A London court has finally come to a decision as far as Amber Heard and Johnny Depp‘s libel case appeal is concerned—and let’s just say Heard is feeling pretty “pleased” about it.
On Thursday, March 25, London’s Court of Appeal issued a summary of their decision, which states that Depp’s application for a retrial in his libel case against The Sun‘s publisher has been denied. In November 2020, the Fantastic Beasts actor, 57, lost to News Group Newspapers, which owns the British paper, after suing them over an article they published in 2018 where he was described as a “wife-beater.” Depp and Heard, 37, divorced in 2017 shortly after his ex-wife obtained a restraining order against him on the basis of domestic abuse, though Depp has repeatedly denied abusing the Aquaman star.
A spokesperson for Heard told Yahoo Entertainment in a statement that the actress is “by no means surprised” by the court’s decision against Depp. “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,” the statement began.
“To reiterate, the original verdict was that Mr. Depp committed domestic violence against Amber on no fewer than 12 occasions and she was left in fear of her life. The verdict and lengthy, well-reasoned Judgment, including the Confidential Judgment, have been affirmed. Mr. Depp’s claim of new and important evidence was nothing more than a press strategy, and has been soundly rejected by the Court,” the spokesperson adds, referencing Depp’s latest attempt at an appeal on the grounds that Heard’s pledge to donate her $7 million divorce settlement was a “calculated and manipulative lie” meant to “subliminally” influence the judge’s ruling. As for Heard, her legal team hit back with evidence of the star’s donation records, indicating that she has “pledged to pay over 10 years.”
UK Judges Lord Justice Underhill and Lord Justice Dingemans ultimately decided to refuse Depp’s request for an appeal after concluding that his 2020 trial was “full and fair.” During the original trial, Lord Justice Andrew Nichols found it “substantially true” that Depp was violent toward Heard on multiple occasions. As such, judges Underhill and Dingemans suggested that Depp has no “real prospect” of finding success in a new trial.
An official summary of the court’s judgment reads, via People, “Following a hearing last week, the Court of Appeal has refused permission to Johnny Depp to appeal against the dismissal of his claim for libel against News Group Newspapers and one of its journalists. The claim was based on a story in The Sun alleging that he had beaten his former wife, Amber Heard. After a three-week trial in the High Court last year, in which both Mr. Depp and Ms. Heard gave evidence, Mr. Justice Nicol found that the allegation was true.”
“The Court in its judgment emphasized that an appeal against the decision of a trial judge on questions of disputed fact faced serious difficulties: of its judgment – and that none of the criticisms of the Judge’s reasoning or conclusion advanced on behalf of Mr. Depp had a real prospect of success,” the summary continued.