Johnny Depp’s Libel Case Appeal Bid Rejected

by : Cameron Frew on : 26 Nov 2020 11:01
Johnny Depp's Libel Case Appeal Bid RejectedPA Images

Johnny Depp has been denied permission to appeal his libel case against The Sun. 

Earlier this month, a High Court judge ruled in favour of the tabloid’s publisher, News Group Newspapers (NGN), after Depp, 57, 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 found the article, relating to abuse allegations against the actor’s ex-wife Amber Heard, 34, to be ‘substantially true’.

PA Images

In a ruling that was made public yesterday, November 25, the judge also refused Depp permission to appeal following an application to overturn. He said, ‘I do not consider that the proposed grounds of appeal have a reasonable prospect of success,’ as per The Guardian.

However, Nicol has allowed Depp until December 7 to apply directly to the Court of Appeal. The actor has also been ordered to pay an initial payment to NGN of £630,000 for its legal fees.


The column in question, written by executive editor Dan Wootton, referred to ‘overwhelming evidence’ that Depp was guilty of a number of abusive incidents during his relationship with Heard.

johnny depp amber heardPA Images

While Depp has denied all allegations, the judge found 12 of the 14 alleged incidents in the article to be true. Depp is also also embroiled in a defamation case with Heard.

Earlier, Nicol 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.’

Johnny DeppPA Images

In a statement following the ruling, Depp wrote, ‘The surreal judgment of the court in the UK will not change my fight to tell the truth and I confirm that I plan to appeal. 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.’

His lawyer David Sherborne also said, as per Metro, ‘The claimant’s position is clear – Ms Heard’s allegations are complete lies. The claimant was not violent towards Ms Heard, it was she who was violent to him.’

Amber Heard PA Images

He added, ‘Despite that, the defendants published the allegations, without any reference to the claimant’s position, to launch (Mr Wootton’s) brand new column with a fanfare.’

The fallout of the ruling has seen Depp’s departure from the Fantastic Beasts franchise after he was asked to resign. However, despite Mads Mikkelsen filling the role, a number of petitions have gained momentum; some asking for the actor’s reinstatement, others requesting Heard be removed from Aquaman 2.

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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: News, Amber Heard, Johnny Depp, Legal, Now, The Sun


The Guardian and 1 other
  1. The Guardian

    Judge denies Johnny Depp permission to appeal Sun libel action

  2. Metro

    Johnny Depp ‘did assault Amber Heard’ judge rules as he loses libel case