Even a “Hollywood Boycott” Can’t Stop Johnny Depp’s Battle Against His Ex

In a rare win for the embattled actor, a Virginia judge says his $50 million defamation suit against Amber Heard can proceed in U.S.

Johnny Depp’s career may be in such a prodigious spiral that he’s convinced Hollywood is boycotting him, but one project that’s finally gotten green-lit is his $50 million defamation suit against his ex-wife—accused bed-pooper Amber Heard—for “domestic abuse” claims she made in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed.

In April, Heard—who’s pursuing a $100 million counterclaim against Depp—tried for a third time to get Depp’s two-year-old complaint against her in Virginia dismissed, citing his libel-suit loss to British tabloid The Sun for an article calling him a “wife-beater,” but Fairfax County Chief Judge Penney Azcarate put the kibosh on that play Tuesday, USA Today reports.

“Defendant’s claim that refusing to recognize the U.K. Judgment in this case would set a dangerous precedent is unfounded,” Azcarate wrote in her opinion. “If anything, upholding English libel judgments in the United States would create the chilling effect and could create a dangerous precedent. Accordingly, this Court is unpersuaded by Defendant’s argument.”

Depp could certainly use a boost. In the wake of his London defeat—and his loss on appeal—he was forced out of the latest Fantastic Beasts movie, and now Minamata-director Andrew Levitas has accused MGM of trying to “bury” that feature, in which Depp plays famed photojournalist Eugene Smith.

“Mr. Depp is most gratified by the Court’s decision,” his lawyer said.

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