Johnny Depp to receive verdict in ‘wife beater’ libel case next Monday


Johnny Depp will find out next week the outcome of his blockbuster libel case.

The Pirates of the Caribbean star took the Sun newspaper to court over a 2018 article which labelled him a “wife beater” and alleged he was violent to ex-wife Amber Heard – claims he denies.

Depp sued the tabloid’s publisher News Group Newspapers (NGN) and its executive editor Dan Wootton over the article.

The trial of his libel claim garnered worldwide attention as it unfolded over three weeks in July at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

Mr Depp, 57, will find out the outcome of his case on Monday 2 November as trial judge Mr Justice Nicol delivers his long-awaited ruling.

Johnny Depp to receive verdict in ‘wife beater’ libel case next Monday

Both Depp and Ms Heard, 34, attended the trial which featured high drama, claims of brutal violence and sensational revelations about their tempestuous relationship.

The court heard evidence over 16 days from both stars, friends and relatives of the couple and several former and current employees.

Mr Depp spent around 20 hours in the witness box over five days.

The actor was quizzed over his Hollywood lifestyle, booze and drugs, allegations of violence and his celebrity friendships.

Johnny Depp denied being violent towards his former wife Amber Heard

In closing arguments, the actor’s barrister David Sherborne said Mr Depp’s case argued his case.

He said: “What is important to Mr Depp is clearing his name of these appalling allegations, expanded on as it has been over the last four years, as a result of which he has lost nothing less than everything, he would say.

“When I say he has lost everything, to him obviously everything is his reputation. This is not about money, this is vindicating him.”

Sasha Wass QC, for NGN, counter argued as she put the newspaper’s case forward.

She said: “No doubt that Mr Depp regularly and systematically abused his wife.

“The characterisation that he is a wife-beater is entirely truthful.”

Mr Justice Nicol will give his ruling at 10am on Monday.

The judgment will be delivered remotely.

Here are some of the key moments in the case…

Poo-gate

Possibly the most surprising and stomach-churning moment of the 15-day trial came when Depp ended his marriage to Heard after finding a poo in his bed

Possibly the most surprising and stomach-churning moment of the 15-day trial came when Depp ended his marriage to Heard after allegedly finding a poo in his bed.

The Edward Scissorhands star claimed Heard and her friends had left a pile of excrement in the marital bed after her 30th birthday party at their Los Angeles home in April 2016.

He said he was so disgusted by the incident, he resolved to end the marriage that day.

In his witness statement, Depp claimed: “I understand that the following morning [after the party] Ms Heard (or possibly one of her friends) defecated in our shared bed…

“I resolved to divorce Ms Heard on that day.”

During her testimony, Heard was asked if she was the one who pooed in the bed and she replied: “I did not. It’s absolutely disgusting. That’s appalling. No.”

She blamed the poo on the couple’s teacup Yorkshire terriers, but Depp had previously insisted the animals were too small to jump onto the bed or to leave such a large deposit there.

The court heard the actor even demanded a DNA test to prove the faeces was human.

One of Heard’s friends, iO Tillet Wright, later told the court he didn’t think the actress could have been responsible for the poo because she’s “faecal phobic”.

During the trial, the court was shown pictures of the poo that was found in the bed.

Heard claimed Depp was so enraged by the poo that he threw a phone at her and it struck her in the face.

Depp denied throwing the phone at his then-wife.

House of horrors

Depp and Heard jetted to Australia in March 2015 so he could start working filming one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

The pair became embroiled in a furious argument at the rented home they were sharing, and the court heard the house was left with $150,000 damage.

In her testimony, Heard claimed she came back to the house and found food smeared all over the house, a live bird indoors, broken glass everywhere and blood dripping down the walls.

She also claimed Depp had attempted to set fire to the sofa, smashed the TV and urinated on the furniture.

Heard told the court: “There was mashed potato and gravy smeared on the door outside.

“There was a bird in the house… It scared me to death when I entered the room. It must have flown in the window. There was blood everywhere…”

Heard said there was writing “all the way down the stairs and stairwell” and there was “blood on the walls, on lampshades and everywhere with written messages”.

Depp admitted scrawling messages in his own blood throughout the house, which was described as looking like a scene from horror movie The Shining by Heard’s sister Whitney in her witness statement.

During her testimony, Heard also claimed that Depp threw 30 bottles at he “like grenades” and she was left with cuts on her arms and feet.

The actor denied being violent towards Heard, and insisted she was the one who attacked him.

Severed finger

During the trip to Australia, Depp was left with a severed finger which needed hospital treatment and surgery after he returned to Los Angeles

During the trip to Australia, Depp was left with a severed finger which needed hospital treatment and surgery after he returned to Los Angeles.

The court was shown gory pictures of the injury, which he claimed had been caused by Heard throwing a glass bottle at him during a row.

The actress denied she was responsible for the injury, and told the court Depp had severed the digit himself by smashing a plastic phone repeatedly against a wall.

In his witness statement, which was presented to the court, Depp claimed: “Ms Heard threw that bottle at me as hard as she could from a fairly short distance.

“The bottle smashed against my hand, which was resting on the marble top of the bar, severing the top of my finger and fracturing multiple bones.”

Heard alleged he picked up a wall phone and he “hit it repeatedly over and over and over again on the wall.

She told the court: “I watched as this phone was just disappearing in front of my own eyes.

“It was breaking off in shreds. That phone – it just disappeared. I didn’t know he had severed his finger.”

Heard told the court she didn’t realise that was the time when he cut his finger, but she when she believes it happened.

‘I will f**k her burnt corpse’

The Pirates of the Caribbean star took the Sun newspaper to court over a 2018 article which labelled him a “wife beater” and alleged he was violent to ex-wife Amber Heard – claims he denies

During the trial a series of disturbing texts between the actor and his pal Paul Bettany in 2014 were read out.

One text from Bettany, called Heard a “witch” and suggested they should burn her.

Depp’s message responded: “Let’s drown her before burning her. I will f**k her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure she is dead.”

Depp responded, telling the court that Bettany and Heard “had their differences and did not like each other very much”.

Heard later told the court Depp had threatened to “f**k her corpse” during a row in Australia in 2015.

She called it a “three day hostage situation” and alleged Depp shoved her against the fridge, threatening to “crush her neck”, before choking and spitting at her.

She alleged when she tried to escape he grabbed her by the hair before throwing her on a ping pong table and then grabbing her by the neck.

Heard claimed: “He was screaming at me, over and over again, ‘You ruined my life, I hate you, I’m going to f**king kill you and I’ll f**k your corpse.'”

Depp denied being violent towards Heard during the Australia trip and claimed she was the one who attacked him.





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