Johnny Depp earns small victory over Amber Heard in $50M defamation lawsuit: report

Actor Johnny Depp and then-wife Amber Heard at the 58th GRAMMY Awards on February 15, 2016. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)

Johnny Depp was reportedly handed a small victory in his $50 million defamation lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard.

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A judge in Virginia refused to move the lawsuit from the Old Dominion to California, as Heard had requested, on Thursday, according to The Blast.

At the center of the lawsuit is a Washington Post op-ed Heard wrote about domestic abuse in December 2018. The judge apparently agreed with the "Fantastic Beasts" actor that since the piece had been published in the Virginia-based newspaper that the case would remain there.

In March 2019, Depp filed a complaint at the Circuit Court of Fairfax, Virginia, that stated while he was not explicitly named in the op-ed, it was clear Heard was talking about him. The lawsuit called her ongoing allegations of domestic abuse “categorically and demonstrably false.”

“They were part of an elaborate hoax to generate positive publicity for Ms. Heard and advance her career,” the lawsuit said, claiming that “she is the perpetrator.”

The suit said Depp suffered financial losses over the accusations, including being dropped from his iconic role as Capt. Jack Sparrow in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" film franchise.

Heard, in her op-ed, also said she lost an acting role and contract with a major fashion brand because went public with her claims of abuse.

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“I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath,” the 32-year-old actress wrote, adding that she felt as those she was “on trial in the court of public opinion.”

Heard first accused Depp of domestic violence in May 2016, the year after they were married. They were divorced in 2017.

The actress, whose credits include "Aquaman" and "Justice League," met Depp on the set of their 2011 film "The Rum Diary."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.