Movie star Johnny Depp is suing his ex-wife Amber Heard over a newspaper article she wrote alleging she was a victim of domestic violence.
The couple have since made their private affairs front-page news dept sues News Group Newspapers Ltd, publishers of the British newspaper The sunfor defamation over an article calling him a “woman-beater”.
Although the dispute was between Depp and The Sun, Heard appeared as a witness for the paper and “the three-week trial in London looked more like a feud between ex-spouses,” he said BBC.
At the time it was described as the “trial of the century”, but the drama in the courtroom seems far from over. After losing his lawsuit against The Sun, Depp is now suing Heard for $50million (£38million) over an opinion piece she wrote in The Washington Post in which she claimed she was a victim of domestic violence. And Heard is suing Depp with a $100 million counterclaim.
Depp and Heard began dating in 2011 after filming the rum diary, called The Hollywood Reporter. They married in 2015, but just 15 months later, Heard filed for divorce and obtained a restraining order against Depp “accusing him of hitting her.”
Speaking to the Associated Press at the time, Heard said she endured “excessive emotional, verbal and physical abuse” from her ex-husband, including a cellphone thrown in her face with “extreme force.” Depp denied the abuse.
Before the restraining order trial could begin, however, the couple released a joint statement, saying, “Our relationship has been intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love. Neither party has made false accusations for financial gains. There was never any intent to cause physical or emotional harm.”
Heard won a $7 million settlement in the subsequent divorce proceedings, which she pledged to donate to the American Civil Liberties Union. But Depp’s team “now denies” the money was ever donated, the BBC said.
Then, in 2018, Depp sued The Sun newspaper for defamation over an article that called him a “woman-beater.” He eventually lost the case, with a British judge ruling that the “vast majority” of Heard’s abuse allegations could be proven in civil courts, meaning that “the abuse was more likely than not to have occurred,” the broadcaster said.
The actor claimed that after losing the case, he was “forced to step down” from the Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of DumbledoreMads Mikkelsen later replaced him as Gellert Grindelwald, while other film roles appear to have “dried up” for the one-time superstar actor, whose last film, MinamataIt was released in 2020, she said Sky news.
The latest lawsuit
In December 2018, at the “climax” of the #MeToo movement, Heard published an opinion piece in The Washington Post “in which he evokes societal norms that prop up domestic abusers and put down their victims,” The Hollywood Reporter said. In the article, she repeated claims made two years earlier that she suffered abuse earlier in her life, but didn’t specifically name Depp.
Depp has been dropped from his starring role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise just four days after the play’s release and two months later sued Heard for $50 million, accusing her of defaming him by describing herself as a domestic violence survivor. Heard has filed a $100 million countersuit alleging that Depp “coordinated a campaign aimed at defaming her.”
The trial, set to begin today in Virginia, the state where the Washington Post’s offices are located, is expected to include more “painful allegations of domestic violence,” the BBC said.
It is expected to be a lengthy – and televised – trial of around seven to eight weeks and will involve several “high-profile” witnesses, including James Franco and Elon Musk for Heard, and Paul Bettany on Depp’s behalf.
https://www.theweek.co.uk/arts-life/956409/johnny-depp-vs-amber-heard-the-latest-legal-battle-explained Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard: The Recent Litigation Explained