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Johnny Depp seeking appeal from UK court in libel suit

Johnny Depp has filed an application with the

Johnny Depp has filed an application with the U.K. Court of Appeal. Credit: Getty Images for ZFF / Andreas Rentz

Johnny Depp is asking a British court for permission to appeal a ruling last month that determined a U.K. tabloid did not libel him when it wrote there were "claims he beat ex-wife Amber Heard."

The news agency Press Association 2020 reported Tuesday that the "Pirates of the Caribbean" star, 57, has applied to the U.K. Court of Appeal over the ruling, which came in a libel case he filed in 2018 after his contentious divorce from "Aquaman" star Amber Heard, 36.

The public list of pending appeals did not state the grounds for the attempt, nor when a decision on whether to permit it to go forward would be made.

The High Court judge in the case, Andrew Nicol, earlier had denied Depp permission to appeal, stating, "I do not consider that the proposed grounds of appeal have a reasonable prospect of success." Depp's new motion is to the higher Court of Appeal, for which he had until Dec. 7 to file.

Nicol had ruled that 12 of 14 allegations of Depp's domestic violence toward Heard "have been proved to the civil standard," and that in three instances, Depp had put Heard in "fear for her life." The judge concluded that the April 2018 opinion column by The Sun executive editor Dan Wootton painting Depp as a domestic abuser was "substantially true." The article remains on The Sun's website, which notes, "Mr. Depp has made a legal complaint about this article and the article is the subject of legal proceedings."

In a statement on Nov. 6 announcing that he was resigning from his role as dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the upcoming third installment of the J.K. Rowling "Fantastic Beasts" franchise, Depp said, "The surreal judgment of the court in the U.K. will not change my fight to tell the truth and I confirm that I plan to appeal."

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