A Virginia judge has allowed Johnny Depp to proceed with the defamation case despite a legal plea from Amber Heard to dismiss the suit. This comes as a result of Depp losing his libel case in the U.K.
Depp is suing Heard for an op-ed written in 2018 for the Washington Post, where she discussed being a survivor of domestic abuse. Depp isn’t named in the piece, but she did accuse him of domestic violence after their divorce in 2016.
Back in November 2020, Depp lost his libel case in the U.K. against the publisher of The Sun who wrote Depp was a “wife beater.” The U.K. judge ruled that the words were “substantially true.”
Heard attempted to dismiss the case as both cases involve allegations of Depp as an abuser but the Virginia court ruled that the two cases and statements were “inherently different.”
Chief Judge Penney S. Azcarate said,
“Although the claims are similar in the sense they both relate to claims of abuse by Plaintiff, the statements being defended in the U.K. case are inherently different than the statements published by Defendant.”
Azcarate went further to describe that U.K. and U.S. libel laws are very different. She added that if a U.S. court enforced U.K. verdicts it would create a “chilling effect” that could create a “dangerous precedent.” Azcarate also called Heard’s arguments “especially puzzling” and “nonsensical.”