Johnny Depp To Proceed With $50 Million Amber Heard Defamation Suit Despite UK Legal Loss
Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp has been granted permission to proceed with his defamation lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard.
Depp sued The Sun after it described him as a ‘wife-beater’, but the UK court upheld the outlet’s claims as being ‘substantially true.’
In spite of the loss, the actor’s fight to clear his name continued with a $50 million lawsuit filed against Heard in Virginia in March 2019, which referred to a 2018 Washington Post op-ed where Heard wrote about surviving domestic violence. Though the Aquaman actor did not name her ex-husband in the piece, she has previously accused Depp of domestic abuse.
Heard responded with a plea to dismiss Depp’s lawsuit, arguing the judgement of the UK court should sway the proceedings in her favour since both lawsuits relate to allegations of Depp being an abuser.
In spite of the argument, her plea to dismiss the case was denied by Fairfax County Chief Judge Penney Azcarate according to court documents obtained by People this week, meaning Depp will be able to move forward with the case.
Azcarate argued that while Heard’s op-ed and The Sun‘s article may share themes of alleged abuse, the statements made in each article were ‘inherently different.’
In her ruling, the judge wrote:
[Heard] argues she was in privity with The Sun because they both had the same interest in the case. However, for privity to exist, [Heard’s] interest in the case must be so identical with The Sun’s interest such that The Sun’s representation of its interest is also a representation of [Heard’s] legal right.
The Sun’s interests were based on whether the statements the newspaper published were false. [Heard’s] interests relate to whether the statements she published were false.
Azcarate further argued that Heard had not been named in Depp’s lawsuit against The Sun because her op-ed was published after he filed the lawsuit against the newspaper.
In a statement to People, a representative for Heard described Depp’s lawsuit as ‘just the latest of Johnny Depp’s repeated efforts to silence Amber Heard’, claiming his actions ‘prove he is unable to accept the truth of his ongoing abusive behavior.’
The rep added that Heard ‘will not be silenced’ and her team will ‘prevail in defeating’ the lawsuit.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, please know that you are not alone. You can talk in confidence 24 hours a day to the national domestic violence helpline Refuge on 0808 2000 247.
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