Johnny Depp failed to overturn London High Court's ruling last year which confirmed that he physically and verbally abused his ex-wife Amber Heard. Two London judges denied the actor's request on Thursday on the basis that Justice Andrew Nicol already made a "full and fair" trial in July.
The judges, James Dingemans and Nicholas Underhill, said "there is no compelling reason" for a retrial as Nicol has not committed "any error of approach or mistake of law." Thus, Depp's "appeal has no real prospect of success."
The appeal was to overturn a ruling in November that the "Rum Diary" star assaulted Heard and made her fear for her life in 12 out of 14 instances. The trial was for a libel case Depp filed against British publication The Sun for labeling him a "wife-beater" in one of its headline pieces.
Depp's attorney Andrew Caldecott argued that Heard is not a reliable witness on the basis of "fresh evidence" that proved she lied to the court about her divorce settlement. She said she already gave the whole $7 million to charity, which turned out to be untrue. The lawyer said it was a "calculated and manipulative lie" on her part to win Nicol's favour.
Judges Dingemans and Underhill have this to say to the appeal as Vanity Fair quoted, "We do not accept that there is any ground for believing that the judge may have been influenced by any such general perception as Mr. Caldecott relies on. In the first place, he does not refer to her charitable donation at all in the context of his central findings.
On the contrary, he only mentions it in a very particular context...and after he had already reached his conclusions in relation to the 14 incidents [of abuse]."
Meanwhile, Heard's team said that "Mr. Depp's claim of new and important evidence was nothing more than a press strategy." They said they were not surprised at all that the Court of Appeal denied his request for a retrial as "the evidence presented in the UK case was overwhelming and undeniable."
"To reiterate, the original verdict was that Mr. Depp committed domestic violence against Amber on no fewer than 12 occasions and she was left in fear of her life. The verdict and lengthy, well-reasoned Judgment, including the Confidential Judgment, have been affirmed," Heard's spokesperson said in a statement sent to Yahoo Entertainment.
In response, Depp's representative Joelle Rich said that the actor's failure with the Court of Appeal prompts "clear and objective reasons to seriously question the decisions reached in the U.K court." His legal team is not losing hope though, as there is still the libel trial against Heard in Virginia where they will present "complete, irrefutable evidence of the truth" and she will "have to provide full disclosure."