Johnny Depp is having another bad week. After his defeat in the British High Court last year, his legal team immediately announced plans to appeal against the judgment. Yesterday, however, his application for permission to appeal was denied by the UK Court of Appeal, who ruled that the judgment was “full and fair” and that it couldn’t “even arguably” be dismissed on an error of law.
Amber Heard‘s team quickly put out an official statement confirming that she sees this as a victory, saying:
“We are pleased — but by no means surprised — by the Court’s denial of Mr. Depp’s application for an appeal. The evidence presented in the UK case was overwhelming and undeniable. 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.”
It’s worth remembering that this legal case was brought by Depp and was intended to refute accusations that he was a drug-addled violent abuser and expose ex-wife Amber Heard as a fantasist. So far, this has backfired spectacularly, as not only was his dirty laundry extensively aired in public, but the judge found Heard’s testimony convincing.
But while Amber may have conclusively won the first round, the war is far from over. The next major battle will take place in Virginia, where Depp is suing Heard for $50M over a Washington Post op-ed she wrote about her experience as a victim of domestic violence. In response, she filed a $100 million counterclaim, also alleging defamation and that Johnny was responsible for a social media effort to tarnish her career by getting her booted off Aquaman 2 and sacked as a L’Oreal spokeswoman.
That’s scheduled for 2022 and Depp’s legal team say they’re looking forward to “presenting the complete irrefutable evidence of the truth in the U.S. libel case against Ms. Heard where she will have to provide full disclosure.” However, while UK libel law puts the burden of proof on the defendant, US libel laws puts it on the plaintiff, so the Pirates of the Caribbean star may face a tougher fight in Virginia than in London.
But whether you’re Team Johnny Depp or Team Amber Heard, settle in, because there’s a long road ahead.