Hollywood star Johnny Depp has applied to the Court of Appeal in London to try to overturn a ruling that he assaulted his ex-wife Amber Heard, court documents showed on Wednesday. The “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor lost a high-profile libel claim against the publishers of The Sun newspaper over a 2018 article that branded him a “wife beater”. The 57-year-old actor was last month ordered to pay News Group Newspapers £628,000 ($840,000, 705,000-euro) in legal costs from the High Court battle earlier this year.
Judge Andrew Nicol, who heard the case, refused him grounds to appeal but said he could apply directly to the Court of Appeal to overturn his judgment, and had until December 7 to do so. Depp’s application is listed on a publicly available website of pending appeal cases. The exact grounds for appeal or when a decision will be made were not given. The actor took action against NGN and the author of The Sun article for claiming he repeatedly assaulted the 34-year-old actress and model during their turbulent relationship.
He strenuously denied the allegations but judge Nicol ruled that 12 of the 14 claims of domestic violence relied upon by the tabloid did occur and he put Heard “in fear for her life”. The case laid bare Depp’s chaotic lifestyle and battles with alcohol and drug addiction in detail. After the ruling in November, he said he had been asked to step down from his role in the “Fantastic Beasts” film franchise based on the book by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.
His lawyer called the High Court ruling “as perverse as it is bewildering” and that it would be “ridiculous” for him not to try to overturn it. Depp is also suing Heard in the United States over a 2018 Washington Post article in which she claimed to be a victim of domestic violence. – AFP