Johnny Depp has suffered a big loss in his $50M defamation battle with Amber Heard.
The Pirates of the Caribbean actor launched a defamation lawsuit against Heard in 2019, after the Aquaman star described herself as a victim of domestic abuse in a 2018 article she penned in The Washington Post.
At a pretrial hearing on 24th March, Depp’s lawyers sought a a ruling which would stop Heard invoking an anti-SLAPP provision (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation); a law designed to protect people from lawsuits when they speak about matters concerning the public.
This decision will allow her legal team to argue in front of a jury that she is deserving of immunity for what she wrote in the article.
Depp has claimed:
“Ms. Heard is not a victim of domestic abuse, she is a perpetrator,”
The pair were married between 2015 and 2017. In November 2021, Depp lost a libel case against News Group Newspapers after The Sun labelled him a “wife beater”.
The trial is set to take place on 11th April at the Fairfax County courthouse in Virginia and is expected to last for around 12 days.