Johnny Depp will find out next Monday if he has succeeded or failed in his historic libel battle with Rupert Murdoch-owned British tabloid newspaper The Sun.
Dubbed the biggest English libel trial of the 21st century, a UK High Court judge is expected to hand down a ruling on November 2 at 10AM, according to court reporters, in what could be a reputation-defining moment for Depp.
It follows his decision to sue The Sun and parent company News Group Newspapers after the publication claimed in an April 2018 article that he was a “wife beater” during his relationship with Amber Heard.
The Pirates Of The Caribbean star and his ex-wife endured a bruising 16-day trial in July, during which some of the darkest moments of their short-lived marriage were picked over by the court. Here’s a recap.
Both were present for every day of the proceedings, as Heard presented 14 allegations of abuse against Depp. Those formed the backbone of News Group Newspapers’ defense as it sought to prove its allegation.
Depp, meanwhile, sought to pull apart the assault claim, including calling on witness statements from his former lovers Winona Ryder and Vanessa Paradis.
When Justice Nicol delivers his verdict, it will come down to this: If the judge rules in Depp’s favor, it could effectively exonerate him from claims that he assaulted Heard. If the decision goes against the actor, he will ultimately be deemed a “wife beater” in an English court of law.
But it’s unlikely to be the end of the matter. Depp is also suing Heard for $50M in Virginia over a Washington Post column she wrote about domestic violence. The actor has been ordered to sit for deposition next month by Fairfax County VA Circuit Court Chief Judge Bruce White.
Depp and Heard met on the set of 2011 comedy-drama The Rum Diary and began living together in 2012 before marrying in Los Angeles in February 2015. They split in 2016.