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Johnny Depp loses libel case against The Sun

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Johnny Depp loses libel case against The Sun
Johnny Depp arrives at the High Court in London. The actor lost a libel trial against the Sun newspaper over an article that claimed he was a "wife beater." File Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Johnny Depp has lost his libel case against British tabloid The Sun who used the phrase "wife beater" in reference to his relationship with ex-wife Amber Heard.

Depp sued The Sun's publisher, News Group Newspapers, and its executive editor Dan Wootton over a story published in 2018 that called the actor a "wife beater" and alleged that he was abusive to Heard.

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U.K. judge Andrew Nicol ruled on Monday that the publication's use of the phrase was justified and that the paper's allegations were "substantially true."

Depp, Heard, friends, colleagues, law officers and more gave testimony about the pair's relationship during the trial, which took place over three weeks and across five different courts in the Royal Courts of Justice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Depp and Heard married in February 2015 and divorced in 2017. The pair have accused each other of abuse.

"The argument and the damage to property are symptomatic of Mr. Depp's manner when 'the monster' side of his personality was dominant. I also accept the evidence of Ms. Heard that another aspect of 'the monster' was that Mr. Depp physically assaulted her as she described," the judge said in his decision.

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The judge used the monster phrase throughout his decision.

"I accept her evidence that Mr. Depp used the term to refer to that part of his personality when, affected by drink and/or drugs he would do things which he would not otherwise do and of which he might have no recollection afterwards," the judge continued.

Depp's lawyers have said the Hollywood star does plan to appeal. Depp is also suing Heard in Virginia for defamation after the actress published an article in the Washington Post about domestic abuse.

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