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Virginia Court Allows Johnny Depp to Continue with the Libel Case Against ex-Wife Amber Heard

A Virginia court overruled actor Amber Heard’s plea to dismiss the defamation case filed against her by ex-husband and actor Johnny Depp after his loss in the libel case filed against British tabloid The Sun for calling him a “wife-beater”.

The court order noted that Heard’s interest of having the court recognize her domestic violence charges against Depp and The Sun‘s remark did not align.

The Sun‘s interest were based on whether the statements the newspaper published were false. Defendant’s interest relate to whether the statements she published were false,” read the order.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

The UK judgment being referred to, saw Depp lose the lawsuit filed in 2018 against The Sun, that published an article in which it called Depp a “wife beater.” The lawsuit was rejected by the British High Court in 2020. The court also found that 12 of the 14 alleged domestic violence incidents did occur.

Depp, who has films like Pirates of the Caribbean and the Fantastic Beasts franchise in his filmography, sued his ex-wife, Heard in 2019, after she wrote an op-ed piece for the Washington Post in December 2018, describing her life as a victim of domestic abuse.

The Virginia court further added that both the lawsuits filed against Heard and The Sun, are independent of one another, especially because “the allegedly defamatory statements were made after the UK actions commenced,” and thus, the “Plaintiff’s defamation claim in the UK was based on completely different statements than the present case.”

The actor’s lawyer Ben Chew told Deadline, “Mr. Depp is most gratified by the Court’s decision”.

Heard claimed that refusing to recognize the UK judgment “would set a dangerous precedent.”

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She first spoke about the abuse in 2016 when she filed for divorce and a legal tug-of-war followed between the two.

Since then, Depp has been dropped from major projects like Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean, while Mads Mikkelsen replacing the actor in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts film.