Johnny Depp to launch $70 million defamation suit against Amber Heard

Johnny Depp has been granted permission to proceed with a US$50 million ($72 million) defamation lawsuit against Amber Heard after last year’s High Court ruling that he repeatedly attacked his ex-wife.

Despite Depp losing his UK libel case against the Sun for branding him a “wife beater”, he has been allowed to proceed with a defamation suit relating to an opinion piece Heard wrote in 2018.

New mum Heard had penned a piece for the Washington Post about being a survivor of domestic abuse. Depp wasn’t named in the piece, but Heard had previously accused him of domestic violence after their 2016 divorce.

Heard had tried to have Depp’s attempts to sue her for the article dismissed in a 2019 request, but court documents released yesterday revealed she was unsuccessful, People reported.

At the time, a judge denied Depp’s request to block Heard’s lawyers for filing the motion to dismiss, finding that although the motion was “misguided and only thinly supported by existing law”, it did not rise to the level of sanctionable conduct.

In November last year, Depp lost a UK libel case against the Sun, with a judge ruling that the words within it were “substantially true”.

Court proceedings began last July in London over an article titled “Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?”

Depp has since stepped down from the film.

This week, in his first interview since the shocking trial detailed multiple acts of violence by the star, Depp said he believes he is being boycotted by Hollywood.

Discussing Minimata, which is yet to be released in the US, the actor told the Times he believes the industry is taking note of his “unpleasant and messy situation”.

“Some films touch people and this affects those in Minamata and people who experience similar things,” he said.

“And for anything … for Hollywood’s boycott of, erm, me? One man, one actor in an unpleasant and messy situation, over the last number of years?”

The film follows photojournalist W. Eugene Smith (played by Depp) as he documents the effects of industrial pollution on Minamata residents in the 70s,

Depp and Heard are set to face off in a courtroom again in April next year.

The trial is expected to last two weeks, but has already been rescheduled several times.

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