Jul 07, 2020 02:01 PM EST

Johnny Depp Begins Libel Trial in London

Johnny Depp Begins Libel Trial in London

Johnny Depp has begun what will be a three week trial in London against British newspaper The Sun. Depp has a libel suit against the paper and is looking to clear his name from what he says are erroneous reports about him being a wife abuser.

In opening remarks made by his lead counsel David Sherborne, Depp's ex-wife, Amber Heard, has "invented these stories of serious violence". They also state that she was abusive towards Depp. The Sun ran a story about these allegations, openly calling him a "wife-beater". This was after Heard had made her claims.

Sherborne, in his written statement, said that the court needs to decide "whether the allegations published by the defendants are true." He went on to say, "If it finds that they are untrue, as we say they are, then the court will proceed to make an award of damages."

"It will come as no surprise to hear that this is not a case about money. It is about vindication. Mr. Depp has made that clear at various hearings. That is why he has come here - to clear his reputation," said Sherborne.

Sherborne says that the article written by Dan Wootton for The Sun claimed that there was ‘overwhelming evidence' that the allegations were true, but Depp's team has a different story.

"Ms. Heard has invented these stories of serious violence," said Sherborne. "He (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."

News Group Newspapers defends their use of the word "wife beater" saying that "the defendants will demonstrate that the description of Mr. Depp as a ‘wife beater' is entirely accurate and truthful."

They will show that the sting of the articles is correct - namely that the claimant beat his wife Amber Heard, causing her to suffer significant injury and on occasion leading to her fearing for her life.

"This defense is supported by witness testimony, medical evidence, photographs, video, audio recordings, digital evidence, and Mr. Depp's own texts."

More to come...


 

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