Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s Legal Battle Is Only Getting Uglier
The incendiary trial between former lovers Johnny Depp and Amber Heard has reached new, troubling lows, with Heard, through her legal team, stating that he “sexually assaulted” her towards the end of their marriage.
Per court reporting from Vulture, Heard’s lawyers referenced a myriad of disturbing acts the actor allegedly committed, including physical violence, frequent intense alcohol-and-drug binges, and the aforementioned sexual assault.
The lawyers for Depp pushed back against this claim, questioning why this allegation had not been made public earlier, and also accusing her of physical violence.
“Ms. Heard had never made that accusation against Mr. Depp–it was never part of her allegations of abuse in 2016. So, what changed? When she realized the seriousness of what she alleged [about being the victim of domestic abuse], she panicked and alleged sexual assault,” Camille Vasquez said during the trial.
Depp is currently suing Heard for $50 million over a 2018 op-ed piece she wrote for The Washington Post in which she identified herself as a victim of domestic abuse. She does not mention Depp by name in the article, but does speak candidly about the industry backlash she faced for making her allegations public.
“Friends and advisers told me I would never again work as an actress — that I would be blacklisted. A movie I was attached to recast my role. I had just shot a two-year campaign as the face of a global fashion brand, and the company dropped me,” she wrote. “Questions arose as to whether I would be able to keep my role of Mera in the movies Justice League and Aquaman.”
The two actors began dating towards the beginning of 2012, and married in February 2015. A little over a year later, Heard filed for divorce and was granted a temporary restraining order against Depp. She is currently countersuing Depp for $100 million, according to the BBC.
“For years, all Mr. Depp has wanted to do is humiliate Amber, to haunt her, to wreck her career,” Heard’s lawyer Ben Rottenborn said, according to Variety. “[Depp is] an obsessed ex-husband hellbent on revenge.”
The lawsuit against Heard comes after Depp lost a libel claim against the U.K. tabloid paper The Sun, which called him a “wife beater” in a 2018 story. The presiding judge “found that Depp had been violent toward Heard on at least 12 occasions,” which was sufficient enough to throw out the case.
Both actors are claiming that the other’s actions have adversely affected their careers. Depp left his role in the Fantastic Beasts franchise in 2020 after Warner Bros. asked him to resign. Heard continues to be a part of the Aquaman franchise, though she’s been part of relatively few other high-profile projects since 2018.