The ongoing court battle between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard has uncovered several previously unknown facts about the two. Both of them are extremely fast to grasp loopholes and target each other in the case. Johnny Depp just lost his attempt to have Amber Heard’s counterclaim dismissed.
According to Variety, a Virginia judge denied Johnny Depp’s motion to dismiss Amber Heard’s counterclaim on Tuesday, stating that the matter should be handled by a jury. The counterclaim alleges that Depp’s attorney, Adam Waldman, defamed Heard and harmed her career by accusing her and her friends of conducting an “abuse hoax.”
Depp’s team filed a routine motion to dismiss the lawsuit after Heard’s lawyers rested their case Tuesday morning. Depp’s attorney, Ben Chew, maintained that Waldman was only expressing his opinion and so could not have committed defamation. Chew further claimed that there is no indication that Depp viewed or was aware of Waldman’s remarks prior to the filing of the lawsuit.
“He did believe, and will to his dying day, that Ms. Heard’s claims of abuse were patently false.”
Heard’s attorney, Ben Rottenborn, argued that Waldman was acting as Depp’s lawyer and that Depp is thus accountable for Waldman’s actions. He also stated that there is ample evidence that Depp assaulted Heard and that the jury should determine whether to award damages on the counterclaim.
“The counterclaim statements are 100% false. There was no hoax perpetrated. Mr. Depp is an abuser who abused Ms. Heard. She did not conspire with her friends to create a hoax. She did not create a hoax herself.”
Depp’s request was rejected by Judge Penney Azcarate.
“It’s not my role to measure the veracity or the weight of the evidence.”
After Depp’s team rested their case on May 3, Heard’s counsel filed a similar motion to dismiss Depp’s underlying defamation claim. Depp is suing Heard for making a reference to her prior domestic abuse claims in a Washington Post op-ed in December 2018. Azcarate also dismissed that request, which means that both Depp’s action and Heard’s counterclaim will be decided by a jury. Depp’s team also filed a motion to bar Heard from claiming immunity from a defamation suit under Virginia’s anti-SLAPP statute.
The statute is intended to protect speech on matters of political or social importance, but it does not protect statements made with “actual malice.” If Heard wins on those grounds, she will be able to reclaim her attorneys’ expenses from Depp. Azcarate denied that motion as well, saying the jury will also have to resolve the facts of the matter.
Depp’s side will present witnesses to rebut Heard’s counterclaim on Tuesday and Wednesday, with closing arguments slated for Friday. Let’s wait and see what the jury decides. To get the latest updates, keep an eye on Thirsty.
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