The judge ruled against Depp, meaning Heard can use the public interest argument in her defence.
Johnny Depp has suffered a setback in his ongoing $100m (£76m) defamation battle with his ex-wife Amber Heard.
The judge ruled that Depp assaulted Heard and put her in fear for her life on numerous occasions.
Depp also faces a claim of defamation made by Heard, over statements Depp’s lawyer made about her.
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