The defamation lawsuit that actor Johnny Depp filed against his ex-wife, Amber Heard, is moving forward. After a short hiatus credited to the global pandemic, the case was given the green light to go to trial. But when Amber Heard arrives at the courthouse, she will be without her lawyer and legal team.
It was planned that Amber Heard would be defended by lawyer and Times Up movement leader, Roberta Kaplan, and a team consisting of John Quinn, Julie Fink, and Davida Brook. They have all now quit the case.
According to Cinemablend, the reason for this change in counsel was that the case would be held in Virginia rather than California, and the team cited “travel and logistics” being “more costly in the light of the pandemic.” Heard will now be represented by a local law group that she has signed off as being okay for.
Now, it is not uncommon for a defendant to seek legal counsel native to wherever they find themselves going to trial, but Depp’s legal team wasted no time in using the change up to their advantage.
“Ms. Heard’s lawyers, one of whom co-founded the #TimesUp Legal Defense Fund, have now apparently unhitched from Ms. Heard’s long-disproven frauds. We intend to discover why,” said Depp’s attorney.
The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund was born out of the #MeToo movement that provides support for women fighting against physical and sexual harassment. Rather than raise the rates of travel, the pandemic has lowered them to unprecedented levels. Many wonder if that is the only reason why such a team would drop such a case.
Johnny Depp’s Defamation Suit
Depp’s defamation case comes years after he and his ex-wife filed for divorce and her accusations painted him a physically and verbally abusive husband led to him facing years of ostracization and hate. Now, after an audio recording from 2015 was leaked, a new story has a chance to come to light.
Depp is suing Heard for $50 million.
According to FindLaw.com, a defamation suit must prove:
- Someone made a statement;
- The statement was published;
- The statement caused you injury;
- The statement was false; and
- The statement did not fall into a privileged category.
If the statement is written, it is labeled “libel” while statements only spoken are “slander.”
According to Yahoo,
The 56-year-old actor believed four statements Heard made in the op-ed were libelous:
- The article’s title, “Amber Heard: I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.”
- “Then two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.”
- “I had the rare vantage point of seeing, in real time, how institutions protect men accused of abuse.”
- “I write this as a woman who had to change my phone number weekly because I was getting death threats. For months, I rarely left my apartment, and when I did, I was pursued by camera drones and photographers on foot, on motorcycles and in cars. Tabloid outlets that posted pictures of me spun them in a negative light. I felt as though I was on trial in the court of public opinion — and my life and livelihood depended on myriad judgments far beyond my control.”
But Heard could also be facing more than a financial cost. Inside the Magic previously reported that the Aquaman actress could also face jail time.
According to the International Business Times:
If Heard will be proven guilty of faking her bruises, she could face three years of imprisonment. According to the Wallin & Klarich Law Firm, the California Penal Code Section 141 PC stated that it is illegal to alter, modify, plant, place, conceal, manufacture or move any physical matter with the intention of causing someone to be charged with a crime. Some would face felony charges for this.
The trial date has yet to be announced.