PHOTO CREDITS: ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
Johnny Depp has lost a libel case against a British tabloid that called him a “wife beater” of Amber Heard, according to USA Today.
A U.K. judge ruled on Monday that the 2018 article in the British Tabloid “The Sun” that called Depp a “wife beater” was not libelous after a legal battle this summer. Judge Andrew Nicol delivered his verdict in writing without a hearing due to the coronavirus. The verdict was delivered at the High Court in London, dismissing Depp’s complaint against The Sun and finding that “the great majority” of Amber Heard’s claims of assault could be “proved to the civil standard.”
“The Claimant has not succeeded in his action for libel,” read a court summary released Monday to USA TODAY. “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.”
Heard was justified in punching Depp during a March 2015 argument in order to defend her sister, the judge ruled. Another incident in May 2016, in which Heard alleged physical abuse that days later would lead her to file a petition to end their marriage and an application for a domestic violence restraining order, had “particularly sharp” conflicting evidence, he noted, though ultimately sided with Heard’s claims that Depp beat her in the face with a cellphone.
ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR: CONNOR KMIECIK