The judge overseeing Johnny Depp’s $50 million defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard has denied her attorneys’ request to dismiss the case immediately. Judge Penny Azcarate said on Tuesday, May 3 that she could not agree with Heard’s team’s assessment that Depp hadn’t met the heightened burden of proof that the actress’s 2018 Washington Post op-ed had negatively affected his career.
- The 2018 op-ed is at the heart of the case. In the article, Heard wrote that “like man women, I had been harassed and sexually assaulted by the time I was of college age. But I kept quiet – I did not expect filing complaints to bring justice. And I didn’t see myself as a victim. Then two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.”
- The article never mentioned Johnny Depp by name. However, Depp’s team claims that the article contained a “clear implication that Mr. Depp is a domestic abuser” which is “categorically and demonstrably false.”
- Judge Azcarate has ruled that the trial can continue. After hearing arguments for and against dismissal of the case in which Heard’s attorney Ben Rottenbaum claimed there was “overwhelming and undisputed” proof that Depp abused his client, Judge Azcarate ruled that the trial should continue.
- Heard’s team is due to present their evidence next. Depp’s case rested just before the motion to dismiss. Now that it’s been determined that the trial will continue, Heard’s team will begin presenting their case after a short lunch recess.