Amber Heard has filed to dismiss Johnny Depp’s $50 million defamation lawsuit, claiming that the ruling in her ex-husband’s libel lawsuit against UK tabloid The Sun confirms her public claims of domestic abuse and thus provides ground for the case to “be dismissed in its entirety.”.
In a supplemental plea filed by Heard on April 13th, the actress affirms that, given how Depp’s lawsuit is “based on his allegation that the statements respecting Ms. Heard’s claims of being the victim of domestic abuse and sexual violence (that Depp claims mean at the hands of Depp), published in an Op-Ed in the Washington Post, are false” and that “the UK High Court found that Depp failed on his libel claim because the statements were substantially true,” his claim that she lied about any claim of domestic violence in their relationship had no legal standing.
“Under the doctrine of comity, this Court should recognize the U.K. Judgements, giving them ‘full effect’,” reads her plea to the Fairfax County Circuit Court. “The UK Judgements were rendered on the merits after hearing evidence from Ms. Heard and Depp, and many other witnesses, in a ‘fair trial before a court of competent jurisdiction, conducting the trial upon regular proceedings.”
In his UK lawsuit against The Sun, Depp alleged that the tabloid had libeled him when they described him as a ‘wife-beater’ based solely on the accusations made by Heard.
However, the UK court’s Judge Nichols ultimately ruled against Depp, finding last November “that the great majority of alleged assaults of Ms Heard by Mr Depp have been proved to the civil standard (bearing in mind what has been said about the evidence necessary to satisfy that standard when serious allegations are in issue).”
Heard further argues that, in “giving full effect to the UK Judgements,” the Virginia court must then legally recognize “that statements in the Op-Ed published in the Washington Post are true – Mr. Depp committed domestic violence against Ms. Heard on many occasions, causing her to fear for her life.”
“Therefore,” she continues, “as a matter of law, Depp cannot prevail on any of his claims, and Depp’s complaint against Ms. Heard should be dismissed in its entirety.”
Originally filed in 2019, Depp’s Virginia-based defamation lawsuit against Heard claims the actress “purported to write from the perspective of a ‘public figure representing domestic abuse’ and claimed that she ‘felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak’ when she ‘spoke up against sexual violence.”
The lawsuit adds, “The op-ed depended on the central premise that Ms. Heard was a domestic abuse victim and that Mr. Depp perpetrated domestic violence against her.”
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