Amber Heard Can Be Present When Johnny Depp Testifies In Libel Case, Court Rules

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Amber Heard, the ex-wife of actor Johnny Depp, can watch him testify in a libel case over allegations of domestic abuse, a court has ruled.

Depp is suing the publisher of the Sun, News Group Newspapers (NGN), and its executive editor, Dan Wootton, over a 2018 article which described Depp as a “wife beater.” The article cited claims by Heard that Depp was physically abusive during their marriage, a charge he has denied.

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The case is planned to be heard in a UK court on Tuesday. NGN’s legal team failed to get the case thrown out of court earlier this week.

In UK criminal cases, witnesses cannot be present in court while others testify. However, they can be present in civil cases. Depp hoped to ban Heard by claiming her testimony would be influenced if she was present while he was cross-examined.

In a court order published today, Justice Nicol rejected that argument, ruling it would be “unfair” and “inhibit … the conduct of their defence.” Defendants NGN and Wootton “rely heavily on the information which Ms Heard can provide. [Heard] will not be in a position to give instructions to (NGN’s lawyers), but she can provide information on which the defendants may choose to act,” he said.

 

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