Johnny Depp’s attempt to dismiss Amber Heard’s counterclaim against him was rejected on Tuesday as the couple’s defamation trial in his original lawsuit was nearly finalized.
Heard’s $100 million counterclaim centers around her allegation that Depp defamed her by making multiple statements to the press through her attorney Adam Waldman after she published a 2018 article at the heart of Depp’s lawsuit.
In that statement, Waldman called Ms Heard’s allegations of domestic abuse a “fraud” and “an ambush” organized by the Aquaman actor and her friends.
As the lawsuit began on Tuesday, Depp’s legal team asked Judge Penney Azcarate to dismiss the counterclaim, arguing that Heard should sue Waldman instead of Depp.
Judge Azcarate denied the request, saying there was sufficient evidence that Waldman made a statement on Depp’s behalf and that a jury should be able to hear the case.
The first defamation statement cited in Mr. Heard’s counterclaim was in April 2019, when Mr. Waldman accused her of “receiving and filing defamation, perjury, and fraudulent requests for temporary restraining order in court.”
In June 2019, Waldman said: explosion: “Ms Heard continues to deceive the abused fraud victim Mr Depp, the #metoo movement she masquerades as leader, and other real victims of abuse around the world.
The following month, Waldman said: explosion “I went to court with some paint on my ‘yoke’ to get a temporary restraining order,” Heard said, telling people that her “beaten face” was a “fraud.”
The counterclaim then cites several statements by Waldman: daily mail April and June 2020.
“In the press, Amber Heard and her friends used fake sexual assault allegations as swords and shields as needed. They’re taking some of the ‘facts’ of her sexual assault scams with their swords and inflicting them on the public and Depp,” he said in an article.
In another article, he told the outlet: “It was simply an ambush, a scam. They called the police and set up Mr. Depp, but the first attempt didn’t do the trick. The officers came to the penthouse, conducted a thorough search and interview, and then left without seeing faces or property damage. So Amber and her friends spilled some wine and ravaged the place, followed the instructions of lawyers and publicists to tell their story themselves, and then dialed 911 a second time.”
Mr. Heard’s lawsuit alleges that the actor is liable because Mr. Waldman made the statement under Mr. Depp’s direction.
Judge Azcarate’s decision not to dismiss the counterclaim comes after Waldman was subpoenaed as Heard’s counsel last week.
During the hour-long trial in court, Waldman declined to answer more than 75 questions from Heard’s attorneys, citing attorney-client privileges.