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Thursday, April 22, 2021
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Court to announce whether Johnny Depp can appeal wife-beater libel ruling

Hollywood star Johnny Depp is due to find out on Thursday (March 24) if he can appeal against the ruling in his wife-beater libel case.

Depp’s lawyers attended a hearing at the Court of Appeal in London a week earlier on March 18, arguing that a London High Court decision to reject his libel claim against a tabloid which had labelled him a wife beater was “plainly wrong”, seeking permission to appeal it.

Judge Andrew Nicol ruled last November that Depp had violently assaulted his ex-wife Amber Heard during their tempestuous five-year relationship, at times putting her in fear for her life.

That decision came after three weeks of hearings where the court heard claims and counter-claims from Depp, 57, and Heard, 34, about violent outbursts which each accused the other of committing.

Depp’s lawyers asked the Court of Appeal for permission to challenge Nicol’s findings, arguing the judge had “failed to examine the evidence and the arguments with the care that the parties were entitled to expect and which a proper resolution of the issues demanded”.

Depp, star of films including “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Edward Scissorhands”, had gone to the London court to sue The Sun newspaper and one of its journalists over an article that stated he had been violent towards Heard.

Lawyers for News Group Newspapers, the publishers of the Sun, argued there were no grounds for an appeal.

Following Nicol’s verdict, seen as being highly damaging to his career, Depp was asked to leave the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise, the movie spin-offs from the “Harry Potter” books and films.

(Production: Hanna Rantala)

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