Even Hollywood Actors Must Comply with Court Rules

May 20, 2020, By

“You can’t always get what you want…” – Head of Dispute Resolution, Elizabeth Wilkinson, shares an update on Jonny Depp’s Court case against The Sun.

Jonny Depp famously based his character, Captain Jack Sparrow, in Pirates of the Caribbean on The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards. Mr Depp is finding out that he too can’t always get what he wants. At least, not in his libel case against The Sun in the High Court in London.

Mr Depp is suing The Sun after an article about his relationship with actress Amber Heard referred to him as a ’wife beater’.

His lawyers were seeking the court’s forgiveness for serving their witness statements late, all of 8 hours, and they got it. The Judge accepted that an 8 hour infraction would not cause any difficulties or jeopardise any future court dates in the case. Lawyers across England and Wales at least will breathe a sigh of relief.

Relevance of Evidence

However, Mr Depp’s lawyers were also asking for permission to rely on more witnesses at the trial. This time, the Judge was not so lenient, refusing to allow evidence at all from one proposed witness. He only allowed some of the evidence from another witness after scrutinising it line by line for relevance.

The Guardian shared a quote from Amber Heard’s spokesperson: Mr Depp’s team has been attempting to introduce irrelevant evidence. This is one of the defining characteristics of their strategy – to adduce irrelevant evidence designed to smear Ms Heard and distract from the facts so that people do not focus on Mr Depp’s behaviour”

It is understood the evidence allowed centred mainly on Ms Heard’s alleged liking for red wine (cue Neil Diamond’s ‘Red Red Wine’ later covered by UB40).

The High Court has underlined the need to comply with the court rules even if you are a Hollywood actor.  We will have to wait and see whether Mr Depp can’t get no satisfaction from his court case…