Approximately one year ago, ex-wife of movie star Johnny Depp and Aquaman co-star Amber Heard wrote an op-ed piece for the Washington Post in which she spoke out against domestic abuse against women. She is now facing a $50 million defamation lawsuit filed by Depp’s attorneys.
Reference to Johnny Depp in Editorial
Earlier this year in March, Depp’s attorney filed a lawsuit on his behalf stating that Heard had referenced the actor in her editorial when she wrote, “Then, two years ago I became a public figure representing domestic abuse and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.”
Although her editorial never specifically mentioned Depp by name, his attorney Benjamin Chew stated that her comment was referring to “the precise time frame when Ms. Heard publicly and falsely accused Mr. Depp” back in 2016.
Depp Attempting to Clear His Name
The $50 million defamation lawsuit filed on Depp’s behalf is an attempt to clear the actor’s name by claiming that he was victimized by Heard. The lawsuit claims that all of Heard’s allegations are completely false.
“Ms. Heard’s false allegations against Mr. Depp have been conclusively refuted by two separate responding police officers, a litany of neutral third-party witnesses, and 87 newly obtained surveillance camera videos,” the complaint read.
Additionally, after Heard had convinced Depp to come to their penthouse to collect his belongings, she continued to fabricate their ongoing interactions:
“Unaware that members of Mr. Depp’s security team… were mere feet away, Ms. Heard falsely began yelling ‘stop hitting me, Johnny.’ The interaction culminated with Ms. Heard making false allegations that Mr. Depp struck her with a cell phone, hit her, and destroyed the penthouse. There were multiple eyewitnesses to this hoax.”
Heard Wants Depp’s Lawsuit Tossed
During a recent Friday hearing at the Virginia Circuit Court in Fairfax County, Heard’s attorneys claimed that Depp’s lawsuit was “an overreach and should be tossed out.” Heard’s attorney Benjamin Rottenborn said that his client was simply stating a fact in regard to women and domestic abuse and that the op-ed may have reminded readers of the restraining order at most. It hardly qualifies as defamation.
Heard’s attorneys also argued that the case didn’t even belong in Fairfax County but instead it should have taken place in California, where the former couple and eyewitnesses live. Chief Circuit Court Judge Bruce White will be considering both sides of the argument and make his ruling in the near future.