Shortly after Johnny Depp lost his libel case against U.K.'s The Sun, Amber Heard's lawyer spelled out the importance the verdict will have on the former couple's ongoing U.S. defamation case.
Depp, 57, had sued The Sun for an article describing him as a "wife beater" due to domestic violence allegations against him during his marriage to Heard, 34. After both actors testified alongside several witnesses and experts over the summer in London, presiding judge Mr. Justice Nicol ruled that The Sun's article was "substantially true" in a written statement delivered through the UK Ministry of Justice.
Heard's U.S. counsel, Elaine Charlson Bredehoft, said that the court's ruling will now strengthen their determination to fight Depp's $50 million defamation lawsuit against Heard in the US, which was recently delayed to May 3, 2021, by Circuit Chief Judge Bruce White in Fairfax County, Virginia.
“For those of us present for the London High Court trial, this decision and Judgment are not a surprise," said Bredehoft in a written statement.
“Very soon, we will be presenting even more voluminous evidence in the U.S. We are committed to obtaining Justice for Amber Heard in the U.S. Court and defending Ms. Heard's Right to Free Speech.”
In a lengthy judgment that detailed 14 separate incidents that came to light during a roller-coaster 16-day trial at the Royal Courts of Justice in July, the judge said that "the Claimant (Depp) has not succeeded in his action for libel."
In response to Monday's ruling, lawyers for The Pirates of the Caribbean star, 57, described the decision "as perverse as it is bewildering" and vowed to appeal the decision.
"Most troubling is the Judge’s reliance on the testimony of Amber Heard, and corresponding disregard of the mountain of counter-evidence from police officers, medical practitioners, her own former assistant, other unchallenged witnesses and an array of documentary evidence which completely undermined the allegations, point by point," said attorney Jenny Afia in a written statement.
“All of this was overlooked. The judgment is so flawed that it would be ridiculous for Mr Depp not to appeal this decision. In the meantime, we hope that in contrast to this case, the ongoing libel proceedings in America are equitable, with both parties providing full disclosure rather than one side strategically cherry-picking what evidence can and cannot be relied upon.”
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