• Nov. 2, 2020Updated 12:01 p.m. ET

LONDON — Johnny Depp on Monday lost his court case against a British newspaper that called him a “wife beater” and claimed there was “overwhelming evidence” that he had assaulted the actress Amber Heard repeatedly during their marriage.

Mr. Depp’s assaults included head-butting Ms. Heard, repeatedly hitting her and tearing out clumps of her hair, wrote Andrew Nicol, the British judge who heard the case, in a ruling issued online on Monday. In dismissing the case, he said the defendants had shown that what they published was “substantially true.”

The assaults “must have been terrifying,” the judge wrote regarding incidents in March 2015 in Australia, in which Ms. Heard said that Mr. Depp assaulted her several times, including smashing a telephone beside her face. “I accept that Mr. Depp put her in fear of her life,” the judge wrote.

The judge also acknowledged the risk Ms. Heard had taken in speaking up about the violence. “I also accept that Ms. Heard’s allegations have had a negative effect on her career as an actor and activist,” he said.

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