Johnny Depp's Libel Case Is Moving Forward Despite Text Message Issues

Johnny Depp addressing the crowd in Fantastic Beasts 2.

Johnny Depp’s libel lawsuit against The Sun’s parent company News Group Newspapers will proceed forward. The defendants had hoped to get the lawsuit thrown out over a series of text messages Depp’s team reportedly failed to disclose, but the judge ultimately ruled that the issue wasn’t enough to strike down the case and prevent it from going to trial. As such, the proceedings are set to begin on Tuesday.

The latest decision, reported by The Hollywood Reporter, is just the most recent in a long series of legal battles stemming from Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s troubled marriage and the claims of abuse that emerged from it. In addition to this case, there’s also another lawsuit between the former spouses, and of course, there’s the perception battle currently being adjudicated by the general public.

The case against The Sun traces back to a 2018 article in which the newspaper referred to Depp as a “wife beater.” The actor vehemently denies being abusive toward his former spouse and contends the term “wife beater” never should have been printed. There were rumors of violent confrontations during their marriage, however, as well as 911 calls and even one incident in which Depp’s finger was severed, though what exactly happened there is still a matter of debate. Heard herself wrote an editorial back in 2018 talking about her past experiences as a victim of abuse. She never called Depp out by name, but there is still litigation between the two parties over claims she’s made.

Lawyers for The Sun were hoping to get this case thrown out because Depp’s legal team reportedly failed to turn over some text messages between the actor and his assistant. The texts allegedly showed Depp trying to buy drugs during a trip to Australia. In theory, this is particularly important because one of the alleged incidents of domestic abuse occurred during the same trip. The judge in the case, however, ruled that even though Depp’s team should have turned over the messages, the breach was not enough to have the entire trial thrown out.

Despite what was clearly a very troubled relationship, both Johnny Depp and Amber Heard initially seemed ready to move on. Both parties released a shared statement. They split up their assets and started living their own lives. After her editorial on domestic abuse ran, however, the ugliness kicked into another gear. We’ve seen therapy sessions leaked in which she seemingly admitted to striking Depp. We’ve seen petitions to remove both from various projects they’ve been working on, allegations of celebrity threesomes and fake injuries. We’ve seen lawyers up and quit. It’s been extremely nasty, and as of right now, there’s no end in sight.

At this point, it’s unclear what, if any, further allegations will emerge when the trial begins on Tuesday, but if there are any new developments, we’ll keep you updated.

Mack Rawden
Editor In Chief

Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, a great wrestling promo and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.