Johnny Depp to face ex Amber Heard in court over domestic abuse allegations04/11/2022
Johnny Depp and his former wife, Amber Heard, will today go head-to-head in a multi-million-pound defamation case at a Virginia, USA court.
The Pirates of the Caribbean actor and Amber are expected to give evidence in person at the trial with the likes of Elon Musk and James Franco also expected to give testimonies.
The lawsuit, taking place at the Fairfax County District Courthouse, Johnny Depp is seeking £38.2 million in damages.
Depp, 58, decided to take action against Heard, 35, after she wrote an opinion piece in 2018, detailing her experiences with domestic abuse.
Lawyers for Johnny Depp claimed that the article published by the Washington Post falsely implied that Amber was physically and sexually abused by Johnny during their marriage.
He claims the allegations have affected his chances of work since the piece went live, most notably, his role in Fantastic Beasts was axed.
However, Amber's article titled 'I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture's wrath. That has to change,' does not name Mr Depp.
Amber's lawyers are reportedly going to argue that she should be immune from the libel suit because of a Virginia law known as an anti-Slapp provision (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation).
This is to protect people from nuisance lawsuits when they speak about matters of public concern, her lawyers claim that the article addresses an issue of public concern, preventing domestic violence.
Meanwhile, Amber has also filed a counterclaim for defamation over statements Johnny's lawyer made about her.
Their case is being heard in Virginia, not California where they live as the Washington Post's online editions are published through servers in Fairfax County, Virginia.
Johnny's lawyers claim they took the case to Virginia as the state's anti-Slapp law is not as broad as the one in place in California.
The latest suit comes after Johnny lost a libel battle in London that he launched against News Group Newspapers (NGN), the publishers of The Sun.
The executive editor at the time, Dan Wootton referred to Depp as a "wife-beater" in a headline, during a 16 day trial in July 2021, a judge found the article to be "substantially true".
The Hon. Mr Justice Nicol found that Depp had on 12 occasions beat Heard, he later denied Depp permission to appeal the decision, claiming he did not believe the appeal had a "reasonable prospect of success".
He said: "The claimant has not succeeded in his action for libel.
"Although he has proved the necessary elements of his cause of action in libel, the defendants have shown that what they published in the meaning which I have held the words to bear was substantially true."
If you have been affected by issues of domestic violence or coercive control you can call Refuge's 24-Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline for free. The number is 0808 2000 247
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