Johnny Depp Just Suffered A Devastating Blow In Case Against Amber Heard

Johnny Depp might have just been dealt a pretty major blow in his lawsuit against Amber Heard which is set to go to trial next month.

By Doug Norrie | Published

johnny depp

After a highly publicized trial that went down a couple of years ago, leaving Johnny Depp persona non grata in Hollywood, he has another one set for next month, this time against ex-wife Amber Heard. But Depp might have just suffered a blow before the trial even starts with Deadline reporting that the court has sided with Heard on a particular part of the case. This could have the ball in her court when it comes to the trial itself and make it particularly difficult for Depp to win. 

As the case ramps up towards a trial, a judge ruled that Amber Heard can use the state of Virginia’s anti-SLAPP statute as part of her case. This means the actress and ex-wife of Depp might be offered some more legal protection both in the Depp lawsuit as well as her countersuit filed in response. From Johnny Depp’s perspective, this could cause major issues when it comes to his grievance.

Essentially, the anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) ruling means that Amber Heard can utilize the statute that protects people using their first amendment rights and limits the amount of litigation one can face in these circumstances. It’s essentially created to protect those who speak out in public venues or mediums from being sued. This is, essentially, what Johnny Depp and his legal team were doing in this case, filing a lawsuit over an op-ed piece posted by Amber Heard in The Washington Post. Deadline is also reporting that Depp and his team had specifically filed the case in Virginia because of the state’s looser anti-SLAPP precedents, though those have clearly been tightened up in the time since the suit was first filed. 

johnny depp

Johnny Depp is suing Amber Heard for defamation over a 2018 op-ed in the Washington Post in which she spoke out against domestic violence and abuse. Though Johnny Depp is never mentioned by name in the piece, he is claiming that the article all but alluded that he was the person referenced as the abuser in their brief relationship. For this is he is suing her to the tune of $100 million dollars. She has filed a countersuit. If the anti-SLAPP precedent holds up in front of the jury, Depp might have a tough case especially since he isn’t named and the court could rule Heard’s original piece was indeed helpful to the public at large. 

Johnny Depp has already suffered one loss in court which had major ramifications on his career. That was because in 2020 he sued the British tabloid The Sun for defamation as well after they referred to him as a “wife-beater” during his time married to Amber Heard. When Depp sued, the publication had to then try to prove their case that the label was, in fact, accurate. This led to a trial that featured a number of embarrassing revelations about the time Depp and Heard were married. In the end, Depp lost and was subsequently fired from roles in Pirates of the Caribbean and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. 

In addition to Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, this upcoming trial will also feature testimony from the likes of Elon Musk, James Franco, Jason Momoa, and Paul Bettany among others. With this latest ruling though, things might be over before they start.