The courtroom battles between warring ex-spouses Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are far from over, and even though the former Pirates of the Caribbean and Fantastic Beasts star lamented the industry’s decision to boycott him, the actor has scored a significant win in the latest chapter of the never-ending saga.
Two years ago, Depp launched a $50 million defamation lawsuit against Heard, who not only responded with a $100 million counterclaim, but sought to have the initial action against her dismissed based on the fact Depp came out on the losing end of his libel trail opposite British tabloid The Sun.
The Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom actress moved in April to have the case thrown out due to the outcome in the libel proceedings, believing she was well-positioned to succeed after he also lost out on trying to have the verdict overturned on appeal. As you can read below, Fairfax County Chief Judge Penney Azcarate released a statement outlining her decision to disagree.
“The Court is not persuaded by Defendant’s argument that Plaintiff had a full and fair opportunity to litigate the UK Action. Defendant was not a part in the UK action and was not treated as one, because she was not named a defendant, she was not subject to the same discovery rules applicable to named parties. In fact, Defendant could not have been a named defendant to the UK litigation because her allegedly defamatory statements were made after the UK action commence. Defendant argues she was in privity with The Sun because they both had the same interest in the case. However, for privity to exist, Defendant’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 Defendant’s legal right,”
That’s an awful lot of legal jargon to sift through, but the long and short if the situation is that it’s a win for Johnny Depp, and his second in a matter of weeks after a New York judge decreed that he could conduct a determination on whether or not Heard actually donated part of her $7 million divorce settlement to the American Civil Liberties Union as she’d claimed.
There’s yet another war brewing between the former couple that’s set to kick off in Virginia beginning April 2022, and while Depp will no doubt be buoyed by scoring two small victories in quick succession, based on what’s unfolded so far, it would be safe to assume that the end is still nowhere near in sight.