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This Is Why Johnny Depp Won His Defamation Case In US But Lost In The UK

Anish Vij

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This Is Why Johnny Depp Won His Defamation Case In US But Lost In The UK

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

A legal expert has claimed there is 'one simple reason' why Johnny Depp won his defamation case in US but lost in the UK.

Back in 2020, Depp lost a libel case against The Sun newspaper which called him a 'wife beater'.

Well, just yesterday (2 Jun), The Pirates of the Caribbean actor successfully sued his ex-wife Amber Heard for defamation, after the jury found that Heard did, in fact, defame him in her 2018 Washington Post op-ed.

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Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

In what's been one of the most high profile cases of recent times, it all began when the Aquaman actor posted an online article in the Washington Post titled: “I spoke up against sexual violence – and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.”

Although the piece didn't mention Depp by name, his lawyers claim that it falsely implies he physically and sexually abused Heard while they were together.

Heard has now been ordered to pay her ex-husband more than $8million in charges.

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Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

However, according to George Freeman, executive director of the Media Law Resource Center, there's one simple reason why Depp won in the US and not the UK, reports Washington Post.

Freeman said: "The answer is simple," while adding, "It was up to the jury."

With regards to the strategy used to convince the jury, Mark Stephens, an international media lawyer, went on to say that Depp’s legal team in the United States ran a strategy known as DARVO, an acronym for deny, attack, and reverse victim and offender, in which Depp became the victim and Heard the abuser.

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"We find that DARVO works very well with juries but almost never works with judges, who are trained to look at evidence," Stephens said.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

He explained: "That didn’t impact the outcome because essentially what you have got is a jury believing evidence that a British judge did not accept, so that’s where the difference lies here.

"Unusually, not in the different legal frameworks."

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Lee Berlik, a Virginia-based attorney who specializes in defamation law and business litigation, said: "If Depp had filed that same case here in the US, he would have the burden of persuading the jury that the accusation was false."

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

He added: "It is remarkable that a judge in the UK found that the Sun had proven 12 separate acts of ‘wife beating’ by Depp, but in Virginia a jury essentially found zero acts of domestic abuse and that Ms. Heard’s claims to the contrary were basically a 'hoax'."

Elaine Bredehoft, Heard's lawyer, said: "They have said she has this whole hoax... but what would Amber Heard's motive be for creating a hoax or creating any of this or making any of this up?"

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Topics: News, Johnny Depp, Amber Heard

Anish Vij
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