The $50 million lawsuit that Johnny Depp filed against Amber Heard for defamation is not likely to be resolved any time soon. The trial will be delayed after Depp failed to turn over court-ordered records related to his drug and alcohol usage. His deadline for delivering those documents was November 15.
Apparently, as a result of this delay, judicial officials in Fairfax, Virginia have granted a six-month postponement of the start of the trial between the once-married actors and co-stars.
Originally, the jury trial was set to begin on February 3, 2020, but now it will start on August 3 of next year. In postponing the case, the regional calendar control judge cited “good cause shown by both sides.”
Heard had apparently requested a 60-day postponement, and got this 180-day delay instead. This delay contributes to what has already felt like an endless court fight between the two stars as a result of Heard’s accusations that Depp abused her while they were married.
Depp filed the countersuit as a way to push back on the narrative that he was a domestic abuser. His refusal to comply with Heard’s lawyer’s requests for his drug and alcohol records, which they did as part of evidence discovery, doesn’t exactly strengthen his case.
Heard’s lawyers claim that Depp wants to make the case a “he said/she said” battle, while Heard would like to focus on the truth of what actually happened. Heard’s lawyers also believe he’s trying to stall.
“Mr. Depp has made it clear that his strategy is to try to run out the clock during the holiday season so that Ms. Heard is unable to obtain critical evidence and testimony to corroborate her defenses to the baseless defamation suit he filed against her,” stated Roberta Kaplan on November 25 when the request for a trial delay was first filed. The move to delay could interfere with Depp’s planned tour as part of The Hollywood Vampires with Joe Perry and Alice Cooper.
The $50 million lawsuit isn’t the only legal battle Depp is currently waging. He has another trial that’s set to start in May of 2020 around allegations that he punched a location manager on the set of “City of Lies.”
It seems safe to say that Depp’s many legal challenges may not be unrelated to his general bad behavior. At this point, it’s slightly shocking that so many people are still willing to make and watch movies where he plays a central role.