Johnny Depp's libel lawsuit against a U.K. tabloid is going forward to trial.
A judge on Thursday said the case can proceed and rejected an effort by The Sun to have it dismissed, The Associated Press reports. Depp filed a libel lawsuit against News Group Newspapers, The Sun's publisher, and against executive editor Dan Wootton over a 2018 article calling him a "wife beater" in reference to his ex-wife Amber Heard's domestic abuse allegations, which he has denied.
The publisher had argued that the case should be dismissed because Depp violated a court order by not turning over text messages from 2015 they said showed him trying to get drugs while he was in Australia with Heard, The Hollywood Reporter reports. The judge earlier this week said Depp did fail to comply with the order and should have turned over the texts with his assistant, which were sent before when Heard describes an alleged "three-day ordeal of physical assaults" that took place while Depp was "under the influence of drink and/or drugs," Deadline reports.
But the judge said on Thursday that "despite the breach which I have found ... I am not persuaded that the trial of the claim would be unfair," per the Reporter.
According to the AP, Depp and Heard are both expected to give evidence during the trial, which is set to begin on July 7 and is expected to last about three weeks.