Actor Johnny Depp’s defeat in the London libel courts has been hailed by domestic violence charities as a victory and an example that will encourage other victims to come forward and seek justice.
The judgment on Monday by the high court that the Sun was justified in describing the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star as a “wife-beater” was welcomed by lawyers and campaign groups who support those who have experienced domestic abuse, reports guardian.com.
Amber Heard, who divorced Depp in 2017, accused him of verbal and physical abuse, including screaming, swearing, issuing threats, punching, slapping, kicking, head-butting, and choking her, as well as "extremely controlling and intimidating behaviour," according to BBC.
Lisa King, from the domestic violence charity Refuge, said that this is an important ruling and one which we hope sends a very powerful message.
“… every single survivor of domestic abuse should be listened to and should be heard. No survivor should ever have her voice silenced,” said King, reports guardian.com
Harriet Wistrich, the founder of the Centre for Women’s Justice, said that “So many women who have tried to speak out or share their experiences are being threatened with libel actions. This is a really helpful judgment and will serve as a warning to men who think they can silence those who speak out about their abuse.”
The allegations of domestic abuse against Johnny Depp were extremely serious, said Nicki Norman, acting chief executive at Women’s Aid.
“Everyone who has experienced domestic abuse deserves to be listened to and believed. This also applies to survivors who do not fit the image of the ‘perfect’ victim – and regardless of the high profile of the alleged abuser. There is no excuse for domestic abuse,” said Norman.
The Sun in response thanked the judge for his "careful consideration" and Amber Heard "for her courage in giving evidence to the court."