According to court documents obtained by The Blast, a Virginia judge ruled on Thursday that the case will remain there and not be transferred to California, as Heard had wanted.
The judge agreed with Depp that because the Washington Post op-ed by Heard that is at the heart of the lawsuit was published in Virginia, the case should remain there.
As The Blast first reported, Johnny Depp sued Heard for defamation over an op-ed Heard wrote last year where she referred to herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.”
In his lawsuit, Depp takes issue with an article Heard wrote for the Washington Post in December 2018, in which she referred to herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.”
Although Johnny Depp was not named, he claims the entire article “depends on the central premise that Ms. Heard was a domestic abuse victim and that Mr. Depp perpetrated domestic violence against her.”
He claims that Heard’s abuse allegations were “conclusively refuted by two separate responding police officers, a litany of neutral third-party witnesses, and 87 newly obtained surveillance camera videos.”
Depp is suing for defamation and asking for damages in excess of $50,000,000.
Heard submitted a declaration as a response to Depp’s lawsuit, going into great detail in alleging multiple instances of abuse at the hands of Johnny Depp during the course of their brief marriage.
In her filing, Heard claims that Depp began to abuse drugs and alcohol about a year into their relationship. She claims he frequently went in and out of “alcohol dependency medical care.” She claims he “used both illegal narcotics and prescription medications.”
During a trip to Australia in March 2015, she claims Depp went on an ecstasy bender. Heard claims the two got into another fight and claims Depp “hit me multiple times, shoved and pushed me to the ground, choked me, and spit in my face.”
In a December 2015 incident, she claims Depp “threw another decanter at me, knocked items around the room, and punched a wall.” She also claims he “slapped me hard, grabbed me by my hair and dragged me from a stairwell to the office to the living to the kitchen to the bedroom and then to the guest room.”
Heard also denies any claims that she abused Johnny and says she “never attacked Johnny other than in self-defense (and in defense of my little sister).”
Last month, the judge set a trial date for February 3, 2020 and estimates the trial will last 12 days.