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Johnny Depp and Amber Heard back in court

It had been relatively quiet on the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard lawsuit front in recent days, but now Amber Heard’s lawyers dropped some more comments in an attempt to get Depp to sit down for a deposition. The update is coming after the actor had previously asked for delays on his American-set court case against Heard (who subsequently countersued) while he starts work on the third Fantastic Beasts movie for Warner Bros.

There’s been blunt back-and-forth between Johnny Depp’s lawyers and Amber Heard’s lawyers recently, as both sides move forward with their Virginia-based lawsuits. (Note: This is different from the already-completed libel case in the U.K. that is still awaiting a verdict.) This week, Heard’s lawyers are trying to get Depp to return to the U.S. for a deposition, noting,

Defendant is forced to bring this motion after extensive efforts to obtain the deposition of Plaintiff, even after providing a two-month Notice of Deposition, asking for locations and dates for Mr. Depp prior to his filming, seeking discovery to ascertain Mr. Depp’s exact filming schedule, and finally being told that the Plaintiff in this action, suing Defendant for $50 million, will not make himself available for deposition until the filming of Fantastic Beasts is complete, sometime late February 2021, or possibly later.

In a memorandum (via Deadline), Amber Heard’s lawyers also claim that both Johnny Depp and Warner Bros. have been reticent to give exact dates for the filming of Fantastic Beasts 3. Given filming is taking a lot longer and occasionally having to shut down in the era of Covid, a previous report indicated Warner Bros. was asking Depp be available for filming between September and February. Still, the basic gist is, however, that Heard's team would like to depose Depp sometime during that window.

Given Depp has been traveling in Europe (the Zurich Film Festival is ongoing right now) where he has to quarantine when he goes from location to location, Heard’s legal team feels he should travel to the U.S. where no quarantine is required to handle the deposition. Meanwhile, the report mentions Warner Bros. has stated the actor needs to be available for Fantastic Beasts until mid-February. The memorandum claims:

Mr. Depp is traveling around Europe and attending film festivals, each of which includes quarantine periods. Yet Mr. Depp is refusing to return to the U.S., where there is no quarantine requirement for his deposition.

Heard’s team is asking Johnny Depp to be available for three successive days for a deposition in the United States. Meanwhile, the court case has been shuffled around a lot, but this spotlight on the court date is coming after Johnny Depp’s team asked the January court date for the suit to be shuffled back. His team would like to start between March and June so that Depp can complete Fantastic Beasts 3.

Amber Heard is also busy and will have work on Aquaman 2, a franchise in which she plays comics character Mera, coming up. However, that movie reportedly isn’t scheduled to go into production until the spring, and presumably that could conflict with the court dates Depp’s team was asking for, though that Warner Bros. movie does not have exact dates for filming yet.

This is not the first time Amber Heard’s lawyers have gotten fired up about the impending court case, which is currently still not scheduled to get off of the ground until 2021. We’ll have to wait and see how this latest wrinkle plays out, although at some point both Johnny Depp and Amber Heard should theoretically have an open window where they aren’t filming.

It’s also worth noting that we’re still waiting on a verdict in regard to that libel case. A verdict could have come down as early as the start of September, but we’re approaching October now and there has not been an update as of yet.

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