For the last few hours, the #JusticeForJohnnyDepp posts have been leaving a blazing trail through Twitter’s trending feed. Why? It’s all about Johnny Depp’s hearing at the Court of Appeal today, Thursday, March 18th, 2021. The Hollywood star, and everyone’s favorite pirate, is seeking a retrial of his libel claim against the NGN (News Group Newspapers) over a tabloid article that called Mr. Depp a “wife-beater.” And he found his voice at today’s hearing at the Court of Appeals.
Here’s how we ended up where we are, with Justice For Johnny Depp trending on Twitter. Depp initially filed the libel lawsuit against the NGN over the article published by The Sun, in which he’s called a “wife-beater.” Unfortunately, due to what now seems an unfair trial, Depp was ordered to pay NGN $873,000 in legal costs from the trial, ruling that the article was “substantially true.”
In his judgment, High Court Justice Andrew Nicole concluded that 12 out of 14 alleged incidents of domestic violence NGN relied on did occur, ruling in favor of the NGN. The judge also refused Johnny Depp the grounds to appeal, prompting Depp to appeal directly to the Court of Appeal, which he then did.
During today’s now trending hearing, Johnny Depp’s legal team said that the judge uncritically accepted Amber Heard’s claims, “taking little to no account of the striking examples of Ms. Heard’s willingness to lie or commit wrongdoing.” Additionally, during the couple’s divorce in 2016, Heard, a witness for the NGN, said that she would give $7 million divorce money to charity, earning points with the judge.
As she failed to donate the money since, Johnny Depp’s legal team concluded that her statement was a “calculated and manipulative lie, designed to achieve a potent favorable impression from the outset.” It was a “subliminal message” that she wanted Depp to pay without her keeping a dime of his money, which implied her disgust at how he treated her physically.
Fans using the trending Justice For Johnny Depp hashtag have long insisted those claims tipped the scales against Johnny Depp from the very beginning, with Justice Nicol describing her donation of $7 million to charity as an act hardly expected from a gold-digger. However, had the truth about the charity claim had been known, Depp’s legal team speculates it would’ve affected the judge’s consideration of Heard’s evidence.
Today’s hearing concluded without a definitive legal decision, and Lord Justice Underhill and Lord Justice Dingemans said that the court would give its final ruling at a later date. However, it does seem that new and fresh evidence discrediting Amber Heard’s claims play in Johnny Depp’s favor. And that’s the idea being pushed by the trending Justice For Johnny Depp social media frenzy.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the only legal battle Johnny Depp battles with his ex-wife Amber Heard. It all started in May 2016 when Heard filed for divorce from Depp, obtaining a restraining order against him and claiming physical abuse. In August 2016, Heard received $7 million from the divorce, which she allegedly donated to charity.
In 2018, Heard wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post, in which she wrote: “I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.” Though she didn’t mention Johnny Depp by name, the actor’s career suffered a significant impact, as he was removed from the Fantastic Beasts franchise.
This was followed by Johnny Depp’s defamation suit, in which Heard was, for the first time, referred to as the perpetrator of domestic violence and not the victim. The phone recordings in which Heard admitted to “hitting” Depp were released the following year, spring a wildfire of accusations and lawsuits.
Today’s hearing is one of the latest battles Johnny Depp had in his ongoing legal war with Amber Heard, and possibly the war on false accusations, fake news, and media witch hunts. Whatever it is, the #JusticeForJohnnyDepp is trending big on Twitter in anticipation of a ruling after today’s hearing at the Court of Appeals. Maybe there will be Justice for Johnny Depp.