There Are Several Reasons The Depp Heard Trial Is Taking Place In Fairfax, Virginia
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As the Depp-Heard trial draws to a close, onlookers have been left wondering why the trial is taking place in Fairfax, Virginia.
There are several reasons why the high-profile court case is taking place at the Fairfax County Courthouse, but one of the main reasons is all to do with Amber Heard’s op-ed, for which Johnny Depp is suing her for defamation.
The article, titled “I spoke up against sexual violence – and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change,” was published in The Washington Post in 2018. As a result, Depp alleged that she defamed him – even though he was not named in the article.
The online site for the publication is published via servers in the county, which means that Depp was able to sue her in that location.
The newspaper, which is not involved in the current legal battle at hand, 'houses its printing press and online server in Fairfax County'.
It was reported that Heard’s legal team attempted to move the case to the state of California, but another one of the reasons behind suing in the state of Virginia was due to the state’s anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) legislation, which is not as broad as in California.
Such lawsuits aim to censor, intimidate and silence those who intend on taking legal action by placing a great deal of cost on garnering a legal defence so that they abandon their claim.
In the piece, Heard wrote: “Like many women, I had been harassed and sexually assaulted by the time I was of college-age. But I kept quiet – I did not expect filing complaints to bring justice. And I didn’t see myself as a victim.
“Then two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out."
Despite Depp not being identified by name in the piece, his legal team argues that the article contains a ‘clear implication that Mr Depp is a domestic abuser', which they have said is 'categorically and demonstrably false'.
Depp is suing for damages of ‘not less than $50m’ in the court case, which is yet to be finalised – although an end to the trial is expected soon.
Heard has since filed a $100m counterclaim against her ex-husband for nuisance and immunity from such allegations against her.
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