Johnny Depp’s lawyer says that Amber Heard told a “calculated and manipulative lie” when she claimed to have donated her $7m (£5.5m) divorce money to charity.
Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp lost his libel battle against his ex-wife and The Sun’s newspaper group NGN last year, with the High Court ruling that Mr Depp had assaulted the Aquaman actress and put her in fear for her life.
The article in question was published by The Sun in 2018, whereby the newspaper described Mr Depp as as “wife beater”.
Now, the 57-year-old is appealing to overturn the court’s damning decision, on the basis that he “did not receive a fair trial”.
During a hearing on Thursday, March 18, Mr Depp’s legal team claimed Mr Justice Nicol had “failed to examine the competing accounts of each incident, or to explain whether he found them proved and, if so, on what basis”, when he concluded that 12 of the 14 alleged incidents of domestic violence had occurred.
It was also claimed that Mr Depp’s lawyer Andrew Caldecott QC had “fresh evidence” that Ms Heard did not donate her divorce settlement money to charity.
Following her divorce from Mr Depp in 2016, Ms Heard said she would split the $7million settlement between the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the America Civil Liberties Union, an organisation which helps domestic abuse victims.
However, Mr Depp’s lawyers told the Court of Appeal that they have evidence to suggest the charities only received $450,000 (£322,000) and $100,000 (£72,000), respectively.
In written documents, Mr Depp’s team argued, “This fresh evidence goes to the heart of the matter. It demonstrates that Ms Heard was a dishonest witness.”
The significance of this claim relates to Mr Justice Nicol, who in November said: “Her [Heard’s] donation of the $7m to charity is hardly the act one would expect of a gold-digger.”
Mr Depp’s team have requested a retrial
Mr Caldecott QC also asked the court to permit a retrial, stating: “Ms Heard’s evidence was accepted too glibly, without proper examination.”
The Sun’s legal representative, Adam Wolanski QC, however, has said in written documents that “the evidence is not ‘fresh’ at all” and only shows that Ms Heard “has not yet finished making her pledged payments to the charities”.
He added, “The evidence would have had no impact on Ms Heard’s credibility had it been before the trial judge, since it does not demonstrate that Ms Heard or any of the respondents’ witnesses lied.”
The court also heard that a further $500,000 (£358,000) donation was made to the ACLU anonymously, although it was unclear whether the funds had come from Ms Heard herself.
Lord Justice Underhill and Lord Justice Dingemans have reserved judgement until a later date, with the former stating: “We are not going to reach an immediate decision today… we will make it very shortly.”
Neither Mr Depp or Ms Heard were present for today’s hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.
Image via Alamy