A British judge has agreed to let Johnny Depp‘s libel case against The Sun owner News Group Newspapers go forward next week. He is suing over a 2018 article that described him as a “wife beater.” As many will recall, his ex-wife Amber Heard accused him of domestic violence, a charge he denies. The estranged pair are embroiled in a lawsuit of their own.
The publisher is hoping to defend itself by proving that he did beat Heard. Earlier this year, the case became more complicated when Depp’s law firm inadvertently disclosed 70,000 messages in a legal filing. The Sun‘s legal team is arguing that Depp failed to turn over a series of texts between himself and his assistant, in which the actor appeared to be looking to score drugs. The messages occurred around the time Depp allegedly beat Heard under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
“In my view it would not be just to strike out the claim,” the judge's decision, published on Thursday, said. “Despite the breach which I have found…, I am not persuaded that the trial of the claim would be unfair.”
The judge's legal ruling also said: “Ms Heard has provided assistance to the defendants and has done so despite whatever may have been said by the claimant's US lawyers. I agree that it is important that she is not subjected to sanctions in another jurisdiction for having done so.”