Johnny Depp and his legal team is trying to overturn a British court ruling in a libel case that decreed Johnny Depp’s description of “wife beater” as “substantially true.” In their argument, they claim that Amber Heard did not donate all of her $7 million divorce settlement to charity as she has earlier maintained.
At the UK court of appeal, Johnny Depp and his legal team believe that he should be granted a retrial in his libel case with The Sun publisher News Group Newspapers. The Sun newspaper had labeled him a “wife beater” in an April 2018 article. Johnny Depp had lost the trial following a three-week trial in July.
The judge also ruled that Depp, 57, assaulted ex-wife Amber Heard on a dozen occasions and put her in fear for her life three times.
Now, his legal team has a new argument up their sleeves. Andrew Caldecott QC, leading the appeal on behalf of Johnny Depp, centered his argument on the allegation that Amber Heard had falsely claimed her $7M divorce settlement to be given away as a donation. During the original trial in the UK High Court, Heard claimed that she donated the amount to causes including L.A.’s Children Hospital Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union. This claim was cited by News Group’s lawyers as evidence that the actress could not be characterized as a “gold digger.”
Depp’s team has affirmed that ex-wife Amber Heard failed to pay the pledged amount and described it as a “manipulative lie” that “tipped the scales” when presented as evidence in the original case. In response, News Group’s representative Adam Wolanski probed as to why Depp’s team had not questioned Heard during the trial, suggesting the information had been readily available before that point.
However, earlier this year, Amber Heard’s lawyer had admitted to Deadline that the donations had been “delayed” because of the legal battle with Depp, which had cost her millions of dollars in legal fees.
Neither Johnny Depp nor Amber Heard were present for the hearing in London. The actor also has a long wait to see if the appeal bid has been successful.
In the US, Johnny Depp has a separate defamation trial against Heard that has been delayed until April 11, 2022. Amber Heard is also pursuing a $100M countersuit.