Former couple Amber Heard and Johnny Depp have been enbroiled in drama since the dissolution of their short-lived marriage in 2017. Much of their demise has become tabloid fodder over the years, with accusations of abuse being thrown in the mix. A loss in love has truly become a battlefield for both parties and both Heard and Depp have been locked and loaded for the all-out war.
In a Deadline exclusive, we’ve learned that the tides have taken a turn in Depp’s favor in his $50M defamation lawsuit against the actress.
Heard attempted to block Depp’s defamation lawsuit by having it thrown out of court, however her dismissal request has ultimately been denied. In a letter to both parties’ attorneys released on Friday (March 27), a Fairfax County Chief Judge wrote, “Defendant’s Demurrer is sustained as to the fourth statement listed above, but it is overruled as to the other three statements.”
The judge noted the statements in question as Heard’s initial claims where she fully implied Depp had in fact abused her.
“Further, Defendant’s Plea in Bar regarding the statute of limitations is denied. Counsel shall prepare an Order reflecting the Court’s ruling and forward that Order to the Court for entry,” he added.
To read the extensive opinion letter in full, click here. Since initially filing his defamation lawsuit against Heard last year, Depp has been adamant about his innocence in the matter. “Ms. Heard is not a victim of domestic abuse, she is a perpetrator,” a line in the complaint read.
The complaint also stated that her recount in the op-ed “depended on the central premise that Ms. Heard was a domestic abuse victim and that Mr. Depp perpetrated domestic violence against her.”
Two years ago, when the two reached a divorce settlement, things seemed amicable between them despite the fact that Heard obtained a temporary restraining order against the Once Upon a Time in Mexico actor. In addition to evidence of the alleged abuse being released to the public, the actress also testified under oath that Depp abused her during their relationship.
Despite all of that, Depp vehemently denied any abuse happened. And in 2017, after finalizing their divorce, the former spouses released a joint statement that claimed “relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love. Neither party has made false accusations for financial gain. There was never any intent of physical or emotional harm.”
So it came as a bit of a shock when Heard took to The Washington Post to pen an op-ed about her domestic abuse. Although Depp wasn’t mentioned by name, it was heavily implied that he was the former relationship she was alluding to in the piece.
Depp filed his lawsuit in response to the alleged defamation of his character. He also provided evidence of alleged abuse by the Aquaman actress towards him. To which Heard responded to by maintaining the fact that Depp was abusive towards her in their admittedly volatile relationship. Heard made an attempt to get the suit dismissed so that the case could be tried in California. However, today’s decision ruled that the answer to her request is a firm and resounding, “Nah.”
As of now, the trial is still set for August and Heard’s legal team remain confident that she’ll secure the W in the end.