Lawyers for stars Johnny Depp and Amber Heard were busy squaring off in a Virginia courtroom on Friday, as Heard’s legal team went before a state judge to request the dismissal of her ex-husband’s ongoing $50 million defamation case against her.
The court battle, which has been ongoing for some time now, is centered on a Washington Post editorial Heard previously wrote in December 2018, in which she described the backlash she experienced after first opening up to the public about domestic abuse.
Depp’s legal team claims that Heard’s editorial defamed him; though her piece never identified Depp by name, his lawsuit alleges that it is very clear he is the one she’s referring to throughout the editorial. As you’ll recall, those allegations date all the way back to 2016 when Heard and Depp first began to have significant marital troubles before their eventual drawn-out divorce in 2017.
The lawsuit is being heard in a Virginia courtroom because it was first filed in Fairfax County, Virginia, which is a suburb of Washington, D.C.; of course, that is where the Washington Post is printed — hence, the need for a Virginia court to adjudicate these claims. The location of the court filing was actually one of the points that Heard’s legal team was hoping to use on Friday to get the suit dismissed; they argued that the proceedings belong in Los Angeles, as both parties and relevant witnesses live there, and thus the Virginia suit ought to be abandoned.
Chief Circuit Court Judge Bruce White, who is presiding over the case, did not make a decision about jurisdiction on Friday; he is expected to decide whether to keep the case in Virginia or not in the next few weeks. In a separate hearing on the case, lawyers set the date of February 3, 2020 as a tentative time to begin the actual trial; legal experts estimate the defamation trial (as it is now) could last about two weeks. No matter whether in Virginia or California, if/as this lawsuit moves forward, the trial is sure to be a big one for both Depp and Heard.
Thoughts on the ongoing litigation updates here, Perezcious readers?! Pretty technical stuff!!!
Still, it sure seems like we will ALL be hearing a LOT about this defamation lawsuit come February 2020, doesn’t it?? Are y’all ready for that?!
Sound OFF about all things Depp and Heard in the comments (below)…
[Image via WENN]