The ongoing Johnny Depp Sun libel trial against The Sun, and Dan Wootton, the paper’s Executive Editor, entered the final hearings stage today – but is the case actually about the Washington Post?
The 57-year-old actor is suing over an article The Sun published in April 2018 accusing him of being a “wife-beater,” but he’s appeared strangely disengaged throughout.
Maybe because it’s actually all about his upcoming defamation suit with Amber Heard and the Washington Post, which could make for a LOT of money if won.
Johnny Depp vs The Sun libel trial just a precursor
There’s been no real fresh evidence throughout the Johnny Depp Sun libel trial. Mainly just more recounts of the actor’s well-chronicled heavy drug-taking and drinking, repeated allegations of Depp’s domestic violence towards Heard, and yet more dirty laundry aired in public.
However, Depp plans to throw that dirty laundry onto turbo cycle, during his lawsuit against Amber Heard over a Washington Post op-ed, she wrote in 2018, according to a source. During the piece, Amber seemingly details the violence she alleges to have suffered at the hands of her then-ex-husband,
“The Sun libel trial is really just a precursor to the Washington Post defamation lawsuit against Amber,” the source tells CelebMagazine.”That’s the thing that wounded Johnny the most, and he plans to throw all the ammunition he can against Amber during that trial—and seriously hurt her where he thinks it matters most—in the pocket.”
Amber Heard’s Washington Post Op-Ed
Heard retracted the domestic violence claims she had made against Depp during their explosive break-up in 2015, allowing them to settle their divorce out of court with the agreement that Johnny would pay Amber a $7 million settlement—a large portion of which the actress donated to charity.
However, in 2018 Heard wrote a powerful op-ed piece for the Washington Post, during which Amber stated that she was a victim of domestic abuse and violence.
Even though Heard never actually mentioned Depp by name, it was a declaration of war, as far as he was concerned. Johnny immediately fired off a $50 million defamation case against Amber, claiming he was a victim of the #MeToo movement and denying all of her allegations. Amber shot back by demanding the trial be dismissed, but the judge ruled on Depp’s side and determined the train wreck would continue.
“Today’s decision leaves it to a jury to decide the meaning of Ms. Heard’s op-ed and the truth of what she said,” Roberta Kaplan, one of Heard’s legal team, told Deadline.
“As we have said, the courts have strong mechanisms in place for determining the truth. Here, we remain confident that Ms. Heard will prevail at trial when the jury is presented with evidence on the question that the Court identified – namely, whether ‘Ms. Heard was abused by Mr. Depp.’”
“Today’s Court ruling speaks for itself, Depp’s attorney responded. “Roberta Kaplan’s suggestion that losing their own motion to dismiss was what they had planned all along also speaks for itself. As for Amber Heard’s mythical ‘evidence’ that Ms. Kaplan confidently cites, we and reality both look forward to seeing it.”
That’s exactly what Depp and his team are doing right now in London mostly, preparing for the Washington Post defamation trial, as Heard shows her whole hand, and Depp sits back and observes, with his best poker face firmly in place.
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s toxic relationship
Depp and Heard met on the set of The Rum Diaries, and like most short term relationships, it was highly passionate, incredibly charged, and totally toxic.
The couple appeared to feed off each other’s penchant for drama, and so it was little surprise that their marriage was brutal and brief. They married in February 2015, produced an utterly bizarre video together for the Australian government (a classic #SorryNotSorrry moment–you can watch below), and three days after Depp’s beloved mom, Betty Sue Palmer, died, Heard filed for a divorce, along with requesting a restraining order.
In January 2017, the couple’s marriage was officially over, but the drama was far from finished.
Johnny Depp Sun libel trial draws to an end
The drama rages on, but the Johnny Depp Sun libel trial part is nearly over at least.
There’s been drug, violence, boozing, and accusations of thoroughly bad behavior thrown from each side.
“Some incidents were so severe that I was afraid he was going to kill me,” Heard told the packed London courtroom. “Either intentionally or just by losing control and going too far. He explicitly threatened to kill me many times, especially later in our relationship.”
Heard also detailed a Tokyo hotel incident in 2015 “that resulted in Johnny kneeling on my back and hitting me on the back of the head.”
Amber’s legal team went on to allege Depp was “controlling and verbally and physically abusive towards Ms. Heard, particularly when he was under the influence of alcohol and /or drugs.”
For his part, Depp repeated the claim he’s made previously, that Amber once left him a special gift in his bed—a hot steaming pile of human excrement.
Depp also accused Heard of “building a dossier” from early in their relationship as an “insurance policy for later.” And his legal team painted Heard as the abuser, not the victim.
“Johnny Depp is not and never has been a wife-beater,” lead counsel, David Sherborne claimed, going on to allege the Johnny Depp Sun libel trial is “not a case about money” but about “vindication.”
“It will come as no surprise to hear that this is not a case about money. It is about vindication,” Sherborne claimed. “Mr Depp has made that clear at various hearings. That is why he has come here – to clear his reputation.”
“Mr Depp did not attack Ms. Heard on these occasions or at all, Ms Heard has invented these stories of serious violence,” the barrister continued. “[Depp] is not and never has been a wife-beater. Indeed, he says that it was Ms. Heard who was the one who started physical fights, who punched or hit him (and there was little he could really do to stop this); she was the abuser, not him. And the contemporaneous evidence fully supports that, as the court will hear.”
Not about the money—at all
There’s no doubt Johnny Depp wants vindication, and some would even argue he also wants retribution—but his barrister’s claim that “It will come as no surprise to hear that this is not a case about money,” rings a teeny bit hollow.
Despite having earned an absolute fortune over the years, the actor is totally broke (well by movie star standards.) A Rolling Stone take-down of the actor, titled, “The Trouble with Johnny Depp” paints him as a habitually wasted and sad Bukowski / Peter Pan kind of figure, with an out of control spending habit, and the inability to take any responsibility for any of his actions.
“So, are you here to hear the truth?” Depp kicks off the Rolling Stone interview as his personal chef, Russell, brings him a glass of vintage red wine. “It’s full of betrayal.”
According to Rolling Stone:
It’s estimated that Depp has made $650 million on films that netted $3.6 billion. Almost all of it is gone. He’s suing The Management Group, run by his longtime business manager, Joel Mandel, and his brother Robert for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and fraud.
TMG fired back, filing a countersuit, which Rolling Stone claims:
Suggests that Depp has a $2-million-a-month compulsory-spending disorder, offering bons mots like “Wine is not an investment if you drink it as soon as you buy it.”
Depp was continuing to “concoct malicious and false allegations” against the company, according to TMG’s countersuit, because TMG had filed a private foreclosure notice on one of Depp’s properties, claiming Depp owes TMG $4.2 million in unpaid loans.
So yeah, we’re sure it has NOTHING to do with the money.
The Johnny Depp Sun libel trial is expected to end later this week. His $50 million Washington Post defamation suit against Heard is ongoing.
But, it’s NOT about the money folks—at all.