According to Reuters, Johnny Depp is set to appear in a Virginia court on Tuesday in a defamation case in which he accuses his ex-wife, Amber Heard, of damaging his career by falsely accusing him of domestic violence.
Depp, 58, claims Heard, 35, defamed him in a December 2018 Washington Post opinion post about being a domestic abuse survivor.
In 2018, he filed a $50 million lawsuit against Heard.
Although the article did not identify Depp by name, Depp’s lawyer Benjamin Chew told jurors a week ago that Heard was clearly referring to her ex-husband.
Attorneys representing Heard have countered that her viewpoint is protected as free speech under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Friends of the Pirates of the Caribbean actor, as well as a doctor and a nurse who treated him for substance usage, have been summoned as witnesses by Depp’s attorneys.
Witnesses stated that they were aware of the couple’s fights but had not observed Depp physically beat Heard.
Depp lost a libel action against The Sun, a British tabloid, for calling him a “wife abuser” less than two years ago.
Heard was regularly attacked and placed in dread of her life, according to a London High Court judge.
Depp and Heard each filed large lists of possible witnesses to testify in the United States lawsuit.
Her ex-boyfriend and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, with whom she texted about Depp, is on Heard’s list. Actor James Franco is also on the list of possible witnesses.
The case does not name The Washington Post as a defendant. According to Depp’s lawyers, the complaint was brought in Fairfax County, Virginia, outside of the District of Columbia, because the newspaper is printed there.
The United States is a challenging environment for libel litigants, especially prominent persons like Depp, who must show that Heard deliberately made false accusations through clear and persuasive evidence.
Depp and Heard met on the set of The Rum Diary in 2011 and married four years later. After filing for divorce in 2016, Heard accused Depp of domestic violence.
Heard has filed a libel suit against Depp, alleging that he slandered her by labelling her a liar.
The counterclaim of Heard will be resolved at the trial. According to court documents, Heard is demanding $100 million in damages from Depp.