Nicol's ruling, Depp, 57. may also face having to pay out £1 million (S$1.7 mil) in legal fees, including The Sun's costs.
In his ruling, the judge said: “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.
"I have found that the great majority of alleged assaults of Ms Heard by Mr Depp have been proved to the civil standard."
Judge Nichol found that 12 of the 14 alleged incidents of domestic violence did occur.
The Sun welcomed the verdict and also thanked Heard for giving evidence during the trial in July. A spokesperson for the newspaper said: "The Sun has stood up and campaigned for the victims of domestic abuse for over 20 years.
"Domestic abuse victims must never be silenced and we thank the Judge for his careful consideration and thank Amber Heard for her courage in giving evidence to the court."
Elaine Charlson Bredehoft, US counsel for Heard, told Metro.co.uk in a statement: ‘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.’ — BANG
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