Amber Heard's motion to dismiss Johnny Depp defamation case denied

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A judge denied Amber Heard's motion to dismiss Johnny Depp's defamation lawsuit on Tuesday.

The Pirates of the Caribbean star is suing his ex-wife for defamation over a December 2018 Washington Post op-ed in which she described herself as "a public figure representing domestic abuse". She is also countersuing him.

After Depp's legal team presented their last witness and rested, Heard's attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the case, Variety reports. They argued that Depp's legal team had failed to provide enough evidence to support their case.

Judge Penney Azcarate denied the motion, leaving it to the jury to reach a verdict once all evidence and arguments have been presented.

Depp's evidence has now been presented, and Heard's attorneys will have the opportunity to give their defence from Wednesday.

Depp's team are seeking to prove that three statements in Heard's op-ed - two mentions of abuse in the body and the words "sexual violence" in the headline - are defamatory.

On Tuesday, Heard's attorney Ben Rottenborn argued that the Aquaman star cannot be held accountable for the headline of the op-ed because it was written by editors at The Washington Post.

Rottenborn also argued that while there is a dispute about whether Depp physically abused Heard, there is no doubt that he verbally abused her, as she caught an example of the verbal abuse on tape.

He argued that the two statements she's being sued for in the body of the op-ed are therefore not defamatory.

However, Judge Azcarate denied their motion to dismiss regarding those two statements. She declined to rule on the headline as she needed further evidence.

The trial continues.

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