Johnny Depp wins right to sue ex Amber Heard in libel case after dismissal plea
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Johnny Depp has won the right to move forward with his libel suit against Amber Heard despite her request to the judge to get the case thrown out.
The lawsuit relates to an opinion piece penned by Heard which featured in the Washington Post in 2018 with the actress talking about surviving domestic abuse, though Depp was not named in the piece.
In 2019 Depp filed a libel suit against his ex-wife and accused her of creating a "hoax" of being a domestic abuse survivor.
Following Depp's defamation lawsuit against The Sun, which saw the publication label him a "wife beater", which the judge said was "substantially true", Heard submitted a plea to have the libel suit against her dropped.
However, Virginia judge Azcarate stated that the two statements made were "inherently different".
In an opinion letter submitted by Fairfax County Chief Judge Penney Azcarate, it read: "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.
"Although the claims are similar in the sense they both relate to claims of abuse by [Depp], the statements being defended in the UK case are inherently different than the statements published by [Depp]."
After the decision was made, Depp's lawyer, Ben Chew of the DC office of Brown Rudnick said to Deadline: "Mr Depp is most gratified by the Court's decision."
It is expected to go to trial in April 2022.
In 2018 Heard wrote that she was a "public figure representing domestic abuse", adding that she felt the force of the "wrath for women who speak out".
Last year the High Court ruled against Depp after a three-week trial against The Sun, with the judge ruling that the allegations of the actor being a "wife beater" was "substantially true".
The judge ruled that Depp put Heard in "fear of her life" three times.
It has now been noted that the upcoming case against Amber Heard is different to the 2020 trial and the judge has ruled as such, which allows for Heard's plea to throw the case out to be turned down.
- Johnny Depp
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