Johnny Depp’s lawyers argued to an appeals court Thursday that he didn’t get a fair trial after losing his sensational libel case against a British newspaper for calling him a “wife-beater,” according to a new report.
Attorney David Sherborne asked the panel to “set aside the judgment and order a new trial” after London High Court Judge Andrew Nicol ruled last month that The Sun’s headline was “substantially true” and the Hollywood superstar regularly roughed up Amber Heard, 34, and dismissed his claim, The Guardian reported.
The explosive trial that took place over the summer and featured Depp, 57, and Heard as witnesses — included allegations of everything from rampant drug use to a poop incident in the pair’s marital bed.
In court papers, Sherborne blasted the “Aquaman” actress’s testimony as unreliable and inconsistent, and criticized the judge for failing to scrutinize her account.
“[Nicol] concluded that the appellant was guilty of serious physical assaults without taking account of or even acknowledging that Ms. Heard had been untruthful in her evidence, without testing her account against the documentary evidence and the evidence of other witnesses, and without making any findings that he disbelieved those witnesses,” wrote Sherborne, according to The Guardian.
The lawyer called it a “very public judgment, reached by a single judge, making devastating findings of extremely serious criminal offenses” with “wider-ranging implications for the public at large,” the report said.
Depp sued The Sun and its executive editor over an April 2018 story that branded him a “wife-beater” based on Heard’s allegations.
Nicol found that 12 of the 14 incidents of domestic violence that The Sun relied on were “substantially true.”
At the time, Depp’s legal team called the decision “as perverse as it is bewildering.”
During the trial, the “Pirates of Caribbean” star testified that he was too much of a Southern gentleman to hit a woman — and it was actually Heard who was responsible for the violence in their marriage.
The final straw came after Heard or her pal defecated in his bed as a prank after the couple had a fight, he said. Photos of the offending feces were entered into evidence.
He portrayed Heard as a callous gold digger who’d fabricated the abuse allegations to ruin him.
The Sun’s star witness was Heard herself, who insisted she had loved her ex-husband but that he was a “hopeless addict” who would get so wasted that he couldn’t control his bladder or his temper.
He became such a “monster” during his drug and booze-fueled binges that he had nearly killed her during their five-year relationship, she said.
During a “three-day ordeal of assaults” in 2015, Depp lost his fingertip and used his severed digit to scrawl “I love you” in blood on a mirror, she told the court.
The warring Hollywood couple’s battle is far from over. Depp sued Heard for $50 million in Virginia over a Washington Post op-ed she penned about her experience as a victim of domestic violence.
She filed a $100 million countersuit, and the case is expected to go to trial next year.