Johnny Depp may have lost the battle, but he still thinks he can win the war.
Depp is heading to the UK Court Of Appeal in a bid to overturn a High Court verdict last month that The Sun did not libel the Pirates of the Caribbean actor by describing him as a “wife beater.”
As per an application with the Court Of Appeal, spotted by Press Association, Depp will continue a legal wrangle that cost him his job on Warner Bros’ Fantastic Beasts franchise as he bids to quash allegations made by his ex-wife Amber Heard.
High Court judge Andrew Nicol said The Sun’s use of the phrase “wife beater” in a 2018 article was “substantially true.” His verdict also declared that Depp “did assault Ms Heard.” The justice denied Depp an appeal in his court, but gave the actor until December 7 to apply to the Court Of Appeal to fight his judgment.
The ongoing legal battle between former partners Johnny Depp and Amber Heard has been public and messy, to say the least. Both parties have alleged of abuse from the other, and they’ve been continuously caught in a legal battle, including charges of defamation and domestic abuse.
Depp has previously signaled his appeal plans. “The surreal judgment of the court in the UK will not change my fight to tell the truth and I confirm that I plan to appeal,” he said in a statement after exiting Fantastic Beasts.
The grounds for his appeal are not yet clear.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor’s next court battle is shaping up to be even more revelatory than the last, as it threatens to pull a number of other big-name celebrities into the fray. Depp is reportedly obligated to produce for the court “all responsive communications” with his former romantic partners, which THR reports includes Angelina Jolie, Keira Knightley, and Marion Cotillard. Ellen Barkin has also already given a deposition in the U.K. case, claiming that Depp threw a wine bottle in her direction when they were dating. However, according to the Daily Mail, Depp said Barkin is simply holding a “grudge” against him.
When Cotillard filmed Public Enemies with Depp in 2008, there were rumors that the pair flirted heavily on set and that their chemistry was palpable, despite neither confessing to a relationship, especially as Depp may have still been in a relationship with Vanessa Paradis at the time. Likewise, while there have been rumors about Jolie and Depp’s relationship for years, neither has ever confirmed anything romantic happened between them after meeting on the set of The Tourist, when Jolie was married. In fact, during filming, In Touch Weekly reported that the pair actually couldn’t stand each other. But in an interview that year, Depp also said of his costar, “She’s everything. She’s kind of a walking poem, Angelina is. She’s this perfect beauty but at the same time very deep, very smart, very quick, very clever, very funny, and also has a very perverse sense of humor.”
Knightley has also never confirmed a relationship with the actor, but they did work on the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise together over the course of a decade. If the two stars did date, you’d certainly never know it from Depp’s Evening Standard interview during which he said, “Kissing someone you are not romantically involved with is always awkward, but the fact that Keira is 20-something years younger than me made it infinitely more awkward. Still, she was a good sport about it and we did what we had to do.” As a side note, Heard is actually one year younger than Knightley.
And it’s not just dragging all of his famous exes into the trial that’s going to make this case more difficult than the last. THR points out that unlike the U.K. case, in this one, the burden of proof will be entirely Depp’s responsibility. To further complicate matters, Depp’s attorney Adam Waldman—whose former clients include Russian oligarchs and Julian Assange—has already been removed from the case for leaking confidential information to the press. The lawyer has since stepped away from his Twitter account as well, last tweeting on October 16, when he seemed to call out media bias against his client by conspiratorially connecting positive articles written by the same author about both Heard and Elon Musk’s current girlfriend, Grimes.
Depp’s defamation case is expected to go to trial in early 2021.