Day: March 20, 2020

Johnny Depp’s libel case against UK tabloid stalled by virus

LONDON — Johnny Depp’s libel suit against British tabloid The Sun was put on hold Friday as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Depp is suing the newspaper’s parent company, News Group Newspapers, and executive editor Dan Wootton over a 2018 article claiming he was violent and abusive to his ex-wife Amber Heard.

A trial had been due to start Monday at the High Court in London, with Depp, Heard and other celebrities due to give evidence. But judge Andrew Nicol said Friday that he had “reached the reluctant conclusion that the trial does have to be adjourned.”

The judge said two of Depp’s legal representatives had already had to self-isolate because of the virus, and added that “no-one can predict whether others involved in the case, and I do not exclude myself, will either become infected or need to self-isolate.”

Depp’s lawyer, Jennifer Afia, told a preliminary hearing this week that the actor was at a “remote location” in the south of France and could not travel because of restrictions imposed to fight the pandemic.

But the newspaper’s attorney, Adam Wolanski, alleged Depp wanted to delay the trial “because he’s a coward and because he knows he’s going to lose.” He said that despite the pandemic, Heard was willing to travel from Los Angeles to London to testify, or to give evidence by video.

Depp, 56, and Heard, 33, met on the set of 2011 comedy “The Rum Diary” and married in Los Angeles in February 2015. They divorced in 2017.

Depp is also suing Heard for libel in the United States.

The Associated Press

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By The Wall of Law March 20, 2020 Off

Review: “The Boy From The Woods” thrills with many surprises

“The Boy From The Woods” by Harlan Coben (Grand Central)

He’s known as Wilde, and he has no idea of his background or family. Found living in the woods as a young boy, Wilde grew up to join the military and learn the world of special ops. Now he lives off the grid, content to rely on himself and stay out of society. But his skill at finding answers when others don’t want the truth revealed causes people to seek his help.

TV lawyer Hester Crimstein knows Wilde well, as he grew up with her son. When Hester’s grandson, Matthew, asks for help finding Naomi, a high-school classmate, she knows that Wilde can help due to his unique skill set. Naomi is shunned at school, and her home life is not much better, so she may have run away, but Matthew doesn’t believe it. As Wilde starts investigating, he learns that everyone seems to have a part of the puzzle, but refuses to share what they know. Even Matthew is hesitant to tell Wilde why he’s concerned.

The crafty Coben knows how to weave a compelling story with intriguing characters, and Wilde is one of his best. Wilde’s journey to search for answers not only for the people he cares about, but his own personal journey, provides an intriguing plot.

The supporting characters also shine. Once the big reveal happens, it would be the end for most stories, but Coben has just gotten started. The narrative veers into such unexpected directions that even a true thriller aficionado will not see the multiple surprises the ending delivers. Coben’s name on the book cover continues to mean quality.

Jeff Ayers, The Associated Press

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By The Wall of Law March 20, 2020 Off