The long legal battle between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard is far from over, but it did take a big step toward an eventual end recently when Depp's libel lawsuit against the U.K. ended. Depp's claim of libel against The Sun newspaper were dismissed after the judge in the case found the statement made by the paper, that Depp was a "wife-beater" to be "substantially true." That was due, in large part to the testimony of Amber Heard, Depp's ex-wife, who the actor is also suing for defamation in a separate case set to be heard next year.
While this case was not specifically against Amber Heard, it did hinge on her testimony, and as such, the results are likely seen as boding well for the defamation case that has been filed against her. Amber Heard's lawyer, Elaine Charlson Bredehoft, recently spoke with People to say that she did not find the judgement against Johnny Depp to be a surprise, and that she expects the upcoming defamation case to have the same result. According to Bredehoft...
For those of us present for the London High Court trial, this decision and Judgment are not a surprise. Very soon, we will be presenting even more voluminous evidence in the U.S. We are committed to obtaining Justice for Amber Heard in the U.S. Court and defending Ms. Heard's Right to Free Speech.
With the one case done one would expect attention to shift to the remaining case. However, it does not appear that the libel case is entirely over yet. Johnny Depp recently announced that, at the request of Warner Bros., he will be stepping down from the role of Grindlewald in the next Fantastic Beasts film. The statement also included the fact that he plans to appeal the verdict in the U.K. case, so we likely haven't heard the last on this story.
The defamation lawsuit is currently set to be heard in May of next year. Johnny Depp claims that an op-ed written by Heard that appeared in The Washington Post, in which she spoke about abuse she had suffered, was about him (his name was never used in the piece) and that it resulted in him losing out on work, specifically, his role of Captain Jack Sparrow in Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean films. It will be interesting to see if the fact that Depp just lost the Fantastic Beasts role also ends up playing a part when the defamation case goes to trial.
Johnny Depp's legal battles are clearly far from over. In addition to his own lawsuit and his appeal, he's also now set to be deposed in a countersuit filed by Amber Heard. We're far from the end of this story.