Judge Rejects Amber Heard’s Request to Toss Out Johnny Depp’s $50 Million Defamation Lawsuit

Judge Penney Azcarate speaks during a hearing at the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Va., Tuesday May 3, 2022. Actor Johnny Depp sued his ex-wife Amber Heard for libel in Fairfax County Circuit Court after she wrote an op-ed piece in The Washington Post in 2018 referring to herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” (Jim Watson/Pool photo via AP)

The judge presiding over Johnny Depp’s $50 million defamation lawsuit rejected Amber Heard’s motion to toss out the case.

Penny Azcarate said that sufficient evidence had been presented by Depp’s lawyers to keep the case ongoing.

Heard’s motion to strike is almost a formality after plaintiffs’ wrap up their case, and it was expected that Azcarate would reject such an effort.

Attorneys for both sides presented oral arguments on the motion on Tuesday morning, without the jury present. For Heard’s legal team, the motion’s primary point is to assure certain appeal rights to the defense if necessary.

Depp sued his ex-wife over a 2018 Washington Post op ed headlined, “I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.” Heard wrote that “two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.”

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SOURCE: Deadline, Ted Johnson and Dominic Patten

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