A Virginia choose on Friday refused to dismiss Johnny Depp’s lawsuit towards Amber Heard, permitting him to proceed with a declare that she defamed him in a Washington Put up opinion piece.
Within the piece, published in December 2018, Heard alluded to her earlier claims that Depp had assaulted her throughout their marriage, although she didn’t establish him by title.
Choose Bruce D. White dominated on Friday that Depp can proceed beneath the idea that Heard’s statements clearly implied that Depp had assaulted her.
“Plaintiff has pleaded circumstances that might fairly trigger three of the 4 statements at concern to convey the alleged defamatory which means that Mr. Depp abused Ms. Heard, and this alleged which means is the truth is defamatory,” White wrote.
Depp filed the $50 million suit in March 2019, taking concern with the headline of the piece and several other statements inside it that implied he was an abuser.
The headline was: “Amber Heard: I spoke up towards sexual violence — and confronted our tradition’s wrath. That has to alter.”
Within the physique of the column, she wrote: “Then two years in the past, I turned a public determine representing home abuse, and I felt the total drive of our tradition’s wrath for girls who converse out.” She additionally wrote: “I had the uncommon vantage level of seeing, in actual time, how establishments shield males accused of abuse.”
Heard first accused Depp of abusing her in 2016, within the context of their divorce. Depp has stated all through that the allegations are false, and are a hoax conjured to assist Heard’s profession.
Heard’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, urged the court docket final fall to throw out the go well with, arguing that the column was essentially not about Heard’s allegations towards Depp.
“It was about her and what occurred to her after she got here ahead,” Kaplan argued.
White rejected that argument, discovering that the column “relied on the factual underpinning that Ms. Heard was abused by Mr. Depp.”
White did throw out Depp’s defamation declare with regard to a fourth assertion within the piece. In that assertion, she wrote about receiving demise threats, and being adopted by paparazzi on the uncommon events when she left her residence. “I felt as if I used to be on trial within the court docket of public opinion — and my life and livelihood relied on myriad judgments far past my management,” she wrote.
White held that the assertion carried no defamatory implication towards Depp. White additionally rejected Heard’s attorneys’ declare that the go well with was barred by the one-year statute of limitations, as a result of Heard was merely alluding to statements that had first been made in 2016.
Heard’s attorneys have stated that if essential, they intend to point out that she was, the truth is, abused.
“Right this moment’s resolution leaves it to a jury to determine the which means of Ms. Heard’s op-ed and the reality of what she stated,” Kaplan stated Friday. “As we’ve stated all alongside, the courts have robust mechanisms in place for figuring out the reality. Right here, we stay assured that Ms. Heard will prevail at trial when the jury is introduced with proof on the query that the Court docket recognized – particularly, whether or not ‘Ms. Heard was abused by Mr. Depp.’”