A British court on Thursday refused to allow Johnny Depp to appeal a judge’s ruling that he attacked ex-wife Amber Hurd, stating that his attempt to overturn the verdict was “no real chance of success” was.”
Two appeals court judges said the Hollywood star could not challenge the High Court’s rejection of her libel suit against the publisher of The Sun newspaper for labeling her a “wife beater” in an article.
The justices, James Dingemons and Nicholas Underhill, said that the earlier court hearings were “complete and impartial” and that the trial judge’s findings are “clearly shown by any error of approach or mistake of law.”
He concludes that “there is no real chance of success in the appeal and no other compelling reason to hear it.”
High Court Justice Andrew Nichol ruled in November that the allegations against Depp were largely true in an April 2018 article. “The judge ruled that the 57-year-old Depp assaulted the 34-year-old herd on a dozen occasions and made her fear of her life several times.
Depp’s lawyers argued in a court hearing last week that Depp had not received an impartial hearing and that the hearing was an unreliable witness. As proof of her unreliability, she claimed that Herd did not keep his promise to donate his $ 7 million divorce settlement.
The appeals judges said it was “pure speculation, and in our view very unlikely” that the fate of the divorce money influenced Judge Nicol’s decision.
“It is clear from reading the verdict as a whole that the judge based his findings on each event on his own detailed review of the evidence for each incident,” he said.
“In such an approach there was little need or room for the judge to give weight to any general assessment of Ms. Hurd’s credibility.”
Depp and Herd met on the set of the 2011 comedy The Rum Diary and married in February 2015 in Los Angeles. Herd, a model and actress, filed for divorce the following year and obtained a restraining order against Depp on grounds of domestic abuse. The divorce was finalized in 2017.
The High Court’s decision came after a three-week trial in July, in which Depp and Hurd reported conflicting accounts of their brief, temporary marriage, each accusing the other of being controlling, violent and deceitful.
Depp widely acknowledged drug problems during the trial, but accused Herd of misconduct and insisted that he was “not a violent man, especially with women.”
Hurd’s public relations firm said in a statement that it was “pleased – but by no means surprised” by the Court of Appeal’s decision.
The statement said, “Mr. Depp’s claim of new and important evidence was nothing more than a press tactic, and has been rejected by the court.”
Law firm Simmons Muirhead & Burton’s Jeffrey Smale, representing The Sun’s publisher news group Newspapers, said Thursday’s decision was “a victory for freedom of the press and for victims of domestic violence everywhere.”
Depp’s lawyers have said the allegations in The Sun caused “serious damage” to the actor’s reputation and “significant distress and embarrassment”. In the wake of the November court ruling, Depp said he was leaving the Fantastic Beasts film franchise following the resignation of Studio Warner Bros.
Depp is also suing for a $ 50 million hearing in Virginia over a Washington Post op-ed essay he wrote about domestic violence. The trial hearing in that case was recently deferred until April 2022.
Depp’s British lawyer, Jole Rich of Shillings Partners, said “there are clear and objective reasons to seriously question the decision in a UK court”.
“Mr. Depp looks forward to presenting complete, irrefutable evidence of truth in the US libel case against Ms. Hurd, where she must provide full disclosure,” Rich said.