Press group: Hollywood libel lawsuit could set bad precedent

Free press advocates in Virginia are concerned that a libel lawsuit between two Hollywood stars could set a bad precedent. (File)
By  | 

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) Free press advocates in Virginia are concerned that a libel lawsuit between two Hollywood stars could set a bad precedent.

The Virginia Press Association asked Friday to intervene in a $50 million lawsuit filed by Johnny Depp against his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard.

Depp says he was defamed by an article Heard wrote in The Washington Post.

She never identified Depp by name but referred to herself as a "public figure representing domestic abuse."

The press association argued Friday in Fairfax County Circuit Court that the case could set a bad precedent for cases involving "defamation by implication."

A judge, though, barred the press association from filing any briefs outlining its position.

He said his job was to apply the law as it exists without considering the association's policy concerns.