Johnny Depp has lost his libel case against the Sun newspaper over an article that called him a “wife beater”.
Mr. Depp, 57, sued the paper over the article which claimed he assaulted his ex-wife Amber Heard, which he denies. The Sun said the article was accurate.
Judge Mr. Justice Nicol said the Sun had proved what was in the article to be “substantially true”.
A spokesperson for the Sun thanked Ms. Heard for “her courage”.
The trial was heard over 16 days in July at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.
The judge said: “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.
“I have reached these conclusions having examined in detail the 14 incidents on which the defendants rely, as well as the over-arching considerations which the claimant submitted I should take into account.”
Mr. Depp’s case was brought against News Group Newspapers (NGN) – publisher of the Sun – and executive editor Dan Wootton over an article published on the Sun’s website on 27 April 2018.
The article had the headline: “Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?”
Evidence was heard from both Mr Depp and actress Ms Heard, 34, along with friends and relatives of the ex-couple, and several former and current employees.
In his closing arguments in July, Mr Depp’s lawyer David Sherborne said his client’s case was about “clearing his name”.
The lawyer for the Sun’s publisher, Sasha Wass QC, argued there is “no doubt that Mr Depp regularly and systematically abused his wife. The characterisation that he is a wife-beater is entirely truthful.”