It’s not often that Johnny Depp has had good luck in his series of ongoing legal battles with ex-wife Amber Heard, but he recently celebrated a rare victory in court. A Virginia judge denied Heard’s efforts to get Depp’s $50 million defamation case against her denied, and this news couldn’t have made Depp any happier. The judge went into great detail about the reasons why she denied Heard’s request for a dismissal and even went so far as to call Heard’s assertions “puzzling.”
Johnny Depp’s Defamation Case Continues On
Johnny Depp was recently handed a small victory in court as part of his $50 million defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard. Heard had petitioned in April to have the suit dismissed after a British court ruled in favor of Rupert Murdoch’s publication The Sun, which had been embroiled in a libel trial with Depp over the outlet’s description of Depp as a “wife beater.” Depp also lost his appeals case in the British trial. Heard attempted to use this ruling as a reason for the two-year-old case’s dismissal.
Fairfax County Chief Judge Penney Azcarate wrote a long opinion explaining the reasoning behind her denial of Heard’s request for dismissal, writing in part, “The Court is not persuaded by Defendant’s argument that Plaintiff had a full and fair opportunity to litigate the UK action,” adding, “Defendant [Heard] was not a part in the UK action and was not treated as one,” though it should be noted that both Heard and Depp took the stand in the UK as part of the libel trial to share their respective perspectives on the allegations surrounding Depp’s alleged abusive behavior.
Judge In Defamation Case Doesn’t Hold Back On Heard
The judge went on to explain that because Amber Heard was not a defendant in the case, “she was not subject to the same discovery rules applicable to named parties.” Azcarate also explained that there were differences between free speech laws in the UK versus those in the US. She also called Heard’s assertions “puzzling.” She continued, “The Sun’s interests were based on whether the statements the newspaper published were false. Defendant’s interests relate to whether the statements she published were false.”
Johnny Depp’s lawyer, Ben Chew, told Deadline, “Mr. Depp is most gratified by the Court’s decision,” in a decidedly understated statement. This decision has to be a bit more than “gratifying” for the actor, considering the fact that he has continued to assert that Heard’s statements, including the Washington Post article penned by the Aquaman actress that this case is based on, have negatively impacted his career. In fact, the actor recently claimed that Hollywood is boycotting him as a result of her statements.