Lawyers for Johnny Depp say the actor is “satisfied” after a judge refused to dismiss his libel suit against Amber Heard.
The actor is currently involved in a $50 million defamation lawsuit against the star of Aquaman, to whom he was married from 2015 to 2017.
In April, Heard tried to get a judge to dismiss the case after Depp lost a UK libel suit against The Sun by a 2018 headline labeling him a “wife beater” in connection with his marriage to Heard.
Depp also lost an attempt to overturn the High Court ruling in March this year.
However, on Tuesday, Fairfax County Chief Judge Penney Azcarate refused to dismiss the case against Heard, as seen in legal documents obtained by dead line.
“The court is not persuaded by defendant’s contention that plaintiff had a full and fair opportunity to litigate the UK action,” he wrote, adding that “defendant was not a party to the UK action and was not treated as such.”
Judge Azcarate also said that the legal differences between freedom of expression in the UK and the US were “untenable” in this scenario, suggesting that Heard’s insistence on the similarities between the two cases was “puzzling”.
“The interests of The Sun were based on whether the statements the newspaper published were false,” he wrote. “The interests of the defendant relate to whether the statements she published were false.”
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Depp’s lawyer, Ben Chew, said the actor was “very pleased with the court’s decision.”
The ruling comes days after Depp claimed that Hollywood was boycotting him, as the United States remains the only country that has yet to release his new film, Minamata.