Johnny Depp applies to Court of Appeal over Amber Heard ‘wife beater’ judgement

Johnny Depp has applied to the Court of Appeal in a bid to overturn the ruling that he assaulted his ex-wife Amber Heard.

The Pirates of the Caribbean actor, who starred as the lead Jack Sparrow in the franchise, is refusing to the drop the legal battle after he lost the High Court case earlier this year over claims he beat Amber.

The 57-year-old star has now applied to London's Court of Appeal after his relationship with Amber was bought into court after he took a libel case against News Group Newspapers over a Sun article which described him as a "wife beater" in its headline in 2018.

A High Court judge ruled last month that the paper's story was "substantially true" to the civil standard (the balance of probabilities) rather than criminal (beyond reasonable doubt).

The very same judge then refused Depp permission to appeal later in November.

The judge, Justice Nicol, ruled: "I do not consider that the proposed grounds of appeal have a reasonable prospect of success."

Nicol also ordered that the star make an initial payment to NGN of almost £630,000 for the publisher's legal fees.

Depp was told by Nicol that he had until December 7 to apply directly to the Court of Appeal to overturn his judgment.

According to a publicly available list of pending appeals, the Disney actor has now filed an application directly.

It is not yet known what the grounds of Depp's appeal are, or when a decision on his appeal will be made.

Since the article was released by The Sun, the Fantastic Beasts star has vehemently denied the claims, insisting that Amber, 34, had been abusive towards him – which she also denied.

Following the three-week trial, The Hon. Mr Justice Nicol had found that Depp had on 12 occasions beat Heard.

Lawyers acting on behalf of Depp said that he would appeal against the decision after releasing a statement, saying the judgement was "perverse as it is bewildering".

The High Court judge ruled that Depp must pay £520,000 to The Sun towards its defence bill by December 7 and then a further £108,235 by January 22.

The remainder of the legal bill will be paid after a detailed assessment of the costs.

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