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Johnny Depp Sues Ex-Wife for Defamation

— March 1, 2019

Johnny Depp filed a lawsuit against his ex-wife, Amber Heard, after she wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post. In the op-ed, Heard alleges she is a victim of domestic abuse.

Johnny Depp recently filed a lawsuit against his ex-wife, Amber Heard, and is seeking damages over allegations that she “wrote an op-ed characterizing herself as a domestic abuse victim.” In fact, in his suit, Depp calls his ex-wife’s claims of “domestic violence against him a hoax.”

Amber Heard
Amber Heard; image courtesy of Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons,

According to the lawsuit, Heard wrote an op-ed titled “I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.” In the op-ed, she wrote 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’ when she ‘spoke up against sexual violence.” Depp’s lawyers added, “The op-ed depended on the central premise that Ms. Heard was a domestic abuse victim and that Mr. Depp perpetrated domestic violence against her.” His lawyers further stated:

“Mr. Depp never abused Ms. Heard. Her allegations against him were false when they were made in 2016. They were part of an elaborate hoax to generate positive publicity for Ms. Heard and advance her career.”

Additionally, Depp’s lawyer said the op-ed’s “implication that Mr. Depp is a domestic abuser is categorically and demonstrably false.” They also noted that the allegations “were refuted by police officers, a litany of neutral witnesses and 87 surveillance camera videos.” As a result of the December 18, 2018 op-ed that appeared in The Washington Post, Depp and his legal team filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against Heard.

In response to the lawsuit, Heard’s legal team issued the following 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.”

Prior to the op-ed and Depp’s lawsuit, Heard filed a domestic violence restraining order against the actor back in May 2016. At the time, Depp denied the allegations and the couple proceeded to settle “their divorce out of court in August 2016 for $7 million.” Soon after, they both signed “NDAs barring them from discussing their relationship publicly.”

Since the op-ed, Depp and his lawyers claim the piece had a negative impact on his career. For example, it allegedly “cost him the role of Jack Sparrow in the ongoing Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.” As part of the suit, Depp is suing for punitive and compensatory 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.


Johnny Depp Files $50 Million Defamation Lawsuit Against Amber Heard

Johnny Depp Files $50 Million Defamation Lawsuit Against ‘Aquaman’ Actress Amber Heard

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