After Johnny Depp‘s crushing defeat in the British High Court last year, many of his fans are looking to Virginia for salvation. The case there will be the domestic leg of his legal battle with his ex-wife Amber Heard, consisting of a $50 million defamation lawsuit after she wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post about being a victim of abuse. Her article didn’t name Depp, but he claims that her strong insinuation cost him several major roles.
However, the Virginia lawsuit has now been pushed back by more than a year. It was originally scheduled for January 2021, though was moved to May 2021 due to the court system being jammed up with cases delayed due to COVID-19. On top of that, Depp and Heard have separately tried to rearrange the dates, the former to film Fantastic Beasts 3 (which is now not an issue) and the latter so she can reprise the role of Mera in Aquaman 2.
Well, Fairfax County Circuit Court Chief Judge Bruce White has conclusively solved the matter by rescheduling the trial for April 11th, 2022, which is the first available slot for a civil jury trial.
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So, what does this mean for the warring parties? Well, for Depp it should mean a clean separation between the London and Virginia cases. His legal team believe there will be an oral hearing in the Court of Appeal sometime next month, at which three senior judges will hear submissions on Mr. Justice Nicol’s judgment. If they grant Depp’s appeal, it could be the start of a career rehabilitation, though if they dismiss it and the judgment is upheld, I’m betting there’ll be serious discussions about settling (or even dropping) the Virginia lawsuit.
It’d be better for the pair to get these cases resolved one way or another, as the miasma of bad publicity is affecting them both. But whatever happens next, it seems the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard saga isn’t wrapping up anytime soon.