The ongoing legal battles between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard have led to yet another courtroom victory for the former Pirates of the Caribbean star. According to People, a Virginia judge has ruled against Heard’s request to dismiss Depp’s $50 million defamation lawsuit against her. This comes after Depp previously lost a libel case against U.K. tabloid The Sun for referring to him as a “wife-beater.”
Heard cited the U.K. case in her plea to have Depp’s suit dismissed, arguing that it should carry weight in the U.S. defamation case against her. Fairfax County Chief Judge Penney Azcarate seems to have disagreed, however, stating that there are noticeable differences between the evidence in each case. “[Heard] argues she was in privity with The Sun because they both had the same interest in the case. However, for privity to exist, [Heard’s] interest in the case must be so identical with The Sun’s interest such that The Sun’s representation of its interest is also a representation of [Heard’s] legal right,” Judge Azcarate wrote in her ruling. “The Sun’s interests were based on whether the statements the newspaper published were false. [Heard’s] interests relate to whether the statements she published were false.”
Johnny Depp Granted Permission to Proceed with $50 Million Defamation Suit Against Amber Heard https://t.co/j0zyCfvmCZ
— People (@people) August 18, 2021
This is the second big win for Depp, who previously had a ruling in his favor, regarding $7 million of divorce settlement money that heard promised to donate to the America Civil Liberties Union. Depp was unsure if she ever made the donation and, According to The Daily Mail, had his legal team file paperwork to try and force the ACLU to reveal if it received the money after the lawyers could only verify about $450,000 in donations. In early August, a judge ruled that the ACLU must release proof regarding the money Heard pledged, verifying whether or not she made the donations.
In a previous statement, the ACLU asserted that it “would not be producing the documents and testimony concerning the Op-Ed without an agreement on confidentiality.” Now, Depp and his attorneys are suing the organization in New York, where it is based, hoping the courts will require the group to reveal the information. “The ACLU Witnesses’ reticence to provide more information ‘appears to be part of a collusive effort with Ms. Heard to prevent evidence showing that Ms. Heard perjured herself from becoming public,” Depp’s lawyers allege.
They continued: “Applying New York law, the Court should reject the ACLU Witnesses’ outrageous stonewalling. Mr. Depp, accordingly, respectfully requests that this Court enter an order directing the ACLU Witnesses to fully comply with the Subpoenas.” The reason that Depp seems to be pursuing this so fervently is due to the fact that the ACLU donation pledge was a significant factor in the U.K. defamation suit.