Johnny Depp and Amber Heard head to court for libel trial over ‘wife beater’ article

The Hollywood stars arrived at London's High Court this morning

Credit: Dave Bedrosian/Future Image/

Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard have arrived in court today to begin proceedings in his libel case against The Sun – over an article which labelled him a “wife beater”.

The Hollywood stars arrived at London’s Royal Courts of Justice this morning ahead of the trial, which is expected to last 15 days.

Johnny is suing The Sun’s publisher, News Group Newspapers, over an article published in April 2018 – which claimed the star was “verbally and physically abusive” towards his ex-wife.

The Pirates of the Caribbean star has continuously denied allegations that he was abusive towards Amber, who filed for divorce in 2016.

Credit: Lia Toby/

Prior to today’s proceedings, a representative for Amber stated the actress “never asked for these proceedings to take place.”

“Amber obtained a domestic violence restraining order against Depp back in 2016 and has tried to moved on with her life,” they said.

“It is Johnny Depp who brought these proceedings against a British newspaper and has dragged her to to the UK courts to give evidence on some of the most distressing moments of her life.”


Johnny’s former partners Vanessa Paradis and Winona Ryder are expected to give evidence in the trial via video link.

Both claim the actor was never violent towards them during their relationships.

The court will also hear from friends of Amber, who claim they were present during the alleged abuse.


Amber obtained a restraining order against her ex-husband in LA shortly after the couple split in 2016.


The article in question was written in April 2018 by The Sun’s executive editor Dan Wootton.

He asked how JK Rowling could be “genuinely happy” that Johnny had been cast in the Fantastic Beasts franchise – despite claims he had been abusive towards Amber.


Johnny believes the article was an attempt to “finish his career” by quoting victims of Harvey Weinstein, and linking the allegations against him to the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements.


News Group Newspapers have defended the article, headlined “Gone Potty – How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?”.

NGN claim Johnny was “controlling and verbally and physically abusive towards Ms Heard, particularly when he was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs”.


The publisher is relying on 14 alleged incidents of domestic violence to defend the article, including the “three-day hostage situation” Amber claims took place in Australia in 2015.

Amber and Johnny in The Rum Diary

The case was almost thrown out last week after NGN’s lawyers said they were not given texts between Johnny and his assistant Nathan Holmes, which allegedly showed the star asking for “happy pills” and “whitey stuff”, shortly before the Australian trip.

Mr Justice Nicol, the trial judge, ruled that the actor was in breach of a court order to provide documents which have been disclosed in separate libel proceedings against Amber in the United States, but said the case would still proceed.

On the latest episode of Goss Chats, Ali Ryan sits down with Selling Sunset’s Christine Quinn, who reveals the real drama between the women on the show, and how she battled coronavirus on her wedding day.

#GossChats is sponsored by top Irish aesthetic clinic Haus of JeJuve, which is now back open for bookings.