Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are still fighting out the defamation suit and countersuit in Virginia and things have amped up in recent weeks, with depositions requested and taken and more. Yet, recent reports indicate Amber Heard’s legal team has tried to get the U.S.-based lawsuit dismissed, arguing that the findings in the U.K. libel suit should be adopted. As for Johnny Depp’s lawyer? He’s calling it a “hail Mary.”
Recently, Amber Heard’s legal team filed a motion to stay discovery on the defamation claims and also a memorandum in support of her motion for leave. Her team believes that due to the libel case results, which found in favor of The Sun after that outlet called Johnny Depp a “wife beater,” that the judgment rendered should be applicable in the US as well. The motion reads:
With the finality of the Judgment, rendered after Mr. Depp presented his best evidence and arguments on the exact same factual issues assessed here, Mr. Depp should be precluded from seeking yet another bite of the apple, where he has fully adjudicated his dispute and lost. Because of the UK Judgment, the entire world may now say, forever, that Mr. Depp is a ‘wife beater’ and has committed at least 12 acts of domestic violence against Amber Heard, causing her to be in fear for her life. In short, the UK Judgement, now final, permits this court to end the litigation.
According to Johnny Depp’s lawyer, Benjamin Chew, however, this is not the first time Amber Heard’s legal team has tried to get the $50 million defamation lawsuit dismissed. He noted (via Courthouse News) that this is just “the latest Hail Mary” from Amber Heard’s legal team and that her team has tried to get the defamation lawsuit thrown out three times over the past two years. Depp's team believes Amber Heard's Op Ed in the Washington Post was defamatory and cost the actor work.
The cases seem to be moving forward in Virginia, but they have been costly, with deposition requests and more coming from both sides. Amber Heard has been looking into Disney and what the company knew about Johnny Depp’s actions and behavior during his time on the Pirates of the Caribbean films. For his part, Depp has asserted Amber Heard has lied on several occasions, including saying she would give their divorce settlement to charity but didn’t and also said Heard had asserted Depp was violent once when police body cam footage allegedly showed otherwise. Heard's lawyer has also said the Aquaman 2 actress has not been able to pay out the full divorce settlement to charity due to ongoing litigation.
This time, Heard’s lawyer, Elaine Charlson Bredehoft, did manage to file an amended defense. The two celebrities are expected to return to court in July for a hearing. The trial itself is expected to take four weeks and will not be a part of the court system until next spring, so there’s likely a long time to go until a verdict will be achieved.
The news comes a little under a year after Johnny Depp’s UK libel suit got into full swing in the UK court after the actor had filed suit back in 2018. Depp ultimately lost that suit and appeal.