Hearing in Amber Heard restraining order against Johnny Depp called off

Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:48pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A hearing on the restraining order obtained by Amber Heard against Johnny Depp, in a divorce between the celebrity couple in which Heard has accused Depp of abuse, was called off on Thursday, a day before it was set to occur, court officials said.

Heard was expected to testify at the hearing related to the restraining order in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday, according to E! News and other media outlets.

Instead, the next hearing in the divorce filed by Heard against Depp last month will occur on Aug. 2, court officials said in a statement. The restraining order is part of the divorce case.

The delay allows Depp to gather more witnesses to defend himself against abuse allegations, while for Heard it allows the restraining order to remain in effect at least until the next hearing, said attorney Christopher Melcher, who previously served as chair of the state bar of California family law section, in a phone interview.

It was not immediately clear which side moved to vacate the hearing set for Friday. Attorneys for Depp and Heard did not immediately return calls.

There have been conflicting reports in the media about whether the two sides are moving toward a settlement in the divorce case.

Depp's legal team had filed court papers seeking to prevent witnesses from testifying on behalf of Heard at the hearing on Friday, on grounds that the actress' legal team had not provided the names of those witnesses, according to a report on the website of People magazine.

A judge on May 27 granted a temporary restraining order for Depp to stay at least 100 yards (91 meters) away from Heard and move out of the couple's shared condominium in downtown Los Angeles. The couple married in February 2015.

Heard, 30, said in court filings that Depp, 53, was abusive to her throughout their marriage and that it culminated in an argument last month in which he hurled a cell phone into her face and shattered various objects in her apartment.   Continued...

Cast member Johnny Depp and his actress wife Amber Heard arrive for the premiere of the British film "Black Mass" in London, Britain October 11, 2015. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/Files