Johnny Depp Loses Libel Case Against Tabloid That Accused Him of Abusing Amber Heard

Johnny Depp lost his libel case against a tabloid that accused him of abusing Amber Heard. According to ET, the judge in the case issued his ruling online, writing, "The Claimant has not succeeded in his action for libel. Although he has proved the necessary elements of his cause of action in libel, the Defendants have shown that what they published in the meaning which I have held the words to bear was substantially true."

Depp had brought the case against U.K. tabloid The Sun and executive editor Dan Wootton after he was referred to as "wife beater" in the periodical. This was in reference to his contentious relationship with Heard, his ex-wife. Heard's attorney, Elaine Charlson Bredehoft, has since issued a statement on the ruling, writing, "For those of us present for the London High Court trial, this decision and judgment are not a surprise." Bredehoft added, "Very soon, we will be presenting even more voluminous evidence in the U.S. We are committed to obtaining justice for Amber Heard in the U.S. Court and defending Ms. Heard's Right to Free Speech."

In comments following the last day of trial back in July, Heard spoke to reporters and said, "I traveled here to the U.K. to testify as a witness to assist the court. After obtaining a restraining order in 2016 and finalizing my divorce, I just wanted to move on with my life," she said. "I did not file this lawsuit. And despite its significance, I would have preferred not to be here in court."

Heard went on to say, "It has been incredibly painful to relive the breakup of my relationship, to have my motives, my truth, questioned. And the most traumatic, intimate details of my life with Johnny shared in court and broadcast to the entire world. I stand by my testimony. And I now place my faith in British justice."

While Depp's legal team does not yet appear to have issued a statement on the ruling, in his closing statement during the trial, attorney David Sherborne maintained Depp's innocence, and blasted the "reputation-destroying, career-ending" accusations. "He has never hit a woman in his entire life. Period, full stop, nada," Sherborne said of his client. "Acting as both judge and jury, the defendants plainly and squarely state that Mr. Depp is guilty [of a] series of serious and violent criminal offenses."