As the Geekbuzz reported earlier this week, and Variety is also now reporting, it may now be six months or more before Johnny Depp gets his day in court to argue his $50 million defamation action against Amber Heard.
Because Depp didn’t meet the November 15 deadline to produce all of the October court ordered records related to his drug and alcohol usage, “judicial officials in Fairfax County, Virginia have granted a six-month postponement of the start of the jury trial” between the two stars. Instead of the three-week proceedings on February 3, 2020, the trial will start on August 3 next year.
Citing “good cause,” the regional calendar control judge agreed to the motion from Heard. It should be noted that Heard’s lawyers only wanted an additional 60 days not the approximately 180 days that they got. This means the trial will be ongoing at the start of the European tour of the Hollywood Vampires, the band Depp formed a few years ago. According to Variety, “those touring commitments that extend to the UK and Italy for next September could see Depp’s lawyers seek a shift in the trial start date themselves” beyond September of 2020.
Heard’s legal team has also entered a motion to have the case dismissed entirely, but Fairfax County Chief Judge Bruce White hasn’t ruled on that yet, though today’s action seems to indicate the possibility of such an action if the case is again moved next summer.
The motion for continuance placed in the Virginia state docket by Heard’s team spoke to Depp’s resistance to hand over the court ordered files pertaining to his substantial substance and liquor intake the past several years.
“Despite the Court’s reasonable assumption, Mr. Depp did not produce all relevant medical records as ordered-instead, on November 15, 2019, he produced merely a handful of PDF files that appear to be email forwards he received from a single doctor, Dr. Kipper,” said the paperwork submitted on Monday. “Mr. Depp still has not produced any other records relating to his medical condition, despite the fact that there were clearly other doctors involved in his care.”
“Because of Mr. Depp’s abject disregard of this Court’s discovery order dated October 18, 2019 (the “Discovery Order”), and other dilatory and obstructionist conduct, Ms. Heard has not received essential discovery to which she is clearly entitled,” the six-page document points out. “As a result, Ms. Heard cannot appropriately prepare expert witnesses and expert disclosures, cannot fully examine or impeach out-of-state witnesses who are not willing to voluntarily testify in Virginia, and cannot otherwise mount a fair defense within the relatively short time remaining prior to trial.”
Earlier this week, Heard attorney Roberta Kaplan said, “By failing to produce: (1) his medical records and other documents ordered by the Virginia court; (2) documents his own U.K. counsel produced in his related case for defamation against The London Sun; (3) relevant documents produced in his litigation with his former manager; (4) a single relevant text or other communication with anyone on his staff; or (5) any substantiation for the $50 million in damages he seeks from Ms. Heard, Mr. Depp has made it clear that his strategy is to try to run out the clock during the holiday season so that Ms. Heard is unable to obtain critical evidence and testimony to corroborate her defenses to the baseless defamation suit he filed against her. While Mr. Depp would like the trial to be a “he said/she said” contest of his own skills as an actor, Ms. Heard, who would prefer that the case be about the truth of what really happened, has asked the Court for a relatively brief two-month continuance to give her time to obtain the evidence that Mr. Depp has stubbornly resisted producing.”
UPDATE: Regarding the PDFs Depp produced from ‘Dr. Kipper,’ Dlisted reports “Dr. David Kipper does addiction treatment and detox. He also might not be the best guy for Johnny to be pulling into his case.”
“According to The Los Angeles Times, Dr. Kipper was reprimanded by the Medical Board of California in 2007 after an eight-year investigation, for allegedly operating “lavish, unlicensed detoxification programs for Hollywood figures and other clients in hotel suites and on private estates.” He was also accused of over-prescribing addicted drugs to celebrity clients, like Ozzy Osbourne. Ozzy claims Dr. Kipper was the reason he sounded so incoherent during the filming of The Osbournes. Then again, maybe that’s exactly the evidence Johnny’s lawyers wanted to present.”
‘Look, it’s obvious my client can’t be held responsible for anything he might have done. Have you seen the doctor he was going to? He went to Ozzy’s doctor. His brain clearly wasn’t making good choices. I mean, the man chose to make Mortdecai. Something’s not right upstairs, case closed.’ “
Will Depp’s defense be “my doctor made me do it?”