There is enough evidence to support Johnny Depp's $50 million claim of defamation.
On Tuesday, the actor's legal team rested their case after 13 days of testimony as Depp says Amber Heard ruined his career by presenting herself as a victim of abuse. After hearing oral arguments by both sides, the judge denied a motion from Heard's legal team to dismiss the lawsuit.
Depp is suing Heard over a Dec. 2018 op-ed she wrote that was published in The Washington Post. There are three parts of the article that Depp is suing over specifically. One is the title of the online op-ed: "I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture's wrath. That has to change." The second is how Heard described herself as "A public figure representing domestic abuse." The third is when she wrote, "I had the rare vantage point of seeing, in real-time, how institutions protect men accused of abuse."
Related video: Johnny Depp's bodyguard says he saw Amber Heard punch the actor in the face
Judge Penney Azcarate denied the defense's motion to strike for statements two and three. She's taking the first under advisement.
"Last night, I reviewed all the evidence submitted in this matter," Judge Azcarate said. "As to the second and third alleged defamatory statements… I view the evidence in light most favorable to the plaintiff."
Although Heard didn't name Depp in the article, it's "reasonably inferred" she's talking about Depp.
"There is evidence in the case that a jury could weigh that the statements were made by the defendant, that the statements were about the plaintiff, that the statement was published, that the statement is false and the defendant made the statement knowing it to be false or the defendant made it so recklessly as to amount to a willful disregard of the truth," the judge continued.
As for the headline, Judge Azcarate said she can't rule on that yet as there is apparently outstanding evidence that is not yet submitted.
Depp looked elated after the ruling, giving his attorney Benjamin Chew a big hug.
"Over the last 3.5 weeks, we've seen and heard from nearly 30 witnesses who have attested to and supported Mr. Depp's claims that Ms. Heard defamed him in her 2018 op-ed," a spokesperson for Depp tells Yahoo Entertainment. "Ms. Heard's reckless op-ed, in turn, caused him to lose a $22.5 million deal with Disney for Pirates of the Caribbean 6, resulting in an overall loss of earnings of over $40 million since December 18, 2018."
Earlier on Tuesday, Depp's final witness testified to the actor's loss of earnings after the op-ed. Forensic accountant Mike Spindler told the court: "I concluded that Mr. Depp suffered lost earnings of approximately $40 million."
"Numerous witnesses have testified that Ms. Heard engaged in psychological, verbal and physical abuse towards Mr. Depp and we are pleased at Chief Judge Azcarate's ruling to continue with the trial after Mr. Rottenborn failed to convince the court that there was reason to dismiss the case," Depp's spokesperson continues. "We stand confident in the future of the case and for the truth to be continued to be shared."
It was expected that Heard's lawyers would try and dismiss the lawsuit and also expected that the judge would deny the motion.
Court resumed after lunch with Heard's team calling their first witness: Dawn M. Hughes, a clinical and forensic psychologist. It's expected that Heard will testify later this week.
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