Johnny Depp (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) just won big time in the case against his ex-wife Amber Heard (Aquaman).
Amber Heard had been pursuing a $100 million counterclaim since a move made in April where she attempted to get the two-year-old case dismissed from Fairfax County Chief Judge Penney Azcarate. It was based on Johnny Depp losing a libel trial last year when Rupert Murdoch’s The Sun tabloid claimed the actor to be abusive. He ended up losing and trying to overturn the verdict three times. Despite this loss, a Virginia judge ruled that the UK ruling should not affect his suit against the actress over an op/ed published in The Washington Post in 2018.
The article that Amber Heard wrote about Johnny Depp was about what it is like speaking out against sexual violence and having to face the “culture’s wrath” for calling out abuse. The case regarding the piece was set first in Virginia, but delays happened, mostly due to the COVID-19 pandemic with some other reasons, and the UK trial ended up going first instead. Heard’s argument for the current case to be dismissed is to follow the UK ruling as both are about the Pirates of the Caribbean actor’s alleged abuse.
Judge Penney Azcarate made the decision on Tuesday (August 17) to reject the motion from Amber Heard regarding the case about Johnny Depp. To the judge, it was a lack of privity. Her argument was that her interests aligned with the British tabloid, but to the judge, those interests were not the same. Since she was not named a defendant in the U.K., therefore she was not allowed the same discovery rules. Amber Heard’s lawyer argued last month that if Virginia did not accept the verdict from the British court, then it opens the door for Johnny Depp to bring new cases to the table when any publication writes that he is a wife-beater.
Johnny Depp has faced many losses during this time, but some wins. His other score was earlier this month when a New York judge ruled that the actor might be able to conduct a determination if his ex-wife donated a portion of the $7 million divorce settlement to L.A.’s Children Hospital Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union.
The two were married between 2015 through 2017. Amber Heard never mentioned Johnny Depp by name in the op/ed, but the problems of their short marriage were on public display in 2016, and one thing led to another that connected the Oscar-nominated actor. In his argument, it was that he was the victim and she is the “perpetrator.”
The aftermath has affected both of them. Johnny Depp was fired from the third Fantastic Beasts movie and replaced by Mads Mikkelson (Another Round). He has been out of another job with a reboot of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Fans on his side were fighting to see Amber Heard fired from Aquaman 2, the second standalone outing for Jason Momoa’s (Justice League) superhero. That effort failed as she will appear in the upcoming DC movie that is scheduled to hit theaters on December 16, 2022.
The trial is set for next year for Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. This is where her counterclaims will be examined.