The motion was filed by Heard’s attorneys after Depp’s legal team concluded their case on Tuesday. After hearing arguments from both sides, Judge Penny Azcarate said there is sufficient evidence for the case to continue.
Instead, Heard’s attorneys will now have to convince a jury that the actress did not defame her ex-husband when she wrote a Washington Post in which she discussed being a victim of domestic abuse. Although Heard did not refer to Depp by name or go into any details of the abuse, Depp claims the op-ed damaged his personal reputation and career in Hollywood. He subsequently sued Heard for $50 million, which led Heard to file a $100 million countersuit of her own.
The trial is now in its fourth week, and has already drugged up a number of disturbing events from the couple’s relationship, including Heard admitting to hitting Depp and defecating in his bed, and leaked text messages in which Depp and Paul Bettany described “burning,” “drowning,” and having sex with Heard’s “burnt corpse.”
Depp spent four days on the stand earlier in the trial, and Heard herself is expected to testify sometime in the coming days.
Earlier this week, Heard reportedly fired her PR team because she was “frustrated with her story not being told effectively.”