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Johnny Depp Granted Permission To Proceed With $50 Million Libel Case Against Amber Heard


A judge in Virginia has overruled Amber Heard’s plea to dismiss ex-husband Johnny Depp’s lawsuit after he lost his UK defamation suit against The Sun for calling him a ‘wife beater’. This means Depp is now allowed to proceed with his lawsuit against Heard.


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The actor is suing his ex-wife over a 2018 Washington Post op-ed where Heard wrote about surviving domestic violence. Although Depp was not named in the op-ed, Heard did accuse him of domestic violence back in 2016, which he denied.



Fairfax County Chief Judge Penney Azcarate has rejected the actress’s plea, saying that whilst Heard’s op-ed and The Sun’s article may be similar in that they related to claims of abuse, the statements made by the tabloid and Heard’s were ‘inherently different.’


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As per the official ruling, ‘[Heard] argues she was in privity with The Sun because they both had the same interest in the case. However, for privity to exist, [Heard’s] interest in the case must be so identical with The Sun’s interest such that The Sun’s representation of its interest is also a representation of [Heard’s] legal right’.



‘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.’, it added.


Amber Heard


Azcarate explained that Heard hadn’t been named a party in Depp’s lawsuit against The Sun, since her op-ed was published after he sued the tabloid. In the op-ed, Heard wrote; ‘I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.’



Three months later, Depp filed a lawsuit against the actress for $50 million. Elsewhere, earlier this month, Depp was also granted permission to determine if Heard had donated her $7 million divorce settlement to the ACLU, which she pledged she’d donate after their divorce was finalized.