The trial in the case of Johnny Depp v News Group Newspapers in the High Court in London before Nicol J [pic] entered its final days with the Defendants’ closing submissions taking place on Day 15, Monday 27 July 2020.The Defendants submitted written closing submissions of 82 pages, with 115 pages of Appendices.

The whole day was occupied by the oral closing submissions of Ms Sasha Wass QC for the Defendants.

She suggested that evidence of Mr Depp’s drug and alcohol-fuelled lifestyle provides a backdrop to the events in question.  She argued that there was a “wealth of evidence” supporting Ms Heard’s allegations of domestic violence against Mr Depp.  She submitted that the only issue before the court was whether it is true, on the balance of probabilities, that Mr Depp had assaulted Ms Heard on at least one occasion.

Ms Wass suggest that the evidence demonstrated that a “deep misogyny” lay at the root of Mr Depp’s anger towards Ms Heard which translated into violence when he felt threatened by her.

Nicol J observed that, if all that Mr Depp was doing to the extent that he was violent towards Ms Heard was defending himself this would not assist the Defendants in proving the truth of the allegation that Mr Depp was a wife beater.  He also suggested that it would not assist the Defendants if the injuries to Ms Heard were accidental.

Most of the day was occupied by detailed analysis of the evidence led by both sides over the previous fortnight.  On occasion, Nicol J suggested that it wold be unnecessary for him to make a decision about some of the less relevant parts of the evidence saying, at one point,

“I am struggling at the moment to find why I would have to make a decision as to who defecated in this bed”.

The Defendants made no written or oral submissions as to the appropriate level of damages should their “truth” defence be unsuccessful.

There were reports of the hearing in the Independent, City AM and the Evening Standard.

The transcript of the hearing on Day 15 can be found here.

The last day, Day 16 Tuesday 28 July 2020, will be occupied by closing submissions by Mr David Sherborne on behalf of the Claimant.