Substantially true

I didn’t even know Johnny Depp was suing The Sun for libel. I barely know who he is, to tell the truth – I don’t think I’ve seen any of his work. Anyway, he was was suing The Sun for libel because The Sun called him a wife-beater, and he lost the suit because hey guess what it turned out to be true.

In the 129-page ruling, the judge, Mr Justice Nicol, said: “The claimant [Depp] has not succeeded in his action for libel … The defendants [the Sun and News Group Newspapers] have shown that what they published in the meaning which I have held the words to bear was substantially true.

The judge added: “I have found that the great majority of alleged assaults of Ms Heard by Mr Depp have been proved to the civil standard.” He also said he accepted Heard’s evidence that the allegations she made against Depp “have had a negative effect on her career as an actor and activist”.

Marvelous, isn’t it? He beats her up and her career is harmed because she said he beat her up.

In 12 out of the 14 incidents of assault reported by Heard, the judge said he found the allegations proved. “I do not regard [the Sun’s] inability to make good these allegations [in the other two incidents] as of importance in determining whether they have established the substantial truth of the words that they published.”

In his conclusion, Nicol cited an email sent by Depp in August 2016 as indicative of the actor’s true feelings towards Heard. Depp’s message said: “I have no mercy, no fear and not an ounce of emotion or what I once thought was love for this gold digging, low level, dime a dozen, mushy, pointless dangling overused flappy fish market … I can only hope that karma kicks in and takes the gift of breath from her … Sorry man … But NOW I will stop at nothing!!!”


The visceral disgust a lot of men feel toward women never fails to creep me out. “The good one” is spared for a time when the man is infatuated with her, but once that’s over she’s just another dangling overused flappy fish market.

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