Home entertainment Domestic abuse charity hopes Johnny Depp verdict ‘sends powerful message’ as it’s ruled he assaulted Amber Heard on 12 occasions

Domestic abuse charity hopes Johnny Depp verdict ‘sends powerful message’ as it’s ruled he assaulted Amber Heard on 12 occasions

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Domestic abuse charity hopes Johnny Depp verdict ‘sends powerful message’ as it’s ruled he assaulted Amber Heard on 12 occasions


Johnny Depp lost his libel trial, which focused on allegations of domestic abuse against Amber Heard (Picture: Getty)

Domestic abuse charity Refuge has said it hopes the Johnny Depp verdict ‘sends a powerful message’ to survivors.

The Pirates of the Caribbean actor lost his libel case against News Group Newspapers (NGN), after The Sun newspaper referred to him as a ‘wife beater’ in one article about his ex-wife Amber Heard.

Justice Nicol, who handed down the ruling, found that 12 of the 14 alleged incidents of domestic violence against Heard did occur.

Depp, 57, has always denied all allegations of domestic violence, and has said he is planning to appeal the ruling.

Following the verdict, Lisa King, of domestic violence charity Refuge, said: ‘This is an important ruling and one which we hope sends a very powerful message: Every single survivor of domestic abuse should be listened to and should be heard.

‘No survivor should ever have her voice silenced.

Depp and Heard were married from 2015 to 2017 (Picture: Getty Images)

‘A common tactic used by perpetrators of domestic abuse is to repeatedly tell victims that no one will believe them – and to use power and control to try and silence them.

‘What we have seen today is that power, fame and financial resources cannot be used to silence women.

‘That is a welcome message for survivors of domestic abuse around the world.

‘We stand in solidarity with Amber Heard who has shown immense bravery in speaking up and speaking out.

‘One in four women will experience domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime – it is the most pressing issue facing women and girls.

The judge found that 12 of the 14 alleged incidents of domestic violence did occur (Picture: Getty Images for ZFF)

‘Domestic abuse is a crime and it is vital that it is treated with the seriousness it deserves.

‘If you need support Refuge is here for you. We will believe you and you will be heard. You can call us free, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247, or visit http://www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk. You are not alone.’

Three months after closing statements, the verdict of the trial was handed down, with Justice Nicol saying: ‘The claimant has not succeeded in his action for libel.

‘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.’

The judge continued: ‘I have reached these conclusions having examined in detail the 14 incidents on which the defendants rely as well as the overarching considerations which the claimant submitted I should take into account.

‘I have found that the great majority of alleged assaults of Ms Heard by Mr Depp have been proved to the civil standard.’

Heard’s counsel said the verdict is ‘not a surprise’ (Picture: Getty)

The judge said he was ‘not persuaded’ that an alleged ‘incident of violence’ in Los Angeles in December 2014 ‘constituted a physical assault of Ms Heard by Mr Depp’.

Justice Nicol also said that he could not rule that an alleged incident in LA in November 2015 had been proven because it was not put to Depp in cross-examination.

He added of the suggestion that Heard was a ‘gold-digger’: ‘I do not accept this characterisation of Ms Heard.’

Heard, 34, has reacted to the verdict with her US counsel, Elaine Charlson Bredehoft, telling Metro.co.uk in a statement: ‘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.’

Depp and Heard were married from 2015 to 2017.



Who to call if you need help

For emotional support you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline, run by Refuge and Women’s Aid, on 0808 2000 247.

If you are in an LGBT relationship you can also call the helpline run by Broken Rainbow and Galop UK, on 0300 999 5428 or 0800 9995428.

Male victims can call also the Men’s Advice Line on 0808 801 0327.


MORE : Johnny Depp’s lawyers plan on appealing ‘perverse’ verdict as he loses libel case against The Sun’s publishers


MORE : Amber Heard ‘not surprised’ as Johnny Depp loses libel case against The Sun’s publishers over wife beater article





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