Johnny Depp’s US defamation lawsuit should be thrown out after UK ruling, Amber Heard says

Johnny Depp’s defamation lawsuit worth $50m (£36m) in the US should be thrown out after his “wife-beater” ruling last year in the UK, according to Amber Heard.

The Pirates Of The Caribbean star lost his high-profile libel case against The Sun last year, which published an article calling him a “wife-beater” in 2018.

He was also denied the chance to appeal against the ruling last month.

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November 2020: Why Depp lost his libel case against The Sun

His latest lawsuit, which has been pushed back until 2022, is in reference to claims in an op-ed written by Heard in the Washington Post in 2018, in which she alleged she was a victim of domestic abuse.

While he was not mentioned by name in the article, he believes it cost him a role in Disney’s Pirates Of The Caribbean reboot.

In a court filing from earlier in the month, Heard now wants to see Depp’s defamation lawsuit against her to be thrown out, on the grounds that the UK trial against The Sun proved that “Mr Depp committed domestic violence against Ms Heard on many occasions, causing her to fear for her life”.

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It continued: “Depp cannot relitigate these factual issues, and as a result of their preclusion, he cannot claim that the statements are false and ‘actionable’ under Virginia defamation law, so his claims are barred as a matter of law.”

The filing from the Aquaman actress’s team of lawyers adds: “Therefore, as a matter of law, Depp cannot prevail on any of his claims, and Depp’s complaint against Ms Heard should be dismissed in its entirety.”

Heard has requested a hearing next month in front of a judge in an effort to put a stop to the lawsuit.

Amber Heard: 'Nothing could have prepared me for 2020'

Amber Heard: ‘Nothing could have prepared me for 2020’

Depp’s legal team has not yet responded to the filing, either in statements or in court, but the actor has always strenuously denied Heard‘s allegations and has not been charged with a criminal offence.

And after he was refused permission last month to appeal last year’s High Court ruling, Depp’s solicitor said there were “clear and objective reasons to seriously question” the trial judge’s decision and that the US case would present “complete, irrefutable evidence of the truth”.

Since the High Court hearing, Depp has also been dumped from the latest Fantastic Beasts film, with Mads Mikkelsen replacing him in the role of Gellert Grindelwald.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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