The ongoing legal battles between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard will seemingly continue going on. While Heard’s side has repeatedly attempted to get Johnny Depp’s defamation lawsuit thrown out of a Virginia court, a judge has shut down yet another attempt at dismissing the case. While Heard’s side hoped that the issues at hand had already been dealt with in another court, the judge did not agree.
The most recent attempt by Amber Heard’s legal team to get Johnny Depp’s defamation lawsuit thrown out was done by making a request that the Virginia Supreme Court make a ruling on whether or not the results of the verdict in the U.K. libel case that Depp brought ultimately proved that his defamation claims were without merit.
Johnny Depp sued U.K. newspaper The Sun for referring to him in a story as a “wife-beater.” That judge found the paper’s claims to be substantially true, based largely on Amber Heard’s own testimony. Depp’s defamation case stems from a Washington Post op-ed in which Heard claimed to be a survivor of domestic abuse.
While the issues at hand are largely the same, dealing with the question of whether or not Johnny Depp was abusive, they surround two completely different sets of statements, and CourtHouse News Service reports this is why Judge Penney Azcarate rejected the request. The case will not move up to the Supreme Court of Virginia and will be heard. Instead, the case is currently scheduled to go before the court in May 2022.
At least in theory, if both cases were dealing directly with Amber Heard’s Washington Post op-ed, there would be grounds to see the case thrown out, but because that’s not the case any allegedly defamatory aspects of the publication must be dealt with separately. That doesn’t mean that the U.K. trial won’t be a factor in the defamation case. One can assume Heard’s legal team will use that verdict as much as they legally can to show Depp was abusive.
The ruling was perhaps not that much of a surprise, as the same judge made a similar ruling back in August. At that time the judge herself was asked to dismiss the case. This new ruling was an attempt to make a similar argument to a higher court, but that’s now been rejected.
This marks the fourth time that Amber Heard has attempted to get the defamation lawsuit thrown out, but unless a new argument can be found as to why that should happen, it may be the last.
Amber Heard has also filed a countersuit against Johnny Depp for defamation, so the two will be going head to head in a courtroom next spring, assuming there are no further delays.
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