In a written outline of the Hollywood star's case, his barrister, David Sherborne, said the article made ‘defamatory allegations of the utmost seriousness’ against Mr Depp, accusing him of committing serious assaults on Ms Heard and ‘inflicting such serious injuries that she feared for her life’ … Mr Sherborne said: ‘The articles amount to a full-scale attack on the claimant as a “wife beater”, guilty of the most horrendous physical abuse.’”
Also, “NGN previously tried to have the case thrown out, but Mr Justice Nicol ruled last week the case could go ahead”. So perhaps the Sun’s legal team are not sure they can win this one. Meanwhile, the Evening Standard has also confirmed “Mr Depp is suing The Sun’s publisher, News Group Newspapers (NGN), and its executive editor Dan Wootton”.
The Guardian concurred as to the names in the frame. “The trial in the Royal Courts of Justice is expected to last three weeks and has been spread across five courts to allow for social distancing and to accommodate the media … The libel claim … has been brought … against the Sun newspaper and its executive editor, Dan Wootton, for an article about Depp which included the term ‘wife-beater’”.the paper told its readers “Johnny Depp’s libel case against The Sun over claims he abused ex-wife Amber Heard gets go-ahead”, but restricted itself to a follow-up telling “Depp, 57, is suing The Sun for referring to him as a ‘wife beater’ in an April 2018 article”.
No mention of Dan Wootton. And it’s the same in today’s article from the court, where readers are told only that “Depp, 57, is suing The Sun for referring to him as a ‘wife beater’ in an April 2018 article”. Again no mention of Wootton. Quite apart from the Sun’s reports trying to portray Depp in as bad a light as possible, the over-promoted showbiz hack whose actions led to the paper being in this situation has been airbrushed out.
Which is most interesting, given that Dan Wootton is as much on trial here as his paper. Anyone might get the impression that he wields a disproportionate amount of power at the paper - enough to ensure that his name is kept off the court reports.
But anyone tuning in the BBC knows. The advice remains the same: Don’t Buy The Sun.