Fairfax Co. judge says Johnny Depp defamation lawsuit against ex-wife can move forward

A judge said a defamation lawsuit actor Johnny Depp filed against his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard, can move ahead in Fairfax County, Virgnia.

Depp and Heard divorced in 2017 and have accused each other of verbal and physical abuse.

Depp’s $50 million suit was in response to an op-ed by Heard that appeared in The Washington Post in December of last year.

In the op-ed, Heard discusses her exposure to abuse. She does not mention Depp’s name, but he said that there is no mistaking that she’s talking about him.

The lawsuit was filed in Fairfax County because the newspaper is printed in Springfield, Virginia.

Virginia is one of just 10 states that still has a lex loci delicti rule, which means the law of the place where the wrongdoing occurred will be applied.

Heard argued that hearing the case in Virginia would be inconvenient because the alleged abuse took place in California, where she and Depp live, and that’s where the witnesses are.

But Thursday, County Circuit Court Judge Bruce White denied Heard’s motion to dismiss the case.

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