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Judge Refuses To Dismiss Johnny Depp’s Libel Lawsuit Against Amber Heard
American actor Johnny Depp at Rome Film Fest 2021. Puffins red carpet. Rome (Italy), October 17th, 2021
Rocco Spaziani/Archivio Spaziani/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

A judge in Fairfax County Circuit Court has denied a last-ditch attempt by attorneys for actress Amber Heard to get a defamation lawsuit against her thrown out.

The lawsuit, brought by Heard’s ex-husband Johnny Depp, alleges that her 2018 Washington Post op-ed, in which she claims to be a victim of domestic abuse, defames the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star. On three occasions, Courthouse News reported, Heard’s attorneys have tried and failed to get the defamation lawsuit dismissed, the most recent loss coming on October 12.

On that day, Judge Penney Azcarate once again refused to dismiss the case. Heard’s attorneys argued that the findings in Depp’s U.K. defamation lawsuit — which he lost — should be followed here in the states. In August, Azcarate also ruled against Heard, writing at the time that the facts in the current case were not the same as those in the U.K. In that lawsuit, Depp took issue with Heard and a British tabloid that called him a “wife beater.”

As The Daily Wire previously reported, Depp lost that case, in large part due to the difficulties in proving libel cases. Depp had to prove that he didn’t abuse Heard — essentially he had to prove a negative. And while a judge in the U.K. acknowledged that Depp was able to cast doubt on at least two of Heard’s allegations, he failed to disprove her other 12 allegations.

Depp’s attorneys called the ruling “perverse” and “bewildering,” pointing out the mountain of evidence the judge appeared to have ignored in arriving at his decision.

“Most troubling is the Judge’s reliance on the testimony of Amber Heard, and corresponding disregard of the mountain of counter-evidence from police officers, medical practitioners, her own former assistant, other unchallenged witnesses and an array of documentary evidence which completely undermined the allegations, point by point. All of this was overlooked,” said Depp’s attorney Jenny Afia. “The judgment is so flawed that it would be ridiculous for Mr. Depp not to appeal this decision.”

Among that “mountain” of evidence, The Daily Wire previously reported, was surveillance videos, eyewitness statements, audio, photos, and more showing that Depp was the real victim.

“One of the testimonies comes from Trinity Esparza, who was the concierge at the penthouse where Heard claims Depp hit her in the face. Esparza now questions how Heard received the mark on her face she claimed was from Depp, after reviewing surveillance footage from three days later, when Heard’s sister Whitney pretended to punch her in the face, according to court documents,” The Daily Wire reported.

Further, evidence suggested Heard attacked Depp while the actor was in bed and staged the attacks she claimed he committed.

“Unaware that members of Mr. Depp’s security team (including an 18-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department) were mere feet away, Ms. Heard falsely began yelling, ‘Stop hitting me, Johnny,’” Depp alleged in court documents. “The interaction culminated with Ms. Heard making false allegations that Mr. Depp struck her with a cell phone, hit her and destroyed the penthouse. There were multiple eyewitnesses to this hoax.”

Further, Depp’s attorneys presented audio of Heard admitting to hitting the “Pirates of Caribbean” actor.

“I’m sorry that I didn’t, uh, uh, hit you across the face in a proper slap, but I was hitting you, it was not punching you. Babe, you’re not punched,” Heard tells Depp in the recording. “I don’t know what the motion of my actual hand was, but you’re fine. I did not hurt you. I did not punch you. I was hitting you.”

As to the current lawsuit, Judge Azcarate noted that “the defamation claim in the U.K. was based on completely different statements than the present case.”

Chew, Depp’s attorney, said Azcarate’s decision “did not appear to be a close call,” according to Courthouse News.

The outlet also noted that while Heard did not name Depp in her Washington Post op-ed, he lost his role on “Pirates of the Caribbean” four days after it was published. He is requesting $50 million in damages. Heard has countersued for $100 million.

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