In late March 2021 Johnny Depp was refused permission to appeal against the decision of Mr Justice Nicol ruling that he assaulted his ex-wife Amber Heard, lending credence to The Sun’s defamatory comment accusing the US actor labelling him a “wife beater”

Johnny Depp v News Group Newspapers
Johnny Depp Pirates of the Caribbean star and one of the worlds all time greatest actors goes to battle with the real pirates who have hijacked the UKs legal system Laws and justice is far departed

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Intelligence UK International S.A was commissioned to complete an independent review into the conduct of the judiciary in Johnny Depp’s legal case against The Sun’s owners, News Group Newspapers Ltd. On this page you will find all the case detail, transcripts from the 16-day libel trial in the High Court of Justice and the decisions of both the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

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Johnny Depp supporters outside court room in Johnny Depp v The Sun Newspapers case. Johnny Depp v News Group Newspapers
LONDON ENGLAND JULY 28 2020 Beautiful female supporters holding a banner for Johnny Depp fan outside the High Court in London during his Court case against The Sun Newspaper 265


It is our view that the UK courts have denied Johny Depp the right to a fair and unbiased trial. Over the coming weeks we report on our findings. Be sure to stay tuned by signing up for our once-weekly newsletter updates.

Transcripts of the full trial

Simply click on the links to download or read in browser:

Johnny Depp v News Group Newspapers. Mr Justice Nichol.

Excerpts and the judgment of Mr Justice Nicol

Johnny Depp v News Group Newspapers
London UK July 15th 2020 Johnny Depp arrives at the Royal Courts Of Justice in London for day court case against The Sun newspaper part of News Group Newspapers

Intelligence UK summary of the Nicol J judgment and excerpts

Mr Justice Nicol dismissed Mr Depp’s claim, citing that News Group Newspapers Ltd statement in The Sun describing the actor as a “wife beater” was “substantially true”. Dismissing JD’s libel case, Nicol J found that 12 of the 14 alleged incidents of domestic violence did occur.

The legal position:

A libel / defamation claim becomes a tort resulting an an action for damages where it has caused, or is likely to cause, serious harm to the Claimant’s reputation (See: section 1 of the Defamation Act 2013). The burden of proof to demonstrate serious harm resulting in damages lays with the Claimant and the statement must be substantially untrue.

The Defendant relied on the statutory defence of s.2 of the Defamation Act 2013, requiring them to prove, on the balance of probabilities that the statements conveyed in the article were “substantially true”. If that burden of the defence can be reached, the Defendant has a complete defence to the libel action.

Nicol J recognised Mr Depp’s claim has a reasonable prospect of success and that he had proven the essential ingredients in relation to serious harm, however, the alleged success of the truth defence was found to have constituted a complete defence.

In summary, we refer to the 585 paragraph, 129-page judgment of Monday 2nd November 2020.

Johnny Depp v News Group Newspapers
Amber Heard attends the screening of Girls Of The Sun Les Filles Du Soleil during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 12 2018