Next week, the $50M defamation lawsuit that Johnny Depp filed against his ex-wife Amber Heard is headed to trial. Set to take place in Fairfax County, Virginia, the proceedings will be aired on Court TV. The television channel says it will "provide viewers unobstructed and unbiased views of the proceedings."
The case is expected to draw a ton of media attention, and it seems likely that witnesses who will appear include James Franco and Elon Musk.
Acting Head of Court TV Ethan Nelson added in a statement,
Court cases that are as high-profile as this one often create a lot of noise, and it can be difficult for viewers to break through these distractions to have a clear picture of the facts, but that’s where we come in. Between the camera feed directly from the courtroom and our first-class lineup of talent, Court TV will be the true source of an unbiased, down-the-middle perspective of the trial as it unfolds.
Depp filed the lawsuit in March 2019 after Heard appeared in a Washington Post op-ed where she claimed to be a "public survivor of abuse." Even though Heard did not use Depp's name, his complaint says, "the op-ed depended on the central premise that Ms. Heard was a domestic abuse victim and that Mr. Depp perpetrated domestic violence against her."
Heard tried, but failed, to have the lawsuit dismissed in 2021 and filed a $100M countersuit. Depp also filed a lawsuit against British publication The Sun for calling him a "wife beater" but England's High Court of Justice rejected the claims, saying in 2020 that Heard's allegations against Depp were "substantially true."
The reason why the trial is set to take place in Virginia is because The Washington Post's online editions are published via servers that are physically located in Fairfax County.