Johnny Depp has suffered a setback in his ongoing $100 million libel battle with ex-wife Amber Heard.
Pirates of the Caribbean Star Depp then sued Heard for defamation The Washington Post published her opinion piece in 2018, writing about her experiences of domestic violence.
Depp’s lawyers claim the article – which doesn’t mention Depp by name – falsely implied that Aquaman Star was physically and sexually abused by Depp while they were married.
On Thursday (March 24), a judge ruled that Heard can argue before a jury that she should be protected from a defamation lawsuit because her article addresses a matter of public interest.
At the Fairfax County Courthouse, Depp’s attorneys requested a ruling that Heard could not argue in her defense that she was speaking on matters of public interest and was therefore protected from a lawsuit.
Depp’s attorney said the law allowing this defense, known as the anti-slapping provision (strategic action against public participation), was not designed for use in private disputes.
The judge ruled against Depp, meaning Heard can use the public interest argument in her defense.
Depp is also facing a defamation lawsuit from Heard over statements Depp’s attorney made about her.
The trial begins April 11 in Fairfax, and both Depp and Heard will testify in court.
In 2020, Depp lost a similar lawsuit in the UK against it The sun about an article that claimed the actor was a “wife beater”. The judge ruled that Depp had assaulted Heard, leaving her in fear for her life on numerous occasions.
If you or someone you know has been affected by domestic violence, you can call the 24-hour Domestic Violence Helpline operated by Refuge on 0808 2000 247 or visit their website here.
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/johnny-depp-amber-heard-defamation-latest-b2043925.html Johnny Depp faces major setback in Amber Heard’s $100m defamation battle