Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are continuing to battle it out in the courts. Heard is currently arguing that she should be protected from a libel lawsuit brought against her by her ex-husband.
Heard Argues That Her Article Was A Matter Of Public Interest
Depp sued Heard for libel after an op-ed written by the actress was published by The Washington Post. In the article, Heard described her experiences with harassment, sexual assault, and domestic abuse. While she did not mention anyone by name, it was assumed that the actress was describing some of the events that allegedly took place while she and Depp were still married.
Depp’s lawyers argued that Heard’s article falsely implies that she was physically and sexually abused by Depp during their marriage. However, Heard’s attorneys say that the suit should be thrown out because Heard’s op-ed deals with a matter of public interest.
The actor’s lawyers fought back, though, seeking a ruling that would bar Heard and her legal team from using this Virginia law in her defense. Depp’s lawyer, Benjamin Chew, argued that the law—known as an anti-SLAPP provision (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation)—is not supposed to be used in private disputes such as this.
Meanwhile, Heard’s lawyer, Elaine Bredehoft, pointed out that Heard’s article never mentioned Depp by name, and the topic of preventing domestic abuse is a very serious matter that is definitely of public concern.
Depp And Heard Are Expected To Appear In Court
The presiding judge agreed with Heard’s legal team, ruling that the actress could use the anti-SLAPP provision while making her argument to a jury. However, this does not mean that Heard has immunity for what she wrote, and the lawsuit is still ongoing.
The judge’s ruling comes just weeks before the trial is set to begin in Fairfax, Virginia. The reason for the trial’s location is because the online edition of Post is published through servers located in Fairfax. Both Depp and Heard are expected to appear in court and testify, in addition to many other Hollywood figures who will serve as potential witnesses.
Depp is seeking $50 million in damages over his ex-wife’s article, claiming that her allegations have made it difficult for him to get roles and have caused him to lose roles, such as his part as Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them series. Depp and Heard have been publicly fighting in court and in the headlines since their divorce in 2017; let’s hope this libel lawsuit is the last one.