Johnny Depp suffered a major defeat in the British High Court last year when a judge ruled that it wasn’t libelous to describe him as a “wife-beater”, but losing one battle isn’t the end of the war. The big finale is coming in Fairfax County, Virginia in mid-2022, where he’s suing Heard for $50M over a Washington Post op-ed she wrote about her experience as a victim of domestic violence.
In response, she filed a $100 million counterclaim, also alleging defamation and that Johnny was responsible for a social media effort to tarnish her career by getting her booted off Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
But Heard’s lawyers attempted to squash this before it even began, launching a number of applications that Depp’s case should be thrown out as the facts were already proved in the U.K.
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Fairfax County Judge Penney Azcarate disagreed, ruling that this application succeeding would set a dangerous precedent and that British libel laws are too different from the U.S. for the ruling to have weight in both jurisdictions.
With Heard‘s application failing, the case looks set to go ahead in May 2022. Even so, with both sides exploring every possible pre-trial legal avenue, this saga will continue on for at least a little longer.
Expect fireworks when the two parties clash next year. If Johnny Depp triumphs, he may see a career revival. If Heard wins again, it’s likely to be the final nail in the coffin of her ex-husband’s reputation. The result will be nail-biting stuff, though there’s going to be much more dirty laundry to be aired over the course of the trial for both parties.