The long-anticipated showdown between the Hollywood stars Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard opens in a British courtroom in a libel trial on Tuesday, July 7, The Guardian reports.
Highly embarrassing allegations about the former couple’s private lives have already spilled out during bitter pre-trial hearings in which the Pirates of the Caribbean actor tried to stop Heard from attending court until she is due to give evidence.
The legal drama, scheduled to run for three weeks, is being spaced out across five courts in the Royal Courts of Justice due to the need to respect social distancing. The cost in lawyers’ fees and court facilities will run into millions, though any damages eventually awarded are likely to be far lower.
Depp, 57, is suing News Group Newspapers (NGN) and the Sun’s executive editor, Dan Wootton, over an article published in 2018 that referred to the film star as a “wife beater”.
The article related to allegations made against Depp by Heard, 34, that he was violent towards her during their marriage. He strenuously denies the claims and is also pursuing her in a separate libel battle over the issue in the US.
Both Heard and Depp are expected to attend the London trial, having, it is believed, already travelled to the UK from their homes in California and France respectively.
Depp’s lawyers will seek to prove the Sun’s allegations are not true and amount to “serious harm” as defined in the Defamation Act 2013. They are likely to argue that the accusations of abuse have lost him lucrative film roles.