Amber Heard ‘pleased’ after Johnny Depp loses bid to appeal ‘wife beater’ ruling

Amber Heard has broken her silence after her ex-husband Johnny Depp lost his bid to appeal a libel case over an article which branded him a “wife beater”.

The Aquaman actress, 34, took to Twitter to post a statement that said she was “pleased” with the decision and that Depp can now be referred to as “categorically a wife beater”.

Depp, who vehemently denied claims he ever harmed Amber took News Group Newspapers (NGN), the publishers of The Sun, to court last summer.

After a three week trial at the High Court in July, Mr Justice Nicol found the claims in The Sun’s article were “substantially true”, according to the civil standard on a balance of probabilities.

The actor then filed an application for permission to appeal at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, with the aim of having the ruling overturned and a retrial ordered, but this was denied on Thursday.



Amber Heard, pictured, outside the High Court in London
Amber Heard, pictured, outside the High Court in London in July

One of the arguments put forward during the hearing involved Heard’s claim she donated her £5.5 million divorce settlement from Depp to charity, which his barrister called a “calculated and manipulative lie”.

Amber gave $100,000 (£72,000) to the hospital and $450,000 (£322,000) , plus $500,000 (£358,000) anonymously, to the ACLU, the court heard.

NGN’s lawyer said the new evidence Depp wanted to rely on “would not have had any impact” on the result of the libel trial.

In the statement, a spokesperson for Amber said: “We are pleased – but by no means surprised – by the Court’s denial of Mr Depp’s application for appeal.

“The evidence presented in the UK case was overwhelming and undeniable.



Amber posted this statement to Twitter
Amber posted this statement to Twitter

“To reiterate, the original verdict was that Mr Depp beat Amber on no fewer than 12 occasions and was left in fear for her life.

“Mr Depp’s confused recollections, caused by years of substance abuse, meant he was not a credible witness to his own actions.

“The verdict stands and British journalists can write – without fear of legal threats – that Mr Depp is categorically a wife beater.”

Johnny Depp’s rep declined to comment.

Rejecting Mr Depp’s bid to appeal against the ruling, Lord Justice Underhill, sitting with Lord Justice Dingemans, said on Thursday: “As we have said, it is not easy to persuade this court to overturn the findings of a trial judge on purely factual
questions.



Johnny Depp outside court in July
Johnny Depp outside court in July



The former couple in 2016
The former couple in 2016

“We do not believe that there is a real prospect of it being prepared to do so in this case.

“The hearing before (Mr Justice) Nicol was full and fair, and he gave thorough reasons for his conclusions which have not been shown even arguably to be vitiated by any error of approach or mistake of law.”

Depp’s UK lawyer, Joelle Rich of Schillings Partners, said: “The evidence presented at last week’s hearing (the appeal of Mr. Depp vs. News Group Newspapers LTD) further demonstrates that there are clear and objective reasons to seriously question the decision reached in the UK court.

“Mr. Depp looks forward to presenting the complete, irrefutable evidence of the truth in the US libel case against Ms. Heard where she will have to provide full disclosure.”



Depp lost his bid to appeal the ruling
Depp lost his bid to appeal the ruling

After last summer’s trial, Mr Justice Nicol ruled Depp assaulted Amber on 12 of the 14 alleged incidents of domestic violence that were relied on by NGN in its defence against the libel claim.

The judge also ruled with Heard being in “fear for her life” three times.

During the trial, Depp denied every being violent towards his former wife and claimed she was aggressive towards him during their relationship.

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