How Johnny Depp’s Drug Texts Might Derail His Libel Case Against A British Tabloid

Johnny Depp where is all the rum?

Johnny Depp’s big tabloid case against UK outfit The Sun’s parent company just hit a snag. This week, the High Court announced that Depp’s team had failed to do their due diligence in the libel case, choosing to not disclose a series of texts the actor sent related to trying to purchase drugs. Those texts have been confirmed to have occurred when Amber Heard and Johnny Depp had been vacationing in Australia back in 2015 and the opposing legal team wanted the case thrown out immediately.

While the judge declined to immediately throw the case out, there was a judgment ruling against Depp's legal team. The texts are seemingly germane because the exchanges between Johnny Depp and his assistant Nathan Holmes, in which Depp was attempting to procur drugs, occurred just before the other claims of abuse at the heart of the court case. Amber Heard has claimed that Depp was violent with her after drinking and doing drugs while on this Australian trip.

According to information obtained by Deadline, Justice Nicol agreed with News Group Newspapers’ lawyers that Johnny Depp’s legal team should have disclosed the text messages. Those same lawyers are trying to get the case thrown out, but Justice Nicol applied relief from sanctions, which means the case is still expected to move forward, despite the setback from Depp's side of the matter.

The Pirates of the Caribbean actor had previously sued The Sun’s News Group Newspapers parent company after an article in that newspaper called him “a wife beater.” Johnny Depp is fighting for his image on two fronts following allegations from Amber Heard that he allegedly put her through “physical assaults” during the course of their short marriage between 2015 and 2017.

The reason the case against The Sun even knows about these text messages between Depp and Nathan Holmes is because they were made available as part of a separate court case. The second case is being set up in the States and is actually being fought out in court with Amber Heard and her team of lawyers. As part of that case, these text messages have been published and have become widely available.

Johnny Depp has previously been open about his problems with alcohol and drug addition, which grew worse after his marriage with Amber Heard broke up and he was simultaneously dealing with money management issues. To put the problem into context, he even revealed about his wine budget at the time:

It's insulting to say that I spent $30,000 on wine ... because it was far more.

Insofar as the narcotics mentioned via text message go, Johnny Depp’s lawyers have argued the text evidence should not affect the case involving The Sun, giving Depp has been open about his substance abuse in the past. They also noted that text messages mentioning or looking for drugs do not prove that Johnny Depp obtained the drugs and was on a bender during his time with Amber Heard. The court case in the UK will still be moving forward on July 7.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.