Johnny Depp Sues U.K. Tabloid for Defamation Over Story Slamming Him and J.K. Rowling
On Friday, the Pirates of the Caribbean star filed suit in the U.K. against the The Sun through its publishing company, News Group Newspapers Limited, as well as columnist Dan Wootton, who authored the post, titled How can J.K. Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife-beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?, according to court documents obtained by PEOPLE.
The article appeared in print on April 28, 2018 and was posted on The Sun’s website on April 27, 2018.
Depp is suing for £200,000 pounds in addition to £10,528 in legal fees, as well damages to be assessed by the court, according to the documents. He is also asking for an injunction restraining the paper from “continuing to publish” allegations of spousal abuse. According to British law, Depp’s attorneys will have 14 days to produce evidence supporting their claims, which a lawyer for the actor says they will do.
In December, the Harry Potter creator gave a statement in support of the actor’s casting as Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts movie series, writing, “The filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies.”
Some had lobbied against Depp’s casting following his contentious divorce from ex-wife Amber Heard, during which the actress accused him of abuse (strongly denied by the actor).
Taking Rowling to task for her support, Wootton wrote, “Rowling is proving herself to be the worst type of Hollywood Hypocrite here. Her claim that she is ‘genuinely happy’ to have Depp star as the central character, dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, in her big-budget film sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald provides him total rehabilitation in the eyes of the movie industry. She is condoning behavior that she would be loudly slamming on social media if it was a male executive making the same decision.”
Depp first appeared briefly in 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, with a much larger role in The Crimes of Grindelwald, out Nov. 16.