Welcome to our as-it-happened coverage of Johnny Depp’s libel action against The Sun. The hearing is now over, but you can catch up on the final day of evidence here.
- Final day of Johnny Depp’s libel action against The Sun’s publishers, NGNDepp’s barrister makes his final arguments – Heard’s team went yesterdayDepp is suing NGN over an article labelling him a “wife beater”NGN’s case relies on 14 allegations of violence made by Amber Heard – which Depp deniesThe judge’s ruling is expected at a later dateCoverage from entertainment reporter @gemmapeplow at court, with additional reporting from @BethanyminellePosts may contain graphic or explicit language, or include images of injury and drug use
And with that… It’s over
Depp and Heard have left the building, the crowds of fans are thinning out heading home and the three-week libel trial is now finished.
Here’s a round-up of what happened today in court.
Thanks for following the trial with us, and of course we will bring you all the latest on the judge’s ruling as soon as it’s ready to be handed down in due course.
Until then, goodbye and have a lovely evening.
Depp has left the building
For the final time, Depp has left the High Court and is heading home.
He looked relatively happy, and will no doubt be breathing a sigh of relief that the hearing is finished and all the evidence has been heard.
Judge Nicol now has the unenviable task of making sense of everything we’ve heard over the last three weeks and delivering his ruling in due course.
Crowds outside court
After 16 days of intense court action, it’s finally over. And fans are out in force.
After that very speedy final session, the judge is now thanking everyone for their time.
After three weeks of evidence, the hearing is now over.
The judge’s ruling will come at a later date.
Here’s some photos of Heard leaving the building earlier, as she gave her short speech in front of the High Court.
Standby for Depp and his team leaving court.
Running out of time
The judge is telling Mr Sherborne he does not have much time left.
The barrister says Depp has “lost everything” – that to the actor, “everything is his reputation”.
He reminds the court again that this case was not about money, but “vindication”.
Watch Amber Heard’s full statement from outside court
Photos and “magic bruises”
Mr Sherborne says Heard’s “magic bruises” only appeared in certain circumstances.
He asks why Heard did not go to the police or a hospital. It is because we then would have independent evidence, he says.
“Mr Depp, far from being a domestic abuser, is the domestic abused,” Mr Sherborne tells the court.
As Mr Sherborne is having to race through these so quickly, you can read more about the allegations here for more information.
Tokyo trip, Thanksgiving and Hicksville
Mr Sherborne is very quickly going through these too. This is going to be tight!
Depp denies the allegations and there is little evidence, he says.
Australia, the Boston plane incident and the Bahamas
Mr Sherborne is racing through his points very quickly now, disputing Heard’s allegations over the “three-day hostage situation”, as the actress has called it, in Australia 2015, and the so-called Boston plane incident the previous year.
The Bahamas detox incident has very little in support of evidence, he says.
We now move to one of the earliest allegations, and the confusion over dates.
The court was shown the “neatest cocaine table in the world” in a picture over an allegation made about March 2013, Mr Sherborne says, implying the picture was set up.
Heard claims that Depp became angry because she had hung up a painting by her ex-partner Tasya van Ree near to her bed in her LA home.
She claims Depp tried to set the painting on fire and hit her “so hard that blood from her lip ended up on the wall”.
However there was some confusion over the exact date – Mr Sherborne says this was because a photo of Heard, Depp and her sister with Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards showed her with no injuries, so she changed the date.
Mr Sherborne is talking about Heard’s “headbutt” claim but the judge is now reminding him of the time. We don’t have much longer left and we need to finish today, he says.
The barrister isn’t sure he’s going to be able to get through everything he needs to in the next 10 minutes, but is going to move on quickly.
Mr Sherborne is directing the judge to different photos “taken at the same time” following the incident, which look completely different, he says.
We cannot see the photos here so it is not clear exactly which pictures he is referring to.
This is one of the reasons the images cannot be trusted, he says.
Amber Heard is now speaking outside court
Interrupting proceedings as the actress is now speaking outside court.
She says she just “wanted to move on with my life” and that it had been “incredibly painful” to relive her breakup with Depp, along with the “traumatic and intimate details” of her life being “broadcast to the entire world”.
She then thanked her legal team, police and the “outpouring” of support she had received around the world.
Mr Sherborne is now directing the judge to a file.
There are stills from that “performance” by Heard, Mr Sherborne says.
They show there was “absolutely nothing” on the actress’s nose, despite the fact it was supposed to have been “broken”.
The suggestion she had a broken nose is “quite plainly nonsense”, Mr Sherborne tells the court.
Mr Sherborne isn’t impressed by Heard’s claims made in the witness box.
He refers back to notes by Heard’s registered nurse, who saw “nothing”, he tells the court.
The barrister says footage from the programme shows that Heard was not subjected to the violence she claims.
We are now being shown the the clip again.
Mr Sherborne says Heard went further in her evidence than in her statement, claiming to have suffered “bruises all over my body”, “two black eyes” and a “broken nose”, among other injuries.
The barrister says there is also no context given for why this attack happened.
“When one analyses the injuries… it is clear that it is utter fabrication,” Mr Sherborne says.
Here is a picture of Heard’s alleged injuries following the incident – and her appearance on the Late Late Show.
If this was true, Heard would have been “black and blue”, he tells the court.
Late Late Show
Mr Sherborne is returning to December 2015, the “James Corden” incident, he says.
This is because Heard alleges Depp was violent to her the day before she recorded an appearance on the TV presenter’s show.
The barrister reads from the actress’s witness statement – this is what she alleges: “Johnny got mad at me and threw another glass decanter at me; he also knocked things around the room and punched the wall.
“He slapped me and grabbed me by my hair, dragging me by my hair through the apartment, all around between different rooms. I was trying to get out of his grasp and, in the process, he pulled clumps of my hair out.
“I got free from him and ran upstairs to try and escape, but he followed me and caught up with me on the stairs; he grabbed me by the hair again, and he also hit me in the back of my head.
“He dragged me by my hair up the last few steps and, when he had pulled me to the top, he shoved me a couple of times, making me afraid I would lose my balance and fall down the stairs. I had to get him to stop, so I said that I thought he had broken my wrist, hoping that he would calm down.
“Unfortunately, that didn’t work and he kept on hitting me and shouting. He was extremely angry, getting out of control, and would not stop. He knocked me to the floor, but each time he did that I stood back up. I made a point of looking him straight in the eye. He did not like that, and he yelled at me, something like, ‘you think you’re a f****** tough guy?’.”
It is not disputed that Depp was late to the party, Mr Sherborne says.
He says Depp was sociable and chatted with people, despite coming from a business meeting where he had learned he had been defrauded out of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Mr Sherborne says it was Depp who was attacked later that night, and so he left.
It is “palpably obvious” that there is no “clear” or “cogent” evidence of Heard’s allegations, the barrister tells the court.
Birthday party, April 2016
Mr Sherborne has now returned to a different incident a month earlier, and is reading from Heard’s witness statement.
This is what she says about that night.
“On 21 April 2016 I was having my 30th birthday party with friends at the penthouse. Johnny was a couple of hours late and when he arrived, he was drunk and high on drugs.
“After everyone else had left, Johnny and I went to bed and we spoke about him missing the party. I was upset that he had missed my birthday, I was really sad about it and I told him so. He soon got angry: he said I was always blaming him for everything.
“At this point we were up out of the bed, but still in the bedroom. Johnny picked up and threw a magnum sized bottle of champagne at me, which missed and hit the wall.
“I can’t remember if it smashed but something definitely did, it could have been another bottle or a glass which was sitting near to where the magnum hit the wall, or he could also have thrown a glass at me, I am not completely sure. But I remember that bits of flying shattered glass hit me.
“Johnny then grabbed me by the shoulders, pushed me on to the bed, and blocked the bedroom door when I tried to leave. He grabbed me by the hair and pushed me to the ground.
“I scraped my knees on bits of broken glass. He was screaming at me and taunting me, asking if I thought I was a ‘tough guy’ or something like that, and he said that he wouldn’t let me leave.
“At some point in the tussle a lamp got broken. When I stood up, Johnny shoved me down again.”
More on 21 May 2016
Mr Sherborne tells the court that Heard called her lawyer, her publicist and her make-up artist.
She also asked for police to be called but didn’t want to file a report, he says. “Why not?”
Again, he describes this as “curious”.
Mr Sherborne is directing the judge to two photos of Heard he says were taken at “exactly the same time” in “exactly the same way”.
This is about the 21 May 2016 incident again.
One shows a “much more pronounced redness than the other, which shows barely anything”, the barrister says.
There is another “curious” thing, he says, and asks the judge to “look at the redness on both cheeks”.
The phone hit Heard on one cheek but she is flushed on both sides, Mr Sherborne says.
Ms Wass is talking about 70,000 texts which were disclosed mistakenly to the defendants’ solicitors prior to the hearing.
There is some legal argument about whether some texts were disclosed or not.
Mr Sherborne says they did give the texts to the defendants and that they were able to look at them.
The judge notes the points but we have to move on.
Break-time now. Sasha Wass has a point to make about a comment Mr Sherborne has made about text messages, but we will hear it when we return.
Back in 10.
Negligence claim ‘unfair’
Yesterday, during the closing speeches for NGN, their barrister Sasha Wass spoke about the incident and the officers’ attendance.
Ms Wass said Ms Saenz said the officers had been in the penthouse for between 30 and 60 minutes, but that CCTV showed they had only been there for about 15 minutes.
The barrister said: “The police have exaggerated the length of their attendance because of the negligent way in which they dealt with an allegation of domestic violence.”
Mr Sherborne says it was “unfair” of Ms Wass to make this clam without putting it to the officers when they gave evidence.
What is not in dispute about the May 2016 incident is that police arrived, Mr Sherborne says.
They saw no injuries and no damage, the barrister says.
This “blows a complete hole” in the defendants’ case, he says.
“These entirely independent officers with no axe to grind” saw nothing, he tells the court.
Earlier in the trial, the court heard evidence from Melissa Saenz, a Los Angeles Police Department officer who specialises in domestic violence, who attended Heard’s LA penthouse after the alleged incident.
The officer said Heard was “visibly upset”, adding: “Her face was red, it was clear that she was crying.”
However, Ms Saenz said it did not appear there were any injuries and told the court her examination of Heard’s face was “extremely thorough”.
21 May 2016
Mr Sherborne is now going to Heard’s final allegation of violence, on 21 May 2016.
Heard has accused Depp of leaving her with bruises after he “wound his arm back like a baseball pitcher” and threw a phone at her, before he “went on a rampage throughout the penthouse causing extensive damage”.
“No one apparently other than Ms Heard and Mr Depp were witnesses to this,” Mr Sherborne says.
He describes the incident as a “set up”.
The barrister is now referring to an article written on US entertainment website TMZ about the court appearance in May 2016.
“Heard showed up with her lawyer, Samantha Spector, armed with photos showing various bruises,” Mr Sherborne reads.
He says Heard wanted publicity.
Mr Sherborne has now gone back to Heard’s court appearance on 27 May 2016 and calls it a “publicity stunt”.
We have seen footage of Heard outside court from that day before but don’t have time to watch again this afternoon.
Mr Sherborne has just described Heard as a “complex woman” with “all sorts of issues”.
He is now talking about secret recordings and photos made by the actress throughout her relationship with Depp, which remained secret until this case, he says.
July 2016 meeting
Mr Sherborne is telling the court that at this meeting, in San Francisco, Heard wanted to “hug” Depp.
During his evidence earlier in the trial, Depp said that “there was quite a lot of discussion about various things going on and, at times, it of course got emotional”.
He said he refused Heard’s request for a hug from him because “I didn’t think it was right given the circumstances, that she had said to the world that she was in fear for her life from me and I had been this horrible monster”.
He continued: “I didn’t understand why she would want to touch me.”
Depp cried at the meeting, Mr Sherborne says.
Break-up in May 2016
Mr Sherborne has moved on to a court appearance by Heard after her break-up with Depp, when she filed for a restraining order, to which he says she had no obligation to turn up to – unless she wanted “publicity”.
The restraining order was extended from June 2016 to August 2016, the court hears.
On 22 July 2016, there was a meeting between Heard and Depp, “requested by Ms Heard”, Mr Sherborne says, “despite the restraining order”.
Domestic violence victims
Mr Sherborne has once again accused Heard of lying.
Her allegations do a “disservice” to genuine victims of domestic abuse, he says, and to the #MeToo movement.
Mr Sherborne is now reading from the closing statement of Sasha Wass, representing NGN, made yesterday.
“Ms Heard was a modern and ambitious woman,” he reads. “It was not in her nature to wait until he got home so she could take his boots off, and the self-scripted Southern gentleman required a supplicant wife.
“When Mr Depp chose Ms Heard as his life partner, he did not expect her to carry on acting in films with young and attractive actors.
“Mr Depp was unable to control Ms Heard…”
He says the suggestion she was controlled by Depp is nonsense.
The defendants have made their case on the basis Heard was “controlled” by Depp, Mr Sherborne says, with Heard giving examples both big and small.
He describes a claim made by Heard that she was not allowed to make decisions as “nonsense”.
The reality is that she is a woman with “all the choices”, he says. “Amber got what Amber wanted.”
He says she moved in with, “installed her friends and family around” and then married Depp, all “without a pre-nup or a post-nup”.
The suggestion that she was controlled would be “funny” if not for the serious nature of the allegations, he says.
“Can I move on to another lie?”
Mr Sherborne says he is going to be quick on this, but is going back to the trip to Coachella festival in 2016.
This was a trip Heard made with friends following her 30th birthday party, after which she claims Depp was violent towards her.
Heard was “steadfast” that she didn’t vomit at the Coachella festival, Mr Sherborne says. However, her nurse and friend referred to her as vomiting and a driver also confirmed he saw her vomiting – and identified her in this picture.
This was another lie Heard was prepared to tell on oath, Mr Sherborne tells the court.
Dogs in Australia recap
In October 2015, Heard faced criminal proceedings in Australia for taking Pistol and Boo into the country without the proper paperwork.
She and Depp recorded a now infamous video in 2016 apologising for doing so.
In court, Heard said she believed that she and Depp did have the correct forms and insisted her ex-husband was “the boss”.
She told the court that the Pirates of the Caribbean star had told her “everything had been taken care of”.
She said: “When Johnny wanted something it happened. He always found a way to make it work.”
And later on said: “I didn’t call any of the shots. This is Johnny’s plane, Johnny’s crew, Johnny’s staff.”
Pistol and Boo
We are going to move on quickly now, to the infamous “dogs in Australia incident” regarding the couple’s Yorkshire terriers, Pistol and Boo.
“Whatever gloss,” Heard tries to put on the situation, he says, “it’s clear” it was Heard “alone” who was involved in the dogs’ travel. Texts demonstrate that she was the one involving herself in the arrangements, the barrister says.
She was “well aware” that the dogs did not have the correct paperwork, he says, “but this is Amber and I get what I want.”
This is not the first time he has said this today.
Coachella birthday trip
Mr Sherborne is now referring to notes made by a nurse about Heard’s trip to Coachella in 2016, in which she describes MsMcMillan as an “assistant”.
Heard “took every opportunity in the witness box to have a dig” at her former assistant Kate James, who the court previously heard sent emails to Heard about Ms McMillan’s “pay”.
The judge is now asking about the letter again, asking if it matters whether Heard wrote the letter when she has confirmed she signed it.
“She has lied to this court in the same way, in my suggestion, she lied to Homeland Security,” Mr Sherborne says.
Heard said on oath that “she didn’t write it”, Mr Sherborne says.
The hearing is now under way again and we are returning to the letter to homeland security regarding Savannah McMillan.
Mr Sherborne is talking about an Instagram page, Ms McMillan’s – and what’s important is how she spells her name, he says.
So we’re back to the misspelled name in the homeland security letter.
The judge is asking if this was put to Heard. Mr Sherborne says the letter was “again and again”.
We hear her name is spelled McMillen in the letter, not McMillan – we have previously heard from Depp’s stylist during the case, whose name is Samantha McMillen.
Mr Sherborne says another word in the letter is spelled with an American spelling.
“Ms Heard was at great pains to try to fool this court that she was not the author of that letter,” he says, and also that Ms McMillan was not her assistant.
Who said what?
While the court rests its legs and grabs a sandwich, here’s a reminder of who has said what so far in the case.
After three weeks of evidence, and more than 20 witnesses in the box, it’s fair to say things can get a little confusing.
Here, we lay out the 14 allegations which The Sun’s publishers, News Group Newspapers (NGN), are relying on in their defence.
Watch: Depp and Heard’s arrivals on final day
The judge is being directed to another file, but says he is conscious of the time – it’s nearly lunch!
We are going to rise, he says, and we’ll come back to Mr Sherborne’s point afterwards.
Back just after 2pm.
We are now hearing about a friend and assistant of Heard’s Savannah McMillan, who has been discussed previously during the trial.
The court has heard how Heard signed a letter to the US Homeland Security department asking for a “fraudulent report to be removed” regarding Ms McMillan, who is British and was 18 at the time.
Heard said the letter was to indicate that Ms McMillan was not working “illegally” in the US and the actress said Ms McMillan had only worked for her abroad “at times” – not in the US.
The actress said Ms McMillan had written the letter but she signed it as she felt it reflected the truth.
If you look at this letter that Heard “claims on oath” was written by Ms McMillan, you will see that Ms McMillan has “misspelled her own name”, Mr Sherborne tells the court.
The judge asks if Mr Sherborne is okay to discuss this in open court, and he says he is.
Parts of Heard’s evidence have been heard in private, with the press and public briefly excluded from the proceedings.
Mr Sherborne does not go into details about the allegations, but says they were to bolster the defendants’ case.
And we’re back!
We have lost the feed for a few seconds (we’re in the media courtroom watching on screens)… hopefully back up shortly
“The Boston plane incident”
Mr Sherborne is now addressing what has been referred to as the Boston plane incident, an allegation of violence in 2014, saying Heard “could not resist” an attack on Depp by saying he attacked a flight attendant, despite not referring to this in witness statements.
“A compulsive liar”
Mr Sherborne tells the judge that Amber Heard’s credibility as a witness – “or lack of it” – is key to the case.
He says Depp’s legal team’s position is clear, that from big points to the smaller points, Heard has proved to be a “wholly unreliable witness” and a “compulsive liar”, and says he does not “say that lightly”.
She has lied about the incidents, tailored her story to meet the evidence and changed dates, Mr Sherborne claims.
Mr Deuters is trying to get Depp up and the actor refers to “hookers and animals” in his hotel room, and having “to kill a few of the animals for sustenance”.
Mr Sherborne says there is no “greater demonstration” of the defendants’ desperation than their questioning on this message, which he says was obviously a joke.
Powered by Livefyre