LONDON — Johnny Depp’s high-stakes libel case against a British tabloid that accused him of assaulting ex-necessary other Amber Heard wrapped up Tuesday in a London court, with the significant particular person’s attorney calling Heard “a compulsive liar” and claiming that Depp used to be the true victim of abuse in the connection.
The “Pirates of the Caribbean” significant particular person is suing News Neighborhood Newspapers, publisher of The Solar, and the newspaper’s government editor, Dan Wootton, on the Excessive Courtroom in London over an April 2018 article that known as him a “necessary other-beater.”
In closing arguments on the three-week trial, Depp’s attorney, David Sherborne, acknowledged the actor strongly denied „this recognition-destroying, career-ending allegation.”
“He has never hit a girl in his complete existence — length, elephantine stop, nada,“ Sherborne acknowledged.
WHAT IS THE JUDGE DECIDING?
Contemplate Andrew Nicol has retired to possess in thoughts his verdict, expected in just a few weeks.
Neither Depp nor Heard is on trial, although it has been straightforward to forget that at some level of a case that dissected their toxic celeb indulge in affair.
Depp is the claimant in the civil case, NGN and Wootton are the defendants and Heard is their main watch. To defeat Depp’s libel claim, the newspaper must persuade the capture that, on the balance of chances, its sage used to be correct.
NGN’s attorney, Sasha Wass, acknowledged in her summing-up that there used to be absolute self belief Depp “steadily and systematically abused his necessary other“ and so the “necessary other-beater” heed used to be justified.
But Sherborne acknowledged The Solar’s article gave the fraudulent impression Depp had been “tried, convicted and sentenced” for domestic violence, and compared him to frequent film magnate Harvey Weinstein, who has been jailed for sex offenses.
“Performing as each capture and jury, the defendants evidently and squarely teach that Mr. Depp is guilty (of a) series of necessary and violent criminal offenses,“ he acknowledged.
WHAT IS IN DISPUTE?
The two sides agree that the connection between Depp and Heard, which began after they met on the gap of 2011 comedy “The Rum Diary,” soured long outdated to they divorced in 2017. Texts, emails and recordings attest to the extra and extra bitter relations between Depp, now 57, and the 34-yr-veteran mannequin and actress.
But they disagree fully over who began and escalated their fights.
Heard claims Depp grew to develop to be accurate into a violent alter ego he known as “The Monster” below the affect of alcohol and medication. She alleges 14 separate incidents through which he hit, slapped and shoved her, pulled her hair and threw bottles at her “like grenades.”
Depp known as the allegations a “hoax” and claimed that Heard hit him, even severing the tip of his finger with a thrown vodka bottle.
Sherborne played the court an audio recording through which Heard says to Depp “I did now not punch you” but provides “I was hitting you.”
The attorney acknowledged that used to be „a easy, unambiguous, unequivocal admission of hitting him.”
“Mr. Depp, removed from being the domestic abuser, is the domestic abused,” he acknowledged.
Noting that Heard had bought a restraining expose against Depp in 2016 on the grounds of domestic violence, Sherborne acknowledged “she has space herself up ever since as an advocate of the #MeToo circulate.”
“Right here’s a large disservice to those exact victims, as successfully as the #MeToo circulate, for Ms. Heard to rely herself one in every of them,“ he acknowledged.
Sherborne accused Heard of incessantly altering her sage at some level of the trial, and acknowledged that at some level of a “moment of unscripted malevolence” in the watch box, she’d made up a rumor that Depp had pushed frequent female friend Kate Moss down some stairs.
The attorney acknowledged Heard used to be “a totally unreliable watch and albeit a compulsive liar — and I don’t state that lightly.“
WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?
The trial has provided an up-stop and typically unflattering watch at Hollywood stardom, revealing necessary sides of Depp’s existence of wealth, luxurious, emotional turmoil and substance abuse.
Depp acknowledged heavy drug exercise, saying he took marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy and magic mushrooms, and grew to develop to be addicted to opioid painkillers. But he denied medication made him violent.
The couple’s relationship disintegrated against a glamorous international backdrop. Depp’s non-public island in the Bahamas, a Los Angeles penthouse, a luxurious grunt and a non-public jet had been all locations for violence, in accordance to Heard.
Depp acknowledged in the watch box that he had made $650 million since he joined the lucrative “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise — and ended up $100 million in debt after his monetary advisers neglected to pay his taxes for 17 years. He acknowledged his necessary expenses incorporated $5 million to send the ashes of his literary hero, drug-fueled journalist Hunter S. Thompson, into space.
The couple’s relationship moreover left a costly straggle of destruction. Damage to a rented residence in Australia after one altercation used to be estimated at extra than $100,000. The couple’s downtown L.A. penthouse used to be trashed at some level of 1 other argument. At one level, excrement used to be left of their mattress — whether or now not by a canine or a particular person is disputed.
WHO ARE THE WINNERS AND LOSERS?
British libel legislation is extensively belief to be to prefer claimants over defendants, but Depp can also stop up a loser even supposing he wins.
Depp acknowledged he sued The Solar because his career had been harmed by Heard’s allegations. But the lawsuit has given the claims a large global audience.
“It nearly beggars belief that any individual rational has taken this case to court,” acknowledged Rate Stephens, a media attorney at lawful agency Howard Kennedy. „At some level, mud sticks.”
Heard moreover has had her persona puzzled and has been accused of fabricating proof. A #MeToo activist, Katherine Kendall, alleged that Heard appropriated a violent rape that took space to Kendall for her hang ends.
Heard has faced abuse from Depp fans on social media. A minute neighborhood of Depp supporters, who cheered and threw vegetation as he used to be pushed from court, booed as Heard made an announcement on the courthouse steps.
“I did now not file this lawsuit and, despite its significance, I’d hang most popular to now not be right here in court,“ Heard acknowledged. “It has been incredibly painful to relive the breakup of my relationship, to hang my motives and my truth puzzled, and the most annoying and intimate necessary sides of my existence with Johnny shared in court and broadcast to the total world.”
“I stand by my testimony and I now space my faith in British justice.”
WILL THE VERDICT BE THE END OF THE STORY?
No longer going. Depp is suing Heard for $50 million in Virginia over a Washington Put up sage about domestic violence. The trial is attributable to be held subsequent yr.
Stephens acknowledged that if Depp “loses in London, he’s nearly clear to lose that American case. So right here is in loads of ways a robe rehearsal for the 2nd case.”
Associated Press Author Danica Kirka contributed.