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Johnny Depp has won the right to sue his former partner Amber Heard in a $50 million libel case.
Despite Heard's request to have the suit dismissed, a Virginia judge threw out the plea meaning that the Pirates of the Caribbean actor can pursue the case in a bid to try and clear his name after losing a defamation case against The Sun newspaper.
Depp, 58, filed the lawsuit back in 2019 after Heard wrote about surviving domestic abuse the year before and, although she didn't name her ex-husband, Depp accused her of creating a 'hoax' account for the article.
He also claimed that the piece in the Washington Post cost him a role in Disney's Pirates reboot.
Heard, 35, requested that the libel suit should be thrown out claiming that the conclusion to the UK ruling should swing any new cases in her favour as they both relate to domestic abuse allegations.
But yesterday, Fairfax County Chief Judge Penney Azcarate, wrote in an opinion letter: "The Court is not persuaded by Defendant's [Heard] argument that Plaintiff [Depp] had a full and fair opportunity to litigate the UK Action."
It went on to add: "Defendant argues she was in privity with The Sun because they both had the same interest in the case.
"However, for privity to exist, Defendant's interest in the case must be so identical with The Sun's interest such that The Sun's representation of its interest is also a representation of Defendant's legal right."
The 10-page letter goes on: "The Sun's interests were based on whether the statements the newspaper published were false. Defendant's interests relate to whether the statements she published were false."
It also noted that Depp filed the defamation suit against The Sun before Amber Heard's work was published in the American publication and that she was not named in the case against the British newspaper.
After the ruling, Depp's lawyer Ben Chew of the DC office of Brown Rudnick told Deadline: "Mr. Depp is most gratified by the Court's decision."
The Virginia matter is now expected to go to trial in April 2022.
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