Johnny Depp’s Lawyers Call Judge’s Ruling in ‘Wife Beater’ Libel Case ‘Perverse’ and ‘Bewildering’

Johnny Depp's Lawyers Call Judge's Ruling in 'Wife Beater' Libel Case 'Perverse' and 'Bewildering'
WENN/Brian To

After U.K. High Court judge Mr Justice Nicol declared that NGN’s story ‘was substantially true’, the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star’s legal team states it would be ridiculous not to appeal the decision.

Johnny Depp‘s legal team will appeal his defeat in his libel case against British tabloid The Sun over an article that branded him a “wife beater” in relation to allegations made by his ex-wife Amber Heard.

The “Pirates of the Caribbean” star’s team reacted angrily on Monday, November 2 to U.K. High Court judge Mr. Justice Nicol’s decision that The Sun’s executive editor Dan Wootton and its publisher, News Group Newspapers (NGN) had not defamed him in a 2018 article that referred to allegations made by Heard after she filed for divorce in 2016.

Jenny Afia, of the Schillings law firm, branded the ruling “perverse” in a statement obtained by WENN and said the judgment was so “flawed” it would be “ridiculous” not to appeal the ruling – contesting the reliability of Heard’s testimony during the trial.

“This decision is as perverse as it is bewildering,” her statement reads. “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. All of this was overlooked. The judgment is so flawed that it would be ridiculous for Mr Depp not to appeal this decision.”

She went on to express her hope that Depp would be successful in parallel legal proceedings taking place in the U.S. over a 2018 Washington Post article by the Aquaman star, that the 57-year-old actor claims referenced the allegations, which he denies. Depp is demanding $50 million (£38.7 million) in damages in that case.

After a 16-day trial in July that heard evidence from both stars, as well as friends, relatives and several former and current employees, Mr Justice Nicol delivered his verdict on Monday that NGN’s story “was substantially true.”

He found that 12 of the 14 alleged incidents of domestic violence did occur, adding: “I have found that the great majority of alleged assaults of Ms. Heard by Mr. Depp have been proved to the civil standard.”