The trial in the Johnny Depp v News Group Newspapers case concluded on Day 16, Tuesday 28 July 2020 with the Claimant’s closing submissions . Judgment was reserved and is unlikely to be handed down until September or October.
The Claimants put in written closing submissions. The main submissions were a modest 17 pages but they include 98 pages of Annexes. Annex F, entitled “Amber Heard shifts the blame” contained 77 pages of transcript extracts.
In contrast to the Defendant’s closing submissions, the Claimant addressed the question of damages, claiming that the Defendants had “sought to denigrate him at every possible opportunity”. The “ceiling” on libel damages of £300,000 to £325,000 was mentioned but no specific figure was suggested to the judge.
Oral submissions from Mr David Sherborne occupied the whole day. He suggest that Ms Heard had proven herself to be a wholly unreliable witness and a compulsive liar. He suggested that the Defendants’ case could not live with the abundance of evidence which refuted any suggestion of physical violence. It was argued that the evidence demonstrated that Ms Heard was the abuser, not Mr Depp.
Mr Sherborne said that what was important to Mr Depp was clearing his name of the appalling allegations made against him.
A transcript of Day 16 is available here.
Judgment was reserved.
There were a number of pieces reflecting on the trial including
- Depp libel trial reveals problems of proof in domestic violence cases, The Guardian
- Johnny Depp trial ends – the most jaw-dropping moments from poo-gate to house of horrors, The Mirror
- Depp lawyer says Amber Heard lied during tabloid libel case, Associated Press