Johnny Depp refused permission to appeal against loss of Amber Heard libel case

Johnny Depp has been refused permission to appeal the loss of his libel trial after a judge concluded that he assaulted his ex-wife Amber Heard. 

The actor, 57, had vowed to appeal the High Court Ruling after he lost his case against The Sun newspaper’s publisher, News Group Newspapers, who he sued for a headline that labelled him a ‘wife beater’. 

Depp had brought legal action after the article in 2018 called him a ‘wife beater’ after Heard claimed he had assaulted her during their marriage.

Mr Justice Nicol, who had dismissed Depp’s claim, also refused him permission to appeal against his judgment, saying: ‘I do not consider that the proposed grounds of appeal have a reasonable prospect of success.’

Last week’s ruling, which was made public on Wednesday, saw Mr Justice Nicol give Depp until December 7 to appeal directly to the Court of Appeal to overturn his judgment.

He also ordered the actor to make an initial payment of almost £630,000 to cover News Group Newspapers’ legal fees after he lost the case, with the remainder to be paid after a detailed assessment of the costs.

The main judgment, which was published earlier in November, said there was ‘overwhelming evidence’ that Depp did assault Heard on 12 of the 14 alleged occasions, putting her in ‘fear of her life’ during three of them. 

Depp had released a statement after the ruling, vowing to appeal. It read: ‘In light of recent events, I would like to make the following short statement.

‘Firstly, I’d like to thank everybody who has gifted me with their support and loyalty. I have been humbled and moved by your many messages of love and concern, particularly over the last few days.

‘Secondly, I wish to let you know that I have been asked to resign by Warner Bros from my role as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts and I have respected and agreed to that request.

‘Finally, I wish to say this. The surreal judgement of the court in the UK will not change my fight to tell the truth and I confirm that I plan to appeal.

‘My resolve remains strong and I intend to prove that the allegations against me are false. My life and career will not be defined by this moment in time. Thank you for reading.’

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