Defamation – Johnny Depp sues The Sun over ‘wife-beater’ allegation

Johnny Depp is suing The Sun and its columnist Dan Wootton over a story calling the actor a ‘wife-beater’, and criticising Harry Potter author J.K Rowling for standing by him.

The article, headlined How can J.K. Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife-beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?, appeared in print on April 28, 2018 and was posted on The Sun’s website on April 27, 2018 (the online version has since been altered to remove the word ‘wife-beater’).

Depp is reportedly seeking £200,000 in damages in addition to £10,528 in legal fees, as well damages to be assessed, according to Court documents. He is also asking for an injunction restraining the paper from ‘continuing to publish’ allegations of spousal abuse.

In December, the Harry Potter creator gave a statement in support of the actor’s casting as Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts movie series, writing ‘The filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies’.

Some had lobbied against Depp’s casting following his contentious divorce from ex-wife Amber Heard, during which the actress accused him of abuse (strongly denied by the actor). Wootton said in the article that Rowling faced significant backlash from within the #MeToo and Time’s Up movement because of her support for Depp.

This isn’t the only legal dispute Depp is currently involved in. Not only is he being sued for unpaid wages by former bodyguards, he’s continuing to litigate against his managers. He claims their fraud and mismanagement brought him to the brink of financial disaster, while the ex-managers maintain they did nothing wrong, citing numerous examples of Depp’s out-of-control spending.

The management company’s counterclaim details the star’s spending, alleging his lifestyle cost him $2 million per month, with outgoings including the $3 million he apparently spent on blasting the ashes of author Hunter S. Thompson out of a cannon.

The star reacted angrily to details of his private life being dragged into the case, telling a newspaper, ‘It’s my money. If I want to buy 15,000 cotton balls a day, it’s my thing.’
zoom-in will report on developments.