The legal battle between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard continues and while a libel suit filed by Depp that included Heard recently concluded, the pair now turn their attention to dueling defamation lawsuits which each side has filed against the other. Johnny Depp's defamation suit against Amber Heard is set to go before a judge next year after a series of COVID-19 related delays, but Heard's defamation suit against Depp may end up going nowhere as the defendant's side of the suit is now asking a judge to throw the whole thing out.
Amber Heard's defamation suit was filed in August and claims that the actress has been the target of a smear campaign that has made false and defamatory statements about her, specifically that her statements against Johnny Depp have been lies and that she is attempting to perpetrate a hoax against him, including committing perjury herself. Heard's suit states that the campaign against her has attempted to get her removed from her role in the Aquaman film franchise.
According to Court House News, Johnny Depp's lawyers are arguing that statements regarding perpetuating a hoax are statements of opinion, not claimed to be fact, and as such, they are not actionable, legally speaking. While Heard's lawsuit cites texts sent by Depp stating a desire to "burn Amber," the statement was made in a private text, not publicly and thus would not, according to the lawyers, constitute defamation.
The desire to get the case tossed out of court has some more immediate consequences to Johnny Depp himself, as the actor was recently ordered by the judge in the case to sit for three days of depositions in early November, a move that will take him away from filming Fantastic Beasts 3. If the judge ends up throwing out the Amber Heard lawsuit, then obviously Depp won't need to travel from the UK to Virginia to sit for the deposition. If the judge doesn't throw out the case, we could very likely see another motion to attempt to delay the deposition.
Johnny Depp's original defamation lawsuit against Amber Heard is currently set to be heard in May of next year. Although, Heard is also looking for a declaratory judgment in that case that the op-ed she wrote for the Washington Post, which is at the center of the case, is protected by the First Amendment, and thus is not legally actionable. In the op-ed Amber Heard wrote about a history of abuse that she had suffered. While no names are ever mentioned in the piece, it was believed from the beginning that Depp was the subject of the op-ed, and Depp now claims that it directly led to him losing out on his lucrative Pirates of the Caribbean franchise role.
And all this is on top of Johnny Depp's lawsuit against a UK newspaper for libel, that case is now over, but we're still waiting on the verdict.