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A-list actor refused permission to appeal libel ruling

By March 29, 2021Family, People

Johnny Depp has been refused permission by the Court of Appeal to challenge a High Court libel ruling involving an article in The Sun. 

A judge ruled that the appeal had “no real chance of success” and so the application was refused. 

The actor lost his libel case against The Sun last year over a 2018 article that claimed that he assaulted his ex-wife, Amber Heard. Over the course of a three-week trial in July 2020, during which both Depp and Heard gave evidence, Mr Justice Nicol found that allegations that Mr Depp had assaulted Ms Heard were “substantially true” and ruled in the publisher’s favour.

In a recent hearing, Mr Depp’s lawyers asked the court to consider new evidence, including the allegation that Ms Heard’s claim that she gave her divorce settlement money to charity was a “calculated and manipulative lie”.

However, Ms Heard’s lawyers claim that many of the donations were carried out across multiple charities and anonymously, and that the accusation was entirely baseless. 

Regardless, representatives for The Sun’s publisher News Group Newspapers said that the new ‘evidence’ that Mr Depp would want to rely on wouldn’t have made any impact on the original libel trial. 

The final conclusion from the court of appeal seemed to agree and its decision was that the grounds for appeal were primarily made up of a skeleton argument and oral submissions, and would not hold any real prospect of success.  

In this latest judgement by the Court of Appeal, the court said that the prior hearing was “full and fair”, and that Mr Justice Nicol “gave thorough reasons for his conclusions which have not been shown even arguably to be vitiated by any error of approach of mistake of law”. 

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