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Actor Johnny Depp arrives at his libel trial against News Group Newspapers (NGN), at the High Court in London. Photo: AFP

Johnny Depp says he will appeal against UK libel ruling upholding domestic violence claims

  • ‘My resolve remains strong and I intend to prove that the allegations against me are false,’ said Depp
  • Depp announced he had agreed to resign from his role in Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts at the request of Warner Bros

Hollywood star Johnny Depp on Friday confirmed he will appeal against a UK court ruling that upheld claims he was violent towards his ex-wife Amber Heard.

“The surreal judgment of the court in the UK will not change my fight to tell the truth and I confirm that I plan to appeal,” he wrote on Instagram in a post dated from London.

On Monday, the 57-year-old Pirates of the Caribbean actor lost a libel lawsuit against the publishers of British tabloid newspaper The Sun, which had called him a “wife beater”.

Judge Andrew Nicol dismissed Depp’s claim after three weeks of revelations about the couple’s stormy relationship, saying the article had been proven to be “substantially true”.

Twelve of the 14 alleged incidents which publishers News Group Newspapers maintained were true met the civil burden of proof, the balance of probability, Judge Nicol added.

Amber Heard has accused ex-husband Johnny Depp of violence towards her. Photo: Reuters

Depp said in a typewritten and signed statement: “My resolve remains strong and I intend to prove that the allegations against me are false.

“My life and career will not be defined by this moment in time.”

The high-profile case at the High Court in London exposed Depp’s battles with drink and drugs as well as details of his two-year marriage to Heard, 34, an actress and model.

The actor also announced that he had agreed to resign from his role as Gellert Grindelwald in the Harry Potter franchise spin-off Fantastic Beasts at the request of Warner Bros.

“I have respected and agreed to that request,” he said. The US film studio confirmed that Depp would be stepping down from the film.

“Johnny Depp will depart the Fantastic Beasts franchise. We thank Johnny for his work on the films to date,” the studio said in a statement.

Fantastic Beasts 3 is currently in production, and the role of Gellert Grindelwald will be recast. The film will debut in theatres worldwide in the summer of 2022,” the studio added.

The contested article in The Sun had questioned whether Harry Potter author JK Rowling could be “genuinely happy” Depp had been cast in the Fantastic Beasts films given his reputation as a wife-beater.

Depp is also suing Heard in a separate case in the United States for an article she wrote in The Washington Post, which he said implied he was violent towards her.