The saga between former couple Amber Heard and Johnny Depp refuses to die down and in fact continues to get uglier in the public eye. From taking constant shots at each other to filing multiple suits, both parties have not refrained from missing a moment to talk about it.
As per the latest report in The Hollywood Reporter, Heard has added an important member to her legal team and has filed new court papers arguing for the dismissal of her ex-husband Johnny Depp's defamation suit over an op-ed in The Washington Post. As known,
Depp alleges that Heard's discussion of domestic abuse in the Dec. 18, 2018 column tarnished his reputation. Although Depp wasn't specifically named in Heard's piece, given previously reported violence allegations in connection with their 2016 divorce, the actor believes it is clear that he was referenced when she wrote, "I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out."
Heard previously challenged why Depp's suit — with $50 million in damages being asserted — was being entertained in Virginia, a state where neither individual lives and the only firm connection is The Washington Post's printing press. In July, taking up the subject of defamation in the digital era and a lack of precedent in Virginia, a state judge there allowed it to move forward.
Now the case turns to more traditional First Amendment analysis.
For her latest motion, Heard has tapped Roberta Kaplan, who famously led the charge for same-sex marriage before the U.S. Supreme Court before leading the Time’s Up legal defense fund.
"There is a stark irony at the heart of this case," opens a dismissal memorandum filed on Thursday. "In December 2018, Defendant Amber Laura Heard published an op-ed calling for 'changes to laws and rules and social norms' so that 'women who come forward to talk about violence receive more support.' She warned that such reform is necessary because powerful men who have been accused of violence will spare nothing to punish and harass their accusers. Months later, Plaintiff John C. Depp, II proved Ms. Heard's point by filing this defamation lawsuit."
According to Heard, the dominant message of the op-ed was the transformative political moment upon the #MeToo movement. She called on Congress to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, and criticized proposed changes to Title IX rules governing the treatment of sexual harassment and assault in schools.
As for the statements in controversy, Heard frames them as an effort to draw on a "lifetime of experience to support this call to action."
Heard's lawyers argue that Depp has failed to allege a truly actionable statement.