South Africa

Johnny Depp denied appeal in libel case

Johnny Depp has been denied an appeal in his recently lost libel case against The Sun newspaper, as a judge says the case doesn’t have “a reasonable prospect of success”.

The 57-year-old actor had taken action against the British publication after they branded him a wife beater who had assaulted then-spouse Amber Heard, but a judge ruled in favour of The Sun earlier this month, when Johnny’s defamation accusation was thrown out.

At the time, Johnny’s legal team vowed to appeal the decision, but on Wednesday, their initial appeal was denied by a judge, who claimed the case doesn’t have “a reasonable prospect of success”.

The judge’s decision comes as the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star must also pay an initial R1.27 million in legal costs to The Sun owner News Group Newspapers, according to a report from The Times.

If Johnny’s legal team wish to continue with their push for an appeal, they must now take their case to the Court of Appeals.

Earlier this month, Justice Andrew Nicol ruled in favour of The Sun, and said the publication’s article about the actor and his then-wife was “substantially true”.

He said: “The claimant [Depp] has not succeeded in his action for libel … The defendants [The Sun and News Group Newspapers] have shown that what they published in the meaning which I have held the words to bear was substantially true.

“I have reached these conclusions having examined in detail the 14 incidents on which the defendants rely as well as the overarching considerations which the claimant submitted I should take into account. In those circumstances, parliament has said that a defendant has a complete defence.”

Following the verdict, Johnny announced he had exited the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise at the request of Warner Bros., after he previously starred as Gellert Grindelwald in 2016’s “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and its 2018 follow-up, “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”.

He said in a statement: “I wish to let you know that I have been asked to resign by Warner Bros. from my role as Grindelwald in ‘Fantastic Beasts’ and I have respected and agreed to that request.”

Warner Bros. are now said to be looking at casting Mads Mikkelsen as his replacement for the upcoming third movie.

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