Johnny Depp’s US defamation trial against Amber Heard delayed until 2022

Keiran Southern
·2-min read

Johnny Depp’s 50 million dollar (£35 million) US defamation trial against Amber Heard has been delayed until next year, court records show.

The Hollywood actor, 57, is suing his ex-wife in Virginia after she wrote an article in the Washington Post claiming to be a victim of domestic abuse.

Depp launched legal proceedings against Heard, 34, in March 2019 and after several delays, the case was set for trial in May this year.

However, Fairfax County Circuit Court chief judge Bruce White has set a new date for April 11 2022. The jury trial is scheduled to last for 16 days. The high-profile trial was previously delayed in September last year. Depp had requested it be pushed back to accommodate filming for the latest Fantastic Beasts movie.

Amber Heard
Aquaman actress Amber Heard alleged Johnny Depp was abusive while they were married (Yui Mok/PA)

But he stepped down from his role as evil wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the Harry Potter spin-off franchise after losing a UK libel claim against The Sun over an article calling him a “wife beater”.

A High Court judge found the article was “substantially true”.

Following a three-week trial in July last year, Mr Justice Nicol ruled Depp assaulted Heard, who he was married to from 2015-2017, on a dozen occasions and put her in “fear for her life” three times.

The actor is now challenging that ruling and his application for permission to appeal against it will be heard in March.

Depp sued Heard in Virginia after she wrote an op-ed about being a domestic abuse victim. The article did not mention him by name but he alleged it cost him a lucrative part in Disney’s planned Pirates Of The Caribbean reboot.

Depp claims he was the victim of domestic abuse.

Earlier this month Depp’s legal team subpoenaed tech billionaire Elon Musk – a former partner of Heard – and the US civil liberties organisation the ACLU, requesting information on the Aquaman actress.

Heard had previously done the same to Disney and the Los Angeles Police Department, asking for any information on Depp.