Amber Heard reacts as Johnny Depp loses libel case

Amber Heard says she is ‘not surprised’ that her ex-husband Johnny Depp lost his libel case against The Sun’s publishers NGN.

A judge delivered the verdict at London’s High Court on Monday after he sued NGN and The Sun’s executive editor Dan Wootton, in relation to a column Wootton wrote in April 2018.

Reacting to the news, 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.’

The ruling was handed down today by Mr Justice Nicol, three months after closing statements.

He said: ‘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.’

The judge continued: ‘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.

In the 2018 article, Wootton wrote the headline: ‘Gone Potty – How can JK Rowling be “genuinely happy” casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?’ 

Depp’s trial against the newspaper started on July 7, with testimonies from the Pirates of the Caribbean actor, his ex-wife Amber Heard, the star’s security team and personal assistant, and Heard’s sister, friends and acting coach, amongst others.

The 57-year-old actor denied all allegations of domestic violence. On the trial’s opening day, his lawyer David Sherborne said that the article made ‘defamatory allegations of the utmost seriousness’ against Mr Depp, accusing him of committing serious assaults on Ms Heard and ‘inflicting such serious injuries that she feared for her life’.

During the trial, the court heard 14 incidences of alleged domestic abuse brought up, including what Heard described as a ‘three day ordeal’ in Australia in March 2015, where Depp alleged the Aquaman actress threw a glass bottle at him, severing his fingertip.

Heard, 34, alleged that the actor cut his own finger while smashing a phone against the wall.

In their findings, the judge ruled today: ‘I do not accept that Ms Heard was responsible for the injury to Mr Depp’s finger.’

He added: ‘What exactly caused the injury is uncertain.’

The Aquaman actress also claimed that Depp threatened to ‘slice up her face’ with a bottle during the alcohol-fuelled row. 

One bizarre recurring story during the trial involved faeces being found in Heard and Depp’s marital bed following Heard’s 30th birthday party.

Throughout the trial, Depp denied Heard’s allegations of abuse and claimed that the actress was the abuser.

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