Johnny Depp’s libel case against The Sun, which he launched after it dubbed him a “wife beater,” has wrapped. Lawyers for The Sun claimed Depp did in fact abuse his then-wife Amber Heard, and used her testimony in the trial.
On Tuesday, Depp’s lawyers argued that the 57-year-old never hit a woman, and dubbed the 34-year-old Aquaman star a “compulsive liar” who actually abused him.
Depp’s lawyer, David Sherborne, said the actor strongly denied “this reputation-destroying, career-ending allegation. He has never hit a woman in his entire life — period, full stop, nada.”
He added that The Sun was “acting as both judge and jury, the defendants plainly and squarely state that Mr. Depp is guilty (of a) series of serious and violent criminal offenses.”
The Sun’s lawyer Sasha Wass, meanwhile, said that there was no doubt Depp “regularly and systematically abused his wife” and so the “wife-beater” label was justified.
The two sides did concur that Depp and Heard’s relationship went downhill well before their divorce in 2017.
Mark Stephens, a media lawyer at law firm Howard Kennedy, told The Hollywood Reporter that the sensational case “has all of the hallmarks of the Roman arena.”
“People will remember this case not for the results, but for the evidence — the rather nasty, gory evidence — that was involved,” he said.
“It almost beggars belief that anyone rational has taken this case to court,” Stephens said. “Now, I know that many people say it’s all about vindication. It’s all about proving he’s not a wife beater. But the stakes are very, very high for everybody. And at some level, mud sticks.”
Speaking outside London’s High Court, Heard said that she stands by her testimony.
Heard said: [“I traveled here to the UK to testify as a witness to assist the court. After obtaining a restraining order in 2016 and finalizing my divorce, I just wanted to move on with my life. I did not file this lawsuit and, despite its significance, I would have preferred not to be here in court. It has been incredibly painful to relive the break up of my relationship, have my motives and my truth questioned, and the most traumatic and intimate details of my life with Johnny shared in court and broadcast to the entire world.”] SOUNDCUE (:47 OC: . . .the entire world.)
Judge Andrew Nicol will retire to consider the verdict, and is expected to hand down a ruling in the coming weeks.
Amber Heard on Johnny Depp :