Johnny Depp Wants Retrial In UK Libel Case Because Amber Heard’s Charitable Donation Was A ‘Manipulative Lie’
Johnny Depp just won’t quit when it comes to this libel case.
As you may know, the actor first went to court in the UK over a 2018 headline in the tabloid The Sun that described him as a “wife beater.” His legal team was tasked with proving the descriptor false, and long story short, they failed to do so. A lot of damning evidence surfaced about both Johnny and Amber Heard, but ultimately the judge ruled that the claim was “substantially true.”
Now, the 21 Jump Street alum has launched an appeal of the verdict, based heavily around the fact that his ex-wife didn’t actually donate her entire divorce settlement to charity, as she announced she would do. In new documents obtained by The Guardian, Johnny’s lawyer Andrew Caldecott QC called the supposed donation a “calculated and manipulative lie, designed to achieve a potent favourable impression from the outset.”
Referencing News Group Newspapers, The Sun’s publisher, Caldecott stated:
“They would have had no defence without Ms. Heard. There were many other witnesses, but she was on any view centre stage.”
As such, the lawyer argued, the would-be charity “tipped the scales against Mr. Depp from the very beginning,” we guess because it made her look better as a witness. Caldecott continued:
“We say it is a potentially subliminal message — ‘I want him to pay but I don’t want to keep a dime of his money because of the way I have been treated’ — and obviously in the context of this case it implies revulsion at the way he has treated her physically.”
He went on to say:
“[If] the truth about the charity claim emerged at the trial, it would have materially affected Mr. Justice Nicol’s consideration of Mr Heard’s evidence as a whole. … The evidence presented a wholly exceptional act of philanthropy, which would have deeply impressed any reasonable person. Her public statements expressly stated that the ACLU donation had victims of domestic violence specifically in mind. The subliminal message of the charity claim was in any event clear: Ms Heard would not wish to keep any of Mr Depp’s money, because he had subjected her to serious violence. The evidence presented, and was obviously intended to present, her in the strongest terms as both virtuous and a victim.”
Per The Guardian, one of the appeal judges, Lord Justice Underhill, undermined this argument by pointing out that Johnny’s team easily could have asked about the money during the actual trial, but failed to do so. However, according to Sky News, Underhill told the court on Thursday:
“We are not going to reach an immediate decision today… we will make it very shortly.”
The Aquaman actress’s team has claimed that paying legal fees while Johnny keeps her tied up in court has delayed her full charitable donations, but let’s be real, the whole situation does not look good for Amber. It may even prove the father of two’s accusations of being a “gold digger” correct. But crucially, it wasn’t Amber’s character on trial. (And FWIW, Amber did not come out of that trial looking like a saint, so doesn’t that kind of ruin the whole argument the appeal is making?)
Johnny’s only task was to disprove that he was a “wife beater,” and instead, the court found that 12 of 14 alleged assaults discussed were “proved to the civil standard.” Amber’s actions may be suspicious, but they’re ultimately immaterial to the matter at hand. At the end of the day, we just don’t see this appeal having a leg to stand on.
[Image via WENN/Instar]