Johnny Depp Is Seeking a Retrial for His Libel Case
Johnny Depp has requested a retrial in his libel case against The Sun.
On Thursday (March 18), a hearing for the requested retrial took place at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Neither Depp nor his ex, Amber Heard, was present at the hearing.
“We are not going to reach an immediate decision today but we will make it very shortly and it will be handed down in writing,” Lord Justice Underhill of the U.K. Court of Appeal said, per Deadline.
Depp's decision to seek a retrial came about after Depp's attorney brought up Heard's delay to make a number of previously promised charitable donations. Heard has not yet made her full, promised donations to the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
During the original trial in the U.K. High Court, Heard reportedly stated that she donated the full divorce settlement amount of $7 million to the two charitable organizations. During the trial, News Group Newspapers used the donations as evidence that Heard could not be labeled as a "gold digger."
However, in January, The Daily Mail published documents from The Children's Hospital of Los Angeles that revealed Heard only donated $100,000 instead of the promised $3.5 million. The hospital allegedly wrote a letter to Heard in June 2019 "to ask if the pledge will not be fulfilled." The ACLU has not released any materials regarding the actor's donations.
Heard's U.S. attorney, Elaine Bredehoft, admitted that her client did not yet make the full donations but plans to in the future. Bredehoft shared that the delay is due to the expenses of ongoing litigation.
“Amber has already been responsible for seven figures in donations to charitable causes and intends to continue to contribute and eventually fulfill her pledge,” Bredehoft said in a statement to Deadline. “However, Amber has been delayed in that goal because Mr. Depp filed a lawsuit against her, and consequently, she has been forced to spend millions of dollars defending Mr. Depp’s false accusations against her.”
In November 2020, Depp sued News Group Newspapers for a 2018 article in The Sun which labeled Depp a "wife beater." High Court Justice Andrew Nicol originally ruled in the first trial that the defendants (News Group Newspapers) proved that the "wife beater" claim was "substantially true." Depp is now hoping to get the verdict overturned.