Just days ago, actor Johnny Depp lost his long-running libel case against U.K. tabloid The Sun for it 2018’s article that termed him as a “wife-beater,” In the article, the tabloid had claimed that they have “enough evidence” to prove that he assaulted his then-wife, actress Amber Heard in the duration of their marriage. The high court denied Depp’s claims against the allegations and called the article “substantially true”– a verdict that the actor and his legal team finds “as perverse as it is bewildering.”
For Elaine Charlson Bredehoft, the U.S. lawyer representing Amber Heard who faces a similar defamation by Johnny Depp, the decision is just a teaser of the bigger trial that awaits the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them star.
“For those of us present for the London high court trial, this decision and judgment are not a surprise. Very soon, we will be presenting even more voluminous evidence in the US. We are committed to obtaining justice for Amber Heard in the US court and defending Ms Heard’s right to free speech,” she said in a statement.
But according to Jenny Afia, the lawyer who represented Depp in the recent case, the judgement couldn’t have been more flawed and thus warrants a reconsideration.
“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. All of this was overlooked,” she said.
“The judgment is so flawed that it would be ridiculous for Mr Depp not to appeal this decision,” she further added.
While Depp’s lawyers have made it clear that the actor plans to appeal against the fact-based verdict, many are of the opinion that he may find it hard to overturn the decision.
“Although not a criminal determination of guilt, it is difficult to see how Depp will ever be able to shake off the ‘wife beater’ label now, personally and professionally. The judge expressly endorsed the notion that Depp had a ‘monster side’ and held that he did assault Heard and put her ‘in fear of her life’,” explained Emily Cox, a partner at the London law firm Stewarts.
But even if, there is even the slightest possibility that Johnny Depp manages to win against the ruling, as Amber Heard’s lawyer said, he will have a hard to shrugging off the domestic abuser label the case has tagged him with.
“This is an important ruling and one which we hope sends a very powerful message: every single survivor of domestic abuse should be listened to and should be heard. No survivor should ever have her voice silenced,” shared Lisa King, the director of communications and external relations at Refuge, a domestic violence charity. “We stand in solidarity with Amber Heard, who has shown immense bravery in speaking up and speaking out.”