EXCLUSIVE: With his legal action against a Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid on hold in the U.K. due to coronavirus lockdowns, Johnny Depp today saw Amber Heard's moves to effectively steamroll his $50 million defamation suit against the Aquaman star hit a significant judicial roadblock.
“Defendant’s Demurrer is sustained as to the fourth statement listed above, but it is overruled as to the other three statements,” wrote Fairfax County Chief Judge Bruce White on Friday in a lengthy opinion letter to lawyers on both sides of this very personal and messy battle. “Further, Defendant’s Plea in Bar regarding the statute of limitations is denied. Counsel shall prepare an Order reflecting the Court’s ruling and forward that Order to the Court for entry,” the Virginia state judge added.
Ostensibly still set to go to trial in the Commonwealth in August, the already quite litigious Depp first filed the suit just over a year ago in the southern state with more flexible defamation laws that California or New York. “Ms. Heard is not a victim of domestic abuse, she is a perpetrator,” the complaint from the repeatedly innocence proclaiming Pirates of the Caribbean star insisted in reaction to an op-end that Herd wrote on domestic violence for The Washington Post in December 2018.
Team Johnny unusually did not respond to request for comment on today’s letter from Judge White, but Heard’s top lawyer Roberta Kaplan certainly tried to gleam some victory from the sting of a defeat to dismiss and avoid a trial.
“Today's decision leaves it to a jury to decide the meaning of Ms. Heard's op-ed and the truth of what she said,” the Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP partner told Deadline. “As we have said all along, the courts have strong mechanisms in place for determining the truth,” the defense attorney stated also, having filed the dismissal attempt back in September. “Here, we remain confident that Ms. Heard will prevail at trial when the jury is presented with evidence on the question that the Court identified — namely, whether ‘Ms. Heard was abused by Mr. Depp.'”
Born into a media spotlight, the Rum Diary co-stars relatively short marriage came to an end in 2016 with a temporary restraining order slapped against Oscar nominee Depp over domestic violence claims. Their relationship ended in an a $7 million divorce settlement, most of which Heard ultimately donated to charity.
Though Heard’s WaPo op-ed never actually mentions Depp by name, the actor and his lawyers additionally claimed that the piece tarnished the Hollywood Vampire guitarist’s good-ish name. Amidst a series of lawsuit and settlements, many in Depp’s favor, over recent years, that PR stain supposedly...
He also played the police chief in 'Beverly Hills Cop II' and mogul Louis B. Mayer in 'Gable and Lombard.'
Allen Garfield, the New Jersey character actor who specialized in playing nervous types while appearing in such films as The Conversation, The Candidate, The Stunt Man and Nashville, has died. He was 80.
His sister, Lois Goorwitz, confirmed his death in a brief conversation with The Hollywood Reporter.
Earlier, actress Ronee Blakley posted the news of Garfield's death on Facebook, saying that he had died Tuesday and that the cause was COVID-19. Garfield and Blakley played husband and wife in Robert Altman's Nashville 1975.
Garfield suffered a stroke as he was set to appear in Roman Polanski's The Ninth Gate 1999, then suffered another one in 2004 that led him to reside at the Motion Picture Country Home and Hospital in Woodland Hills. A spokeswoman for the MPTF facility did not know if Garfield was there at the time of his death.
Born Allen Goorwitz on Nov. 22, 1939, in Newark, he went by his real name in several films, including The Brink's Job 1978 and One From the Heart 1981, midway through his career.
Garfield boxed as an amateur, worked as a sportswriter and studied with Lee Strasberg and Elia Kazan at the Actors Studio in New York. He appeared often onstage before making his film debut in Orgy Girls '69, followed by other big-screen appearances in 1971 in Woody Allen's Bananas and The Organization, starring Sidney Poitier.
Often playing jumpy types, he worked for Francis Ford Coppola in The Conversation 1974 and The Cotton Club 1984 and for Wim Wenders in A State of Things 1982 and Until the End of the World 1991.
He also portrayed Louis B. Mayer in Gable and Lombard 1976 and police chief Harold Lutz in Beverly Hills Cop II 1987, and his résumé also included roles in Teachers 1984, Desert Bloom 1986, Dick Tracy 1990, Destiny Turns on the Radio 1995 and The Majestic 2001.
"The reason I didChief Zabu is that Allen Garfield is from the Actors Studio, I'm from the Actors Studio, and we worked together there on stuff," actress Marianna Hill said in a 2016 interview with Shaun Chang for the Hill Place blog. "Allen Garfield happens to be a great actor. He's a really underrated actor. Allen was the hardest-working actor, but nobody realizes that about him because he seems to be a natural."
Source: Hollywood Reporter