Johnny Depp Dealt Big Blow Weeks Before Defamation Lawsuit Against Amber Heard

Johnny Depp has been dealt a big blow just weeks before the trial in his defamation lawsuit against Amber Heard. He is suing her after she revealed details of domestic abuse. The pair were married between 2015 and 2017.

In a recent hearing, a judge ruled a that Heard can argue to a jury that she should be protected from a libel lawsuit because an article she wrote in 2018 deals with a matter of public interest.

Another Blow For Depp In Long Lawsuit Against Ex-Wife

The Edward Scissorhands actor, 58, sued his ex-wife for $50 million after she wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post in which she described herself as being a victim of domestic violence. The libel case, which was filed in Virginia, falsely implies she was physically and sexually abused by Depp when the actors were married.

In a hearing on Thursday, Virginia Judge Penney Azcarate ruled against his summary judgement motion, and confirmed the 35-year-old actress can use the anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) statute. This Virginian law is designed to protect people from lawsuits after speaking about matter which are a concern to the public.

The measure ensures immunity from civil liability regarding statements about matters of public concern which would be protected under the US Constitution’s First Amendment.

Depp’s lawyer said the law s not designed to interfere with private disputes. Heard’s lawyer said in a statement that the article in question does not mention The Pirates of the Caribbean actor by name, and it addresses a serious issue of public concern: preventing domestic violence.

Heard Counter Sues Depp

Heard has also filed a counterclaim for defamation against Depp due to the statements his lawyer made regrading her. The ruling comes just weeks before a lengthy trial is expected to begin in Fairfax. Depp is suing her in Virginia because the Washington Post’s online editions are published through servers located in Fairfax County.

Both Depp and Heard are scheduled to testify in court, with numerous other famous figures listed as potential witnesses. Heard’s lawyers want to have the case moved to California, where both actors reside. The reason Depp’s team wants to keep it in Virginia is because the state’s anti-Slapp law is not as broad as in California.

Depp filed a similar lawsuit in the UK against The Sun newspaper and lost after they called him a “wife beater”. The judge ruled that Depp assaulted Heard on a dozen occasions and put her in fear for her life three times.

Depp has said the accusations of domestic abuse are untrue and have made it difficult for him to get work. He was dropped from the Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them franchise and his once illustrious career has seen a decline in recent years.

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