UK court rules against Johnny Depp over 'Australia drugs text'

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A UK judge has ruled against Johnny Depp in his libel case against a British tabloid, for breaching the court’s order by not disclosing the texts he sent to his assistant Nathan Holmes that apparently showed him trying to obtain drugs. The Oscar-winner is suing News Group Newspapers (NGN), and Dan Wootton, its executive editor, over an article in one of its tabloids in April 2018 that referred to him as a “wife beater”.

However, High Court judge Justice Nichol declined the defence lawyer’s request seeking dismissal of Johnny Depp’s suit on the ground of breaching the court order which required the actor to provide all documents from the separate libel suit he has filed against his ex-wife Amber Heard in the United States, reports The Guardian.

Last week, at a preliminary hearing of the trial which is due to open at the High Court in London on Tuesday, July 7, lawyers for NGN had requested the court to dismiss Depp’s claim since he did not disclose the ‘Australia drugs texts,’ which reportedly showed that he tried to buy MDMA and other narcotics when he was in Australia with then-wife Heard in 2015. NGN’s legal team argued that the texts are relevant to the case against the tabloid since Heard had claimed she was subjected to “a three-day ordeal of physical assaults” by Depp during which time he allegedly took MDMA and drank heavily.

In his judgement on Monday morning, Justice Nichol agreed with the defendants’ claim that the 57-year-old actor failed to comply fully with his obligation, but declined to strike out the case immediately. The judge is hearing further applications in the case.

Depp and Heard started dating after they met on the set of their 2011 comedy flick “The Rum Diary.” They tied the knot in February 2015, but separated the next year, followed by a much-publicised divorce in 2017.


Johnny Depp and Amber Heard married quietly at their Los Angeles home in February 2015 and held another ceremony later in the Bahamas
REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

The actor filed a $50 million defamation suit against his ex-wife after she wrote an article in The Washington Times in 2018 about being a domestic abuse victim without taking Depp’s name. The “Fantastic Beasts” actor filed the suit on the grounds that Heard’s “false” allegations cost him the prized role of Captain Jack Sparrow in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise.