Nov 2, 2020

The Verdict: Johnny Depp Loses Defamation Suit Over “Wife Beater” Story

Johnny Depp has been embroiled in an ongoing series of legal lawsuits after he and Amber Heard divorced. The high profile case demands our attention, because regardless…this sets the tone for the privilege of Paparazzi continued harrassment.

Image Credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage

This Monday in the U.K. a judge delivered the much-anticipated opinion in the Johnny Depp defamation trial, which focused on the actor’s troubled relationship with ex-wife Amber Heard. The direct quote from the judge’s ruling runs as: “This claim is dismissed, the claimant has not succeeded in his action for libel. Although he has proved the necessary elements of his cause of action in libel, the defendants have shown that what they published in the meaning which I have held the words to bear was substantially true. I have reached these conclusions having examined in detail the 14 incidents on which the defendants rely as well as the overarching considerations which the claimant submitted I should take into account. In those circumstances, Parliament has said that a defendant has a complete defense. It has not been necessary to consider the fairness of the article or the defendants’ ‘malice’ because those are immaterial to the statutory defense of truth. The parties will have an opportunity to make submissions in writing as to the precise terms of the order which should follow my decision.”

Johnny Depp’s lawsuit against News Group Newspapers, publisher of The Sun, is part of the fallout from his split with Amber Heard, whom he was married to between 2015 and 2017. During the contentious divorce proceedings, which made worldwide headlines parties were split. This is newsworthy because the libel suits are becoming harder and harder to win by anyone in the public eye who is viciously attacked by slander based newspapers. What is the line? With the death of poular tv host Caroline Flack, from the pressure and abuse of slander papers earlier this year, you would think that judges would reign in the abusive tone of these papers. What will it take moving forward. We don’t believe in splashing out the personal lives of actors across print. But what limits are being placed on abusive revelations from papers bent on causing emotional trauma? Nothing apparently. If death doesn’t lead to reform, what will? We urge you to contact your local representatives whether youre in the US or abroad and ask for reform on what can be published, about the personal lives of public figures which doesn’t endanger public safety on the whole.