Johnny Depp has been denied permission to appeal his U.K. libel case against tabloid The Sun.
In a ruling last week that was made public on Wednesday, Judge Andrew Nicol dismissed the actor’s application for appeal, noting that he didn’t believe it had a “reasonable prospect of success.”
Earlier this month, the same judge ruled against Depp in the actor’s libel case against News Group Newspapers, publisher of The Sun, and the tabloid’s executive editor Dan Wootton over a 2018 article alleging he was a “wife beater.” In examining 14 incidents of alleged domestic violence allegedly committed by Depp against Heard, the judge ruled that 12 of the incidents did take place.
In last week’s ruling, the judge wrote: “The findings of fact by a first instance tribunal (particularly one, such as myself, who has heard oral evidence) are rarely open to challenge on appeal. In any event, I do not consider that the proposed grounds of appeal have a reasonable prospect of success (and that is also the case so far as the grounds of appeal suggest that I erred in principle or in law) and there is not some other compelling reason why permission to appeal should be granted.”
Judge Nicol also ordered Depp to pay The Sun £520,000 ($696,000) towards its legal bills by Dec. 7. The actor must then produce a further £108,235 ($144,868) by Jan. 22.
Depp, who was forced to resign from the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise shortly after the Nov. 2 ruling, now has until Dec. 7 to take his case directly to the Court of Appeal in hopes of overturning the judgement.
The judgment followed a three-week hearing in July at London’s Royal Courts of Justice, during which lurid allegations were made by each side concerning the torrid relationship between the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star and his former spouse, “Aquaman” actor Amber Heard.
Both Depp and Heard attended the hearing and also gave evidence. Other witnesses included friends of the two actors, and their present and former employees. Multiple and lengthy witness statements were also submitted, including those from Depp’s former partners Winona Ryder and Vanessa Paradis.