Johnny Depp launches London tabloid court battle

Lawrence Kim
July 7, 2020

The case, which was delayed because of the coronavirus outbreak, will be heard over 15 days at the High Court in London.

Mr Depp's case was nearly thrown out of court last week after NGN's lawyers said they were not given texts between him and his assistant Nathan Holmes, which apparently showed the star asking for "happy pills" and "whitey stuff", shortly before the 2015 trip to Australia.

Depp, the 57-year-old star of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films, is suing the Sun's publisher, News Group Newspapers, and its executive editor, Dan Wootton, for libel over an article Wootton wrote in 2018 calling him a "wife beater". Depp strongly denies the claim. "Which was not the case".

"Either Ms Heard's allegations are true, in all their various forms now, and therefore Mr Depp has chosen to launch and pursue a lengthy libel claim despite knowing that the article which forms the subject matter of the claim is completely true", Sherborne continued.

The lawyers for Johnny Depp also claim Amber Heard was conducting "two extra-marital affairs" with billionaire and Tesla founder Elon Musk as well as actor James Franco at the time of Depp's alleged abuse and that secret recordings of the couple's conversations exist that show Heard was "the aggressor" of the pair.

Actress Amber Heard, center, arrives July 7 at the High Court in London. Both wore face coverings over their noses and mouths.

The trial in the United Kingdom is considered a "blockbuster" trial as it is taking up five courtrooms: the lawyers and judge are in the main courtroom; the journalists are located in another courtroom, and members of the public have been placed in three other courtrooms to ensure social distancing.

Witnesses are likely to include Depp's former partners, Vanessa Paradis and Winona Ryder, both of whom have submitted statements supporting the Hollywood star.

Nicol, who will rule on the case, agreed he was in breach but decided the trial should go ahead nonetheless. "I wanted to separate before things got out of hand". "Heard struck me", he said.

The Sun refutes Johnny Depp's allegations and claims it has proof of 14 alleged incidents of domestic violence.

"She is a highly complex and aggressive individual who suffered extreme mood swings, would provoke endless circular arguments, and fly into violent rages".

The messages were sent shortly before what Heard has claimed was a "three-day ordeal of physical assaults" in Australia, the court heard. Depp has always denied he committed he was guilty of domestic violence and is suing the paper's owners in London.

His lawyer added, "It will come as no surprise to hear that this is not a case about money. And the contemporaneous evidence fully supports that, as the court will hear".

In an April 2018 column, The Sun's executive editor Dan Wootton asked how Harry Potter author JK Rowling could be "genuinely happy" Mr Depp had been cast in the latest film in the Fantastic Beasts spin-off franchise despite the allegations by Ms Heard. Mr Depp has made that clear at various hearings. "It is about vindication".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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