AMBER Heard was pictured smiling for the cameras just hours before her ex-husband Johnny Depp lost his libel case.
London’s High Court ruled today that The Sun was right to brand the Pirates of the Caribbean actor a wife-beater for his brutal attacks on Ms Heard.
In his ruling, Mr Justice Nicol dismissed Depp‘s defamation claim, saying The Sun’s publisher News Group Newspapers (NGN) had proved what was in the article to be “substantially true”.
Ms Heard was seen smiling and laughing with a friend during a hike in Los Angeles yesterday.
The pictures were taken hours before the bombshell verdict was delivered this morning.
Mr Justice Nicol threw out Depp’s defamation case after finding our story – which had always been staunchly backed by Ms Heard – was accurate.
The judge ruled Depp’s feelings towards his wife during their turbulent three-year relationship were summed up in a text where the actor revealed he had “no mercy” for her.
He also concluded Depp beat Ms Heard 12 out of 14 times – starting in 2013 when he slapped the actress when she made a comment about his tattoo.
He dismissed two allegations made by Ms Heard in 2014 and 2015 but said he couldn’t conclude she had been “untruthful” about it.
The 12 times Depp beat Amber
THE judge today ruled Depp attacked his ex-wife 12 times in their relationship. These were:
- In early 2013, Depp slapped and knocked Heard to the ground after she made a joke about his “Wino Forever” tattoo
- In March 2013, the actor flew into a rage while high on drugs and hit Amber so hard he made her lip bleed
- In June 2013, Depp attacked Amber in a trailer in Hicksville – throwing glasses at her and ripping her dress
- In May 2014, the actor screams at his wife on a private jet after taking drugs and boozing before kicking her in the back or bum
- In 2014, Depp grabs Amber by the hair, slaps her and pushes her to the ground on a detox trip to the Bahamas.
- In January 2015, the star again attacks Amber while on drugs – this time slapping her and pushing her to the ground. He then forced her tears as he stood over her yelling.
- In March 2015, Depp launches into a brutal three-day attack in Australia – leaving Heard with a broken lip, swollen nose and cuts all over her body. He trashed the house in the violent rampage and pushed Amber to the ground, choking her and spitting in her face as he made the star “fear for her her life”
- In March 2015 in the couple’s LA home, Depp grabbed Amber in front of her sister Whitney and repeatedly hit her
- In August 2015 on the couple’s honeymoon, Depp pushed Amber against a wall by grabbing her by the throat
- In December 2015, Depp chucked a glass decanter at Amber at their LA home in a drug binge. He also slapped her and dragged her through the apartment by her hair – ripping a chunk out. He then hit her again in the back of the head and headbutted her in the face and screamed ‘I will f***ing kill you’. Depp then pushed her face into a mattress and repeatedly punched her in the back of the head
- In April 2016 at Amber’s birthday party, Depp assaulted his wife after receiving ‘grim news’ about his finances.
- In May 2016, Depp chucked a phone at Heard – injuring her eye – before pulling her hair and striking her
The judge dismissed two allegations made by Ms Heard but did not conclude she had been untruthful. These were:
- In December 2014, Heard claimed Depp was “violent towards” her and later branded himself a “f***ing savage”
- In November 2015, she said Depp “threw her around the room” and pushed her over a chair
Over the course of their stormy marriage, the judge found Depp battered his wife after slipping into his “monster” persona when he binged on drink and drugs.
Depp had branded the Aquaman star’s allegations a “hoax” and accused her of attacking him as he gave evidence for more than 20 hours at the High Court.
The Alice in Wonderland star also tried to smear his ex-wife’s reputation – even making an extraordinary claim Ms Heard pooed in their marital bed after a fight.
But the judge today said The Sun’s publishers, News Group Newspapers (NGN), had proved what was in the article to be “substantially true”.
He also dismissed Depp’s description of his ex-wife as a “gold-digger”, saying: “I do not accept this characterisation of Ms Heard.”
Mr Justice Nicol added: “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.”
HOW YOU CAN GET HELP:
Women’s Aid has this advice for victims and their families:
- Always keep your phone nearby.
- Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
- If you are in danger, call 999.
- Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, reporting abuse without speaking down the phone, instead dialing “55”.
- Always keep some money on you, including change for a pay phone or bus fare.
- If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower-risk area of the house – for example, where there is a way out and access to a telephone.
- Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women’s Aid provides a live chat service available. from 10am to noon.
You can also call the freephone 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
Depp’s loss leaves his reputation in tatters, with his glittering silver screen career facing ruin.
And in another bitter blow, he could now face forking out millions of pounds in legal costs – including The Sun’s.
A spokesperson for The Sun said: “The Sun has stood up and campaigned for the victims of domestic abuse for over twenty years.
“Domestic abuse victims must never be silenced and we thank the Judge for his careful consideration and thank Amber Heard for her courage in giving evidence to the court.”
Following today’s sensational ruling, Ms Heard’s US lawyer Elaine Charlson Bredehoft said: “For those of us present for the London High Court trial, this decision and judgment are not a surprise.
“Very soon, we will be presenting even more voluminous evidence in the US.
“We are committed to obtaining justice for Amber Heard in the US court and defending Ms Heard’s right to free speech.”
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In July, Ms Heard described her pain as she was forced to relive “traumatic” details of her broken relationship with a monster who made her life a misery.
During the trial, the court heard how Depp had sent Ms Heard texts calling her “a fat ugly w***e”.
He also sent messages to Brit actor pal Paul Bettany, plotting to drown and burn her as a witch and “f**k her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure she’s dead”.