Hollywood actor Johnny Depp lost the award to overturn a damn High Court ruling that found he had attacked his ex-wife Amber Heard and left her in fear for her life.
After a three-week trial in July last year, Mr. Justice Nicol dismissed the defamation lawsuit against the Sun publisher, finding that the column published in April 2018 calling Depp a “hitting wife” was “basically true.”
The judge who convicted Depp, 57, attacked Heard, 34, a dozen times and put him in “fear for his life” three times.
The actor asked the appellate court to grant him a rebuttal of the verdict, with the aim of annulling his findings and ordering a retrial. However, after a hearing last week, the court on Thursday denied Depp permission to appeal.
Lord Justice Underhill and Lord Justice Dingemans emphasized that the appeal against the decision of the first instance judge on the issues of disputable facts faced serious difficulties.
Part of Depp’s argument relied on further evidence that Heard had not yet given most of the $ 7 million (£ 5.1 million) she received in the divorce settlement, which she said she had donated to charity.
At last week’s hearing, Depp’s attorney, Andrew Caldecott QC, said the claim was a “calculated and manipulative lie,” which gave Heard “a significant boost to her credibility as a person,” and “tipped the scales against Mr. Depp from the start.”
But Lord Justice Underhill said: “We do not accept that there is any basis for believing that the judge could have been influenced by any such general perception on which Mr. Caldecott relies.
“First of all, it does not refer to her charitable donation at all in the context of its main findings.
“On the contrary, he mentions it only in a very specific context … and after he has already made his conclusions regarding 14 incidents.”
Underhill concluded the verdict by saying, “We reject Mr. Depp’s request to admit additional evidence in support of his proposed appeal and conclude that the appeal has no real prospect of success and that there is no other compelling reason to be heard. Accordingly, we refuse permission to appeal. ”
Depp’s lawyer from the UK, Joelle Rich from Schillings Partners, said the evidence presented at last week’s hearing “further shows that there are clear and objective reasons for seriously questioning the decision made in the UK court”.
She said Depp is looking forward to “presenting complete, irrefutable evidence of the truth in the American defamation case against Heard, where he will have to provide full disclosure.”
A spokesman for Heard said: “We are pleased – but not at all surprised – by Mr Depp’s rejection of the request. The evidence presented in the United Kingdom case was vast and undeniable.
“To reiterate, the original verdict was that Mr. Depp committed domestic violence against Amber on at least 12 occasions and remained in fear for his life.
“The verdict was upheld and a long, well-reasoned verdict, including a confidential verdict. Mr. Depp’s claim about new and important evidence was nothing but press strategies and the court resolutely rejected it. “
A Sun spokesman said: “Sun had full confidence that this request for approval would not be approved and is satisfied with today’s decision.
“The case had a full, fair and proper hearing, and today’s decision confirms the courageous evidence that Amber Heard gave to the court about domestic violence, despite repeated attempts to undermine and silence her. The Sun will continue to advocate for a campaign for victims of domestic violence. “