Johnny Depp To Appeal ‘Wife Beater’ Ruling Today In High Court

by : Cameron Frew on : 18 Mar 2021 08:16
Johnny Depp To Appeal ‘Wife Beater’ Ruling Today In High CourtPA Images

Johnny Depp’s bid to overturn his libel trial will be heard at court today, with an earlier ruling finding claims he was a ‘wife beater’ as ‘substantially true’. 

In November 2020, a High Court judge ruled in favour of The Sun‘s publisher News Group Newspapers (NGN), after the 57-year-old actor sued over a 2018 article titled, ‘Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?’


Mr. Justice Nicol had also warned against Depp’s appeal, citing little ‘prospect of success’. The Pirates of the Caribbean star went on to apply to the Court of Appeal.

Johnny Depp To Appeal ‘Wife Beater’ Ruling Today In High CourtPA Images

Depp’s application for permission to appeal the November ruling will be heard at the Royal Courts of Justice in London this morning, March 18. It is not known whether Depp or his ex-wife Amber Heard will be in attendance.

According to an earlier court order, today’s hearing will also involve discussions over the use of new evidence that wasn’t heard during the previous three-week trial, with Depp’s legal team filing legal documents that dubbed the ruling as ‘manifestly unsafe’.


In an Instagram post confirming his departure from the Fantastic Beasts franchise in the wake of the ruling, he wrote, ‘The surreal judgement of the court in the UK will not change my fight to tell the truth and I confirm that I plan to appeal.’

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Depp added, ‘My resolve remains strong and I intend to prove that the allegations against me are false. My life and career will not be defined by this moment in time.’

The column at the core of the case, written by Dan Wootton, referred to ‘overwhelming evidence’ that Depp was guilty of a number of abusive incidents during his relationship with Heard.


Nicol found 12 of the 14 alleged incidents against Depp to be true, as well as three occasions in which Heard ‘feared for her life’ – Depp is also embroiled in a defamation case with Heard.

Johnny Depp To Appeal ‘Wife Beater’ Ruling Today In High CourtPA Images
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As per The Guardian, the judge said, ‘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.’

As reported by MailOnline, Depp’s barrister David Sherborne said the judgement was ‘plainly wrong’ and argued Nicol had ‘failed to examine the competing accounts of each incident, or to explain whether he found them proved and, if so, on what basis’.


He added, ‘The judge should have analysed the extent to which Ms. Heard’s evidence undermined her credibility in relation to her allegations of physical assault/injury.’

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Film and TV, Amber Heard, Johnny Depp, Now, The Sun


The Guardian and 1 other
  1. The Guardian

    Judge denies Johnny Depp permission to appeal Sun libel action

  2. MailOnline

    Johnny Depp's bid to overturn 'wife beater' ruling in Amber Heard's favour will be heard at the Court of Appeal this morning