Johnny Depp is seen arriving at pal's Surrey home after libel trial
Johnny Depp is pictured arriving at a friend’s home in Surrey following his explosive £1 million libel trial where he faced off against ex-wife Amber Heard
- American Johnny recently faced off against his ex-wife Amber Heard in a high-profile libel trial in London, as he fought accusations of being a ‘wife beater’
- The weeks-long trial saw multiple shocking claims levelled from both sides, with the headline-making proceedings coming to an end at the start of last week
- A verdict on the trial is not expected to be announced until early September
Johnny Depp was pictured arriving at a friend’s Surrey home on Sunday, days after the end of his explosive libel trial.
The 57-year-old actor was seen rock music photographer Ross Halfin as he arrived at the abode, after checking out of his London hotel.
Pirates Of The Caribbean star Johnny stepped out in his signature eclectic style, wearing a white brimmed brown hat with a bandanna and cuffed jaded jeans.
Visit: Johnny Depp was pictured arriving at a friend’s Surrey home on Sunday, as he paid the rocker a visit following the end of his explosive libel trial
Sporting a camouflage-print jacket complete with a patch featuring the image of Argentine Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara, he added several chains and rings.
As he emerged from a large chauffeur-driven vehicle, the Kentucky native appeared to have his hands full, juggling baggage and a camera.
Wearing a pair of tinted glasses, the Hollywood superstar chatted outside the property before making his way inside his friend’s property.
Battle: The actor had faced off in court against his ex-wife Amber Heard for weeks during his historical libel trial, in which he fought accusations of being a ‘wife beater’. Pictured in 2015
Embrace: The 57-year-old actor was seen embracing rock photographer Ross Halfin as he arrived at the abode, after checking out of his London hotel
Eclectic style: Pirates Of The Caribbean star Johnny stepped out in his signature eclectic style, wearing a white brimmed brown hat with a feather and cuffed jaded jeans
Boots: The Hollywood star teamed his casual ensemble with a pair of well worn black boots
Johnny’s visit to his friend’s home comes less than a week after his ex-wife Amber, 34, fought back tears as she delivered an emotional closing statement, following what’s been dubbed ‘The Trial of the Century’.
She said: ‘I travelled to the UK to testify in these proceedings as a witness to assist the Court.
‘After obtaining a restraining order in 2016 and finalising our divorce, I wanted to move on with my life.
‘I did not file this lawsuit and, despite its significance, I would have preferred not to be in court.
Moving: Last Tuesday, his ex Amber fought back tears as she delivered an emotional closing statement, telling onlookers it’s been ‘incredibly painful’ to relive her break-up from Johnny
‘It has been incredibly painful to relive the break-up of my relationship, have my motives and my truth questioned, and the most traumatic details of my life with Johnny shared in court and broadcast around the world.
Amber Heard’s statement in full
I travelled here to the UK to testify as a witness to assist the court.
After obtaining a restraining order in 2016 and finalising my divorce, I just wanted to move on with my life. I did not file this lawsuit and, despite its significance, I would have preferred not to be here in court.
It has been incredibly painful to relive the break up of my relationship, have my motives and my truth questioned, and the most traumatic and intimate details of my life with Johnny shared in court and broadcast around the world.
I stand by my testimony and I now place my faith in British justice.
Although I did not bring this lawsuit, I am aware of the precious resources being consumed by his litigation and will be glad to see those resources redirected to more important legal matters delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
I appreciate the dedication, the hard work and support of the defence legal team, as well as my UK and US lawyers.
I also wish to extend my thanks to the very diligent and kind court staff and the police, who have been so sensitive in ensuring my safety and protection so that I could testify in safety.
And finally, my heartfelt thanks for the tremendous outpouring of support and the many messages I have received from around the world. You have given me so much strength and I send it back to you.
‘I stand by my testimony in court and I now place my faith in British justice.
‘Although I did not bring this lawsuit, I am aware of the precious resources being consumed by his litigation and will be glad to see those resources re-directed back to more important legal matters already delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
‘I appreciate the dedication, hard work and support of the defence legal team, as well as my UK and US lawyers.
‘I also wish to extend my thanks to the very kind and diligent court staff and the police, who have been so sensitive in ensuring my protection so that that I could testify in safety.
‘And finally, my heartfelt thanks for the tremendous outpouring of support and the many messages I have received from around the world. You have given me so much strength and I send it back to you.’
As Amber turned to go back into court, boos rang out from Depp’s supporters who have been outside the High Court in large numbers on the final day of the 16-day hearing.
The Pirates of the Caribbean star received a rapturous welcome upon his arrival this morning and signed autographs as dozens of fans made their presence known, armed with flowers, gifts and banners reading: ‘Justice for Johnny’ and ‘Abuse has no gender. Men can be victims too.’
The end of his sensational libel trial against The Sun newspaper will also have a major impact on another high-profile case the Hollywood star is bringing against ex-wife in the US.
Judgement in the High Court trial in London is not expected to be delivered by Mr Justice Nicol until late September, giving Johnny’s lawyers enough time to prepare for his US defamation case against Amber, which is expected to get underway next January.
In the US proceedings, Depp is suing Heard for $50 million over a 2018 article she wrote in the Washington Post in which she describes herself as being a domestic abuse survivor.
Although Depp is not specifically named, his lawyers allege that it is obvious that the article refers to him and labels the actor of being a domestic abuser.
Screen star: Johnny raised a clenched fist above his head as he departed the High Court in London for the final time. He received raucous cheers from supporters gathered outside
Words: Amber’s statement in full delivered on the steps of London’s Royal Courts of Justice
Drama: Hollywood screen star Johnny is also bringing a US defamation case against Amber, which is expected to get underway next year
The three-week libel trial against The Sun in London, in which Depp hopes to win £350,000 in damages, has widely been seen as a ‘dress rehearsal’ for the US hearing, which will take place in Virginia.
It will feature all the same witnesses that appeared on behalf of either Depp or Heard in London and is also based on the same bombshell evidence that was produced at the High Court over the past few weeks.
The US hearing will also result in Depp and Heard returning to the witness box again to divulge details of their stormy relationship, which have already generated widespread publicity around the world.
Defamations from the former Hollywood couple and their witnesses have already been filed in the US, with the war of words between their respective camps already underway.
Hotel: Sources tell MailOnline that Johnny had checked out of his London hotel earlier that day
Revolutionary: The actor sported a camouflage-print jacket complete with a patch featuring the image of Argentine Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara
Hands full: As he emerged from a large chauffeur-driven vehicle, the Kentucky native appeared to have his hands full, juggling baggage and a camera
Chill: The star appeared relaxed and happy as he made his way to the home to see his friends
Depp’s defence in the US also mirrors the one that has featured at the High Court; that it was Heard and not him who was physically abusive in their relationship and that he is the victim of a ‘hoax’ orchestrated by her and her associates.
But legal sources have indicated that a potential ’round two’ of the Depp-Heard now depends on the outcome of the London libel hearing and could be settled even before it comes to court, depending on Justice Nicol’s judgement.
On the final day of the blockbuster trial, Depp’s lawyer laid into ‘compulsive liar’ Amber and claimed her evidence has been littered with inconsistencies.
Johnny was present to hear his barrister David Sherborne deliver his final submission, following a trial which has gripped the showbiz world with sensational details of his marriage to the Aquaman actress.
Outpouring; The star received an outpouring of support from a number of fans during the trial
Hug: Johnny and Ross looked elated to see each other as they embraced outside the home
Shocking: During his libel trial, Johnny and Amber levelled shocking allegations at each other
Union: Johnny and Amber accused each other of violence acts during their tumultuous union
Amber was accused of being a ‘compulsive liar,’ which, the court was told, calls into question her evidence and claims that she was a victim of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of Depp.
The court heard a recording, which was also played earlier in the trial, in which she admits to hitting him, as Depp’s legal team alleged Heard has a ‘propensity for violence’.
Depp is suing News Group Newspapers (NGN), publishers of the Sun and executive editor Dan Wootton over a 2018 article which referred to him as a ‘wife beater’.
It appeared under the headline ‘Gone Potty How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife-beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?’
Amber and Johnny met on the set of the 2011 comedy ‘The Rum Diary’ and married in Los Angeles in February 2015. Heard filed for divorce the following year, and the divorce was finalised in 2017.
Embattled: The court was told yesterday that Depp’s ‘deep misogyny’ was at the root of his anger that manifested as violence towards Amber (picturedy)
Johnny Depp v The Sun: Key issues in libel trial at London’s High Court
These are the key issues the trial judge, Mr Justice Nicol, has to determine.
– Whether the April 2018 article by the tabloid’s executive editor Dan Wootton was defamatory of Depp. Under the Defamation Act 2013, a statement is not defamatory unless its publication causes ‘serious harm to the reputation of the claimant’.
– The Sun’s publisher, News Group Newspapers (NGN), is defending the claim and relying on a defence of truth. It is for the publisher to prove that the allegations made in the article are ‘substantially true’.
– The meaning of the article, which is defined as what it would mean to the ‘reasonable reader’, will have to be determined by the judge. But NGN’s lawyers say the differences between the rival meanings contended by each side are ‘not significant’ and the outcome of the case will therefore not turn on meaning.
– Depp’s case is that the article bore the meaning that he was ‘guilty, on overwhelming evidence, of serious domestic violence against his then wife, causing significant injury and leading to her fearing for her life, for which he was constrained to pay no less than £5 million to compensate her, and which resulted in him being subjected to a continuing court restraining order; and for that reason is not fit to work in the film industry’. He strenuously denies the allegations and claims he ‘has never hit or committed any acts of physical violence against Ms Heard’.
– The meaning which NGN will seek to prove is true is that the Claimant beat his wife Amber Heard, causing her to suffer significant injury and on occasion leading her to fearing for her life. They rely on 14 separate allegations of violence and allege more generally that Depp was ‘controlling and verbally and physically abusive’ towards Ms Heard, particularly when he was under the influence of alcohol and or drugs, throughout their relationship. NGN’s lawyers say an important issue for the judge to decide will be what substances Depp was using during the relationship. They contend that he frequently lost control of himself, partly because of his heavy drug and alcohol use, and also that his memory has been impaired by his heavy use of drugs.
– If Depp wins his case, the judge will have to decide what level of compensation he should receive for the harm to his reputation and for the ‘distress, hurt and humiliation caused’. There is an upper limit on general damages for libel of £300,000 to £325,000. However, if he succeeds, Depp may also be entitled to aggravated damages. The actor is also asking for a final injunction against NGN, who his legal team say ‘have retained the article on their website and maintained their allegation to the bitter end’.
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