A judge denied Amber Heard’s offer to dismiss Johnny Depp’s libel suit against her on Tuesday after the latter plaintiff’s legal team closed the case.
The libel trial between Mr. Depp and Ms. Heard began on April 11 in Fairfax, Virginia following Mr. Depp’s lawsuit against his ex-wife in March 2019. Mr. Depp claims he defamed him in an editorial. of December 2018 published on The Washington Post titled “I Spoke Against Sexual Violence and Confronted the Wrath of Our Culture. This must change ”.
In asking for her dismissal, defense attorney Ben Rottenborn argued that the only issue in the case is whether Ms. Heard can be held liable for defamation because of her 2018 column and nothing else.
He claimed there is “ample evidence” that Mr. Depp physically abused Ms. Heard and acknowledged that this claim is disputed, but argued that there is no controversy over the non-physical abuse aspect.
If Mr. Depp abused Mrs. Heard “even once, then he wins. It’s that simple, ”said Mr. Rottenborn.
The lawyer filed for a strike, asking the judge to remove all or part of the evidence presented by the plaintiff from the minutes.
He asked the court to “strike the plaintiff’s evidence and award a summary judgment to Ms. Heard.”
Mr. Depp’s attorney Ben Chew then opposed the strike motion, insisting that Ms. Heard’s “false allegations” have reached the level required to constitute a libel and saying that “she is the abuser in this classroom “.
Mr. Chew said that the testimony of Terence Dougherty of the ACLU “was disgusting”, claiming that they launched the Heard editorial using Mr. Depp’s name to make it more attractive to the editors surrounding the release of the. Aquaman movie.
Ms. Heard’s legal team argued that Mr. Depp did not turn out to be malicious, pointing out that the Washington Post the title of the editorial was not written by Ms. Heard.
Judge Penney Azcarate said he denied the motion to dismiss the case regarding two statements filed by the plaintiff, but that he will take a third under counsel.
In her 2018 editorial, Ms. Heard wrote that “like many women, I had been sexually harassed and assaulted when I was college age. But I kept quiet: I didn’t expect filing complaints to bring justice. And I didn’t see one. victim”.
“Then two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse and felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women speaking openly,” she added at the time.
Although Mr. Depp is not named in the piece, his legal team claims it contains a “clear implication that Mr. Depp is a domestic molester”, which they say is “categorically and demonstrably false”. Mr. Depp is seeking compensation of “no less than $ 50 million”.
Ms. Heard filed a $ 100 million counterclaim against Mr. Depp for the disturbance and immunity from his charges.