Johnny Depp has won a victory in his ongoing legal battle with ex-wife Amber Heard.
A New York judge has ruled that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) must provide documentation that confirms whether or not the Aquaman actress gave the non-profit organisation a donation from the $10 million she received in her divorce settlement from the Rum Diary star, as well as the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
The 58-year-old actor’s attorney Benjamin Chew told USA TODAY: “Mr Depp is most gratified by the court’s decision.” Depp had taken action against The Sun newspaper after they branded him a wife-beater who had assaulted then-spouse Heard, but a judge ruled in favour of the British newspaper last November, and his defamation accusation was thrown out.
American actress Amber Heard, former wife of actor Johnny Depp. Photo / AP
In March this year, the former Pirates of the Caribbean star was denied the chance to appeal his failed libel case.
Depp – who has repeatedly denied allegations he attacked his ex-wife – was told by the High Court that he could not pursue an application to appeal, despite his lawyers claiming that they had “fresh evidence” about the Danish Girl actress and accused her of lying about donating all of the $10 million to charity.
Court of Appeal judges said the original hearing was “full and fair” and the trial judge, Justice Andrew Nicol, had given “thorough reasons for his conclusions”.
Announcing the ruling at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Lord Justice Underhill said: “It is not easy to persuade this court to overturn the findings of a trial judge on purely factual questions.
“We do not believe that there is a real prospect of it being prepared to do so in this case.
“The hearing before Nicol J was full and fair, and he gave thorough reasons for his conclusions which have not been shown even arguably to be vitiated by any error of approach or mistake of law…
“We refuse Mr Depp’s application to admit further evidence in support of his proposed appeal and we conclude that the appeal has no real prospect of success and that there is no other compelling reason for it to be heard.
Actress Amber Heard, centre, arrives at the High Court in London. Photo / AP
“We accordingly refuse permission to appeal.”
The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them actor – who was asked to step down from playing Gellert Grindelwald in the wizarding franchise days after the original ruling was made – is also involved in a separate libel dispute in the US.
That case stems from a 2018 Washington Post opinion piece written by Amber, 35, in which she spoke about domestic abuse, although she didn’t mention the Black Mass actor by name.
A hearing in that matter was due to take place in May but it has now been pushed back to April 2022.