Johnny Depp pressed his hands together in the gesture for prayer when he arrived in court Tuesday for the final day of testimony in his libel trial — as his lawyer insisted that the star is no “wife-beater” and is being set up by ex Amber Heard.
The 57-year-old actor — who skipped Monday’s summation of accusations against him — was met by a crowd of screaming fans as he arrived at London’s High Court to hear his legal team’s final arguments.
Many thrust flowers toward him and screamed “We love you!” along with a final chant of “Justice for Johnny,” as he entered the Royal Courts of Justice for what has been dubbed the biggest English libel case of the 21st Century.
Inside the court room, Depp’s lawyer David Sherborne repeated the “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” star’s claims that he was completely innocent of the “reputation-destroying, career-ending allegation” that he beat Heard during their volatile relationship.
Calling Heard a “complex individual with a complex history,” Sherborne said it was “hard to keep up” with all the additional allegations she kept adding to try to prove her case.
“You can imagine how Mr. Depp feels about it, given that some of them weren’t even put to him,” the lawyer said.
She got her friends to lie and produced “astonishingly self-serving and fictionalized accounts” of her time with Depp — including “a secret feelings book that reads more like a novella than anything which matches reality,” the lawyer insisted.
“One side is obviously lying and one is telling the truth,” he said of the actors’ both accusing each other of violence and lies.
Either way, Depp’s lawyer said the burden was on The Sun newspaper to prove the actor was violent to justify the 2018 article Depp is suing over that referred to “overwhelming evidence” he was a “wife beater.”
Noting that there “no charge [was] ever filed against Mr. Depp,” the lawyer said the paper and its journalist acted as “both judge and jury” in saying the star was guilty of “serious and violent criminal offenses”.
“This is not a mere accusation – the article leaves no room for doubt whatsoever for its readership of millions,” Sherborne insisted.
It is “an allegation which Mr. Depp says – and has always said – is completely untrue,” he said, asking the court, “Why else would Mr. Depp, this private man as he explained, expose all the most intimate details of his personal life?”
He also insisted it had been “a wasteful exercise” going into such detail about the actor’s hard-living lifestyle with drink and drugs — saying it is something he has never hidden.
“The fact that Mr. Depp has a history of consuming alcohol and taking drugs is neither newsworthy nor, quite frankly, probative of anything,” he argued of time-consuming sections of the case.
Depp’s lawyer is expected to conclude his summation today and the judge, Mr. Justice Nicol, will then take time to reach his decision to be released later.