After losing his high-profile libel case against ex-wife Amber Heard, in a ruling that maintained his wife-beater reputation and caused much damage to his acting career, Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp’s lawyers are now seeking a retrial. The Hollywood heartthrob’s team also noted that Heard’s previous claims that she had donated her divorce settlement to charity was a “calculated lie”.
Judge Andrew Nicol ruled last November that Depp had brutally assaulted Heard during their five-year relationship. He rejected Depp’s claims that the allegations were false as well as the statements he made about his former spouse being a “gold-digger”. Following the verdict, Depp was asked to step down from the much-coveted Fantastic Beasts franchise, the film spin-offs from the Harry Potter books and films.
Now, Depp’s legal team have asked the Court of Appeal for permission to challenge judge Nicol’s findings, stating the ruling was “plainly wrong”. They have demanded a retrial. Depp’s lawyers said they wanted to rely on new evidence that Heard had not given the $7 million from her 2016 divorce settlement to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA) as she had said. “This was a calculated and manipulative lie to show her as very virtuous and a victim,” said his counsel. Depp’s lawyer Andrew Caldecott told the court that Nicol had “too glibly” accepted Heard’s version of events and had not conducted a judicial fact-finding exercise correctly. When asked if he thought Nicol had believed Heard’s every word, Caldecott concurred.