Johnny Depp applies to Court of Appeal to overturn Amber Heard ruling

Johnny Depp has applied to the Court of Appeal to overturn a High Court ruling that he assaulted his ex-wife Amber Heard.

Last month a High Court judge rejected Depp’s claim that The Sun had committed libel when a 2018 article called him a “wife-beater” for his alleged abuse against Heard, which he strenuously denied.

Mr Justice Nicol dismissed the Pirates Of The Caribbean actor’s claim, finding The Sun had proved what was in the article was “substantially true”.

The same judge then denied Depp permission to appeal against the findings, and ordered him to pay £628,000 in legal costs to The Sun.

Johnny Depp arrives at the High Court in July

Amber Heard outside court

Mr Justice Nicol gave Depp until December 7 to apply directly to the Court of Appeal to overturn his judgment.

Depp has now filed an application with the Court of Appeal, according to a publicly-available list of pending appeals.

It is not known what Mr Depp’s grounds of appeal are, or when a decision on his application for permission to appeal is likely to be made.

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp in 2015

In his judgment, published in November, Mr Justice Nicol concluded that 12 of the 14 alleged incidents of domestic violence relied on by NGN did occur.

The judge found that Depp assaulted Heard on a dozen occasions and put her in “fear for her life” on three occasions, including one the actress described as a “three-day hostage situation” in Australia in March 2015.

Mr Justice Nicol found Heard was also in fear for her life during incidents on the Eastern and Oriental Express in South East Asia in August 2015 and again in LA in December of the same year.

Depp lost his libel battle

The judge said “a recurring theme in Depp’s evidence was that Ms Heard had constructed a hoax and that she had done this as an ‘insurance policy”‘, and that Ms Heard was a “gold-digger”.

But he added: “I do not accept this characterisation of Ms Heard.”

In that statement, Depp said: “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.”

His solicitor Jenny Afia, from the Schillings law firm, had said the High Court ruling was “as perverse as it is bewildering”, adding: “The judgment is so flawed that it would be ridiculous for Mr Depp not to appeal this decision.”

Depp repeatedly denied ever being violent towards Heard during their relationship and marriage which lasted from 2015 until 2017

But Ms Heard’s US lawyer, Elaine Charlson Bredehoft, said: “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.”

Depp is currently embroiled in a separate libel battle in the US, having sued Heard personally over a 2018 Washington Post opinion piece in which she claimed to be a victim of domestic abuse.

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