Johnny Depp Set To Face Off With Amber Heard As Defamation Trial Kicks Off In America

Johnny Depp is set to go up against his ex-wife Amber Heard in a defamation trial in the US.

The Hollywood star wasn't able to clear his name in a libel lawsuit in the UK two years ago, however he'll now be going directly after his former partner.

The trial kicks off today (April 11) at Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia.

According to insidenova, the 58-year-old is suing Heard for US $50 million after she wrote an article for The Washington Post in which she said she had become 'a public figure representing domestic abuse'. The article did not mention Depp's name.
Credit: Andrea Spinelli/Alamy
Depp claims the op-ed has tarnished his reputation and inevitably damaged his career.

Days after Heard’s article went live, Depp was subsequently dropped from future Pirates of the Caribbean films, a franchise which has raked in US $4.5 billion at the box office.

After losing his case against The Sun, Depp was also asked to step down from his role as Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.

In what’s been described as one of the ‘trials of the century’, some high profile celebrities are also expected to testify in court or virtually.

According to Deadline, James Franco, Paul Bettany, and Elon Musk will provide virtual testimonies, while Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas actress Ellen Barkin is on Heard’s list of potential witnesses, as well as representatives from Disney and Warner Bros.

The trial, expected to run till May, will also be presented to 11 jurors, who will assess each side’s credibility.

Ahead of the trial, Heard took to Instagram and disclosed she would be ‘off-line’ for the next several weeks as she faces her ex-husband in court.

In the post, the actress defended her op-ed and stated she never named Depp and the piece was intended to raise awareness about what happens to women when they speak out against men having excessive ‘power’.

She continued: “Hopefully when this case concludes, I can move on and so can Johnny.

"I have always maintained a love for Johnny and it brings me great pain to have to live out the details of our past life together in front of the world.

“At this time, I recognize the on-going support I’ve been fortunate to receive throughout these years and in these coming weeks I will be leaning on it more than ever.”

In November 2020, Depp lost a libel case against UK newspaper The Sun, which centred on whether an article that labelled Depp a 'wife beater' was libellous.

The actor argued the case had been aggravated by his name being included alongside that of convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein, as well as the fact The Sun retained the article on its website.

The truth of the matter was decided on the balance of probabilities, a lower standard than required in a criminal case.

Throughout that trial he denied the allegations made against him in The Sun.

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