Actor Johnny Depp loses libel suit over wife-beating allegations

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Actor Johnny Depp arrives at the High Court in London during his case against News Group Newspapers in July 2020.

Frank Augstein/AP

Actor Johnny Depp arrives at the High Court in London during his case against News Group Newspapers in July 2020.

Britain’s High Court has ruled against actor Johnny Depp in his libel action against the owner of the Sun tabloid over allegations that he was a “wife beater”.

In a ruling Monday, Justice Andrew Nicol said Depp has “not succeeded in his action for libel”.

Though Nicol said Depp had “proved the necessary elements of his cause of action in libel”, the defendants had shown that “what they published in the meaning which I have held the words to bear was substantially true”.

Depp sued News Group Newspapers, publisher of The Sun, and the newspaper’s executive editor, Dan Wootton, over an April 2018 article that accused him of assaulting his wife Amber Heard.

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