Thursday, 02 July, 2020

United Kingdom judge rules against Johnny Depp over ‘drugs texts’ in libel case

We took cocaine together’ Johnny Depp with Amber Heard Wife-beater’ libel hearing told of Johnny Depp’s drugs texts by Sam Tobin Published
Adrian Cunningham | 29 June, 2020, 20:25

The Pirates of the Caribbean actor has sued the tabloid's publisher, News Group Newspapers (NGN), and its executive editor, Dan Wootton, over an article published back in 2018 which referred to Johnny Depp as a wife-beater after his former wife Amber Heard spoke about him through indirect references. Depp has adamantly denied he abused Heard, 34, during their relationship.

Johnny Depp lands into a soup for breach of order in The Sun libel case and gets called out by the High Court for evidence in his support.

Heard tried to interfere with the consumption of numerous pills and washing them down with red wine by Mr. Depp.

Depp denies that he took the drugs.

Mr Justice Nicol also ruled that parts of evidence provided by Ms Heard's former personal assistant Kate James, including an allegation that Ms Heard provided altered vaccination certificates for the couple's pet dogs, could form part of Mr Depp's case. Adam Wolanski, a lawyer of The Sun's publisher, said that their camp had obtained text messages between the actor and his assistant, Nathan Holmes, from Heard's team.

The barrister said these messages should have been disclosed in evidence and that, by not doing so, Mr Depp was in "serious" breach of a court order.

He added: "There is a stark conflict of evidence as to whether the claimant took or had in his possession MDMA and other narcotics whilst in Australia in early March 2015. The exchanges with Mr Holmes began shortly before the alleged incidents in Australia".

Other texts allegedly revealed that Depp told Holmes he didn't want anyone lecturing him about his drug use, which, Wolanski said, referred to Heard.

"It is the defendants' case that drugs and alcohol had an influence on the claimant's behaviour towards Ms Heard".

"First, the claimant has already provided this document in the USA libel proceedings".

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His attorney, David Sherborne, argued that the texts did not relate to the allegations of violence, and so were not relevant to the case.

'It is not about whether Mr Depp asks for drugs'. Depp's text Holmes on March 7 allegedly read.

Mr Justice Nicol did not, however, strike out the case and has given Depp the opportunity to rescue the situation by applying for "relief against sanctions" ahead of a three-week trial, which is due to take place at the Royal Courts of Justice in London from July 7.

Johnny Depp's libel trial could be thrown out of court after he was accused of "breathtaking arrogance" by breaching a court order to release texts about "happy pills" and "whitey stuff".

Controversies and legal claims have surrounded Johnny Depp for two years now.

Depp has brought separate libel proceedings against Heard in the US.

The pair met on the set of 2011 comedy The Rum Diary and married in Los Angeles in February 2015.

Heard reportedly sent a text message to Musk on 22 May 2016, in which she told the tech maverick that she was filing for divorce and a restraining order, while Musk offered the actress security 24/7 because she told him about "J [Depp] being violent in the past".

The couple settled their divorce out of court in 2017, with Ms Heard donating her seven million United States dollars (£5.5 million) settlement to charity.