Johnny Depp's Libel Case Against The Sun Has A Verdict

A verdict has been reached in the Johnny Depp vs The Sun Newspaper. The Sun Newspaper was found not guilty on the charges of libel from Johnny Depp. The incident in question was an article that The Sun published an article claiming he had assaulted his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard. Depp and Heard have had a very public and ugly falling out starting in 2016 when Heard filed for divorce from Depp. Regarding his loss in court over The Sun's article, Depp's lawyer Jenny Afia said that "This decision is as perverse as it is bewildering... The judgment is so flawed that it would be ridiculous for Mr. Depp not to appeal this decision."

In her full statement, Johnny Depp's lawyer said the following (via BBC News):

"This decision is as perverse as it is bewildering. Most troubling is the judge's reliance on the testimony of Amber Heard, and corresponding disregard of the mountain of counter-evidence from police officers, medical practitioners, her own former assistant, other unchallenged witnesses, and an array of documentary evidence which completely undermined the allegations, point by point. The judgment is so flawed that it would be ridiculous for Mr. Depp not to appeal this decision."

The Sun had its own spokesperson address the court ruling, stating:

"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."

Photo by C Flanigan Getty Images
(Photo: Photo by C Flanigan/Getty Images)

There are potentially big ramifications for Johnny Depp when it comes to the ruling of this case. It wasn't a criminal trial, but the ruling required the judge to take a close examination of the 14 counts of domestic violence that The Sun had alleged in its 2018 online article, "Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be 'genuinely happy' casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?". Ultimately, the judge ruled that 12 of the 14 counts in the article proved to be "substantially true," which means that there is now an official court ruling that lends credit to Amber Heard's accounts of the frightening ways that Depp allegedly intimidated and/or abused her. That opinion from the judge will put a big stain on Johnny Depp's reputation, as the actor has working relationships with big studios like Disney (Pirates of the Caribbean), which have certain kinds of reputational standards to maintain.

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Depp may have another shot to repair his reputation; the actor is currently embroiled in a separate lawsuit against Amber Heard, regarding the 2018 piece she for The Washington Post, which offered the premise that she was a survivor of domestic abuse via her relationship with Depp. Depp already released a set of audio recordings he thought supported his version of the story, and could still potentially win that case.

If he loses the case against both The Sun and Amber Heard? Johnny Depp's reputation may be left in tatters.