Johnny Depp Files $50 Million Defamation Lawsuit Against Ex-Wife Amber Heard
Johnny Depp Lawsuits & News
In a Washington Post op-ed, Heard “purported to write from the perspective of ‘a public figure representing domestic abuse’ and claimed that she ‘felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out,’” Depp’s lawyers state in the lawsuit.
Depp’s lawyers go on to say that the “implication that Mr. Depp is a domestic abuser is categorically and demonstrably false,” and that the allegations were refuted by police officers, a “litany” of witnesses and 87 surveillance camera videos.
The lawsuit instead alleges that it was actually Heard who committed acts of domestic violence. “Ms. Heard violently abused Mr. Depp, just as she was caught and arrested for violently abusing her former domestic partner,” the court documents read. “Ms. Heard is not a victim of domestic abuse, she is a perpetrator.”
The Pirates of the Caribbean actor, 55, claims that the alleged domestic abuse his former wife, 32, detailed was all part of an “elaborate hoax to generate positive publicity” and to “advance her career.”
The op-ed from mid-December last year, titled “I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change,” was penned three days prior to the premiere of one of Heard’s latest films, Aquaman.
The lawsuit states that Heard’s claims of domestic abuse resulted in numerous opportunities that wouldn’t have been possible beforehand. “As a result of her false allegations against Mr. Depp, Ms. Heard became a darling of the #MeToo movement, was the first actress named a Human Rights Champion of the United Nations Human Rights Office, was appointed ambassador on women’s rights at the American Civil Liberties Union and was hired by L’Oreal Paris as its global spokesperson.”
Depp’s lawyers also say that the op-ed negatively affected his career, claiming that it cost him his role in the ongoing Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Depp is suing for compensatory damages, as well as punitive damages for the “willfulness and maliciousness that Ms. Heard demonstrated when she knowingly published the op-ed with the false implication that Mr. Depp violently abused her.”
In response, Heard’s attorney, Eric George, issued a statement: “This frivolous action is just the latest of Johnny Depp’s repeated efforts to silence Amber Heard. She will not be silenced. Mr. Depp’s actions prove he is unable to accept the truth of his ongoing abusive behavior. But while he appears hell-bent on achieving self-destruction, we will prevail in defeating this groundless lawsuit and ending the continued vile harassment of my client by Mr. Depp and his legal team.”
The couple’s divorce, after less than two years of marriage, was one of Hollywood’s most toxic in 2016, featuring allegations of physical abuse, restraining orders, media-mobbed court hearings, leaked texts and cellphone pictures of facial bruises.
The actress filed for a domestic violence restraining order against Depp in May 2016 after she accused him of abusing her but ultimately withdrew her allegations. The two settled their divorce out of court in August 2016 for $7 million which she donated to a charity focused on fighting domestic abuse of women. They also both signed NDAs barring them from discussing their relationship publicly.
This is the latest in a series of lawsuits for Depp in recent years, including one against his former managers and another against his former attorneys. He’s also pursuing a libel case against The Sun tabloid in London for calling him a “wife-beater” based on Heard’s allegations.