Award-winning actor Johnny Depp was married to fellow actress Amber Heard for 15 months. In 2016, Heard filed for divorce from Depp, citing irreconcilable differences, according to The Washington Post. The messy divorce battle played out in the press over the next few months, publicizing Heard’s claims of domestic abuse and circulating a photo of Heard with bruises on her eye and lip. Soon, Johnny Depp’s defamation lawsuit against Amber Heard would be the next headline in the press.
Four days after divorce papers were filed, a temporary restraining order was issued against Depp. Then, a day after the restraining order hearing, the actors released a joint statement addressing the alleged abuse.
“Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love. Neither party has made false accusations for financial gain. There was never any intent of physical or emotional harm,” said Depp and Heard in a statement published by The Hollywood Reporter.
Depp and Heard were married for just 15 months before they divorced.
Finally, the two reached a settlement that included a non-disparagement agreement and awarded Heard with $7 million dollars, according to The Washington Post. But the legal battle is far from over.
The saga continues in 2018 when Heard spoke about domestic abuse in an op-ed piece published by The Washington Post.
“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,” Heard wrote in The Washington Post, “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. . . . I had the rare vantage point of seeing, in real time, how institutions protect men accused of abuse.”
Even though Heard never mentioned Depp by name, most people connected the dots. In fact, four days after the piece was published, Disney announced that Depp would no longer be a part of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, according to The Washington Post.
In response to the op-ed piece, Depp filed a defamation lawsuit against Heard in Virginia, where the piece was printed, instead of in California where the two both reside. This may be because Depp’s legal team believes they have a better chance litigating in Virginia instead of in California, where the alleged abuse took place.
Of course, Heard then filed a (100 million dollar) motion to dismiss her ex-husband’s complaint, going into detail describing the alleged abuse and how she was in fear for her life.cl-2019-2911-def-counterclaims-8-10-2020
Depp fired back by accusing Heard of fabricating the abuse with “painted-on bruises”, according to The Washington Post.
Currently, the case is still ongoing but both sides still deny any wrongdoing. Depp denies abusing Heard or any other woman for that matter, while Heard’s attorneys deny Depp’s defamation allegations. In a statement published in The Washington Post, Heard’s attorney, George says, “The evidence in this case is clear: Johnny Depp repeatedly beat Amber Heard. The increasingly desperate attempts by Mr. Depp and his enablers to revive his career by initiating baseless litigation against so many people once close to him — his former lawyers, former managers, and his former spouse — are not fooling anyone.”
Depp’s Defamation Lawsuit Will Remain In Virginia
A Virginia judge ruled on Thursday August 29th, 2019 that Johnny Depp’s defamation lawsuit will remain in Virginia, according to court documents obtained by The Blast. This is bad news for Heard as she had previously requested the case to be transferred to California where both actors reside.
Elon Musk Enters The Chat…
UPDATE 2: On Wednesday June 17th, 2020, legal depositions in a separate lawsuit Depp filed against the British Sun Newspaper, claimed that Heard had a secret three-way relationship with Space X Entrepreneur Elon Musk and model Cara Delevingne, according to Page Six. It was also claimed that Heard had an affair with Musk during her marriage to Depp.
Musk denied the claims to Page Six and stated, “Cara and I are friends, but we’ve never been intimate. She would confirm this…. Also, I wish to confirm again that Amber and I only started going out about a month after her divorce filing. I don’t think I was ever even in the vicinity of Amber during their marriage!”’
Depp Loses Libel Lawsuit In The UK
UPDATE 3: On Monday, November 2nd, 2020, it was announced that Depp lost his libel lawsuit against Britain’s Sun Newspaper. Depp sued News Group Newspapers and Dan Wootton, The Sun’s executive editor, over an article that claimed Depp was abusive to Heard.
UK’s High Court ruled in the publisher’s favor, citing evidence that included audio recording and text messages that Depp was violent towards Heard.
“The Sun has stood up and campaigned for the victims of domestic abuse for over 20 years. Domestic abuse victims must never be silenced and we thank the judge for his careful consideration and thank Amber Heard for her courage in giving evidence to the court,” said The Sun in a statement following the verdict, according to CNN Business.
Depp’s $50 Millions Defamation Case Against Heard in Virginia is still set to happen in May 2021, according to Courthouse News. The trial has been delayed so long due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
It will be interesting to see if the ruling for The Sun libel case will have any effect on Depp’s defamation lawsuit against Heard herself.
Depp Will Now Face Heard’s Defamation Lawsuit After “Hoax” Comment
On Monday January 4th, 2020, a Virginia Judge rejected Depp’s bid for immunity over statements made by his Lawyer that declared Heard’s abuse claim as a “hoax”. Now Depp will face a defamation counterclaims from Heard.
Oh, and let’s not forget about the Anti-SLAPP strategy. To this, the Judge says Depp’s anti-SLAPP defense is no good — because there’s enough evidence for Heard to show Depp was being malicious, his statements were not opinion, and no “public concern” defense. But, in favor of Depp, judge said Heard doesn’t have a Computer Fraud and Abuse claim and is not immune either for her statements made in the Washington Post article.
Depp Denied Appeal in U.K. Libel Lawsuit
In March 2021, Depp’s legal team attempted to appeal the libel lawsuit he lost against The Sun Newspaper, on the basis that the court sided with Heard because of her pledge to donate her $7 million divorce settlement to charity, which she allegedly has not done.
However, Depp was denied an appeal and the Judge upheld the November 2020 ruling, stating, “the appeal has no real prospect of success and there is no other compelling reason for it to be heard.”
Yes, you read that right, Johnny Depp’s potential justice has been delayed for a third time, according to Fairfax County Circuit Court Chief Judge Bruce White.
As you may recall Depp’s defamation trial, which was supposed to take place in September of 2021, had been pushed back twice prior to this update due to COVID-19- however, this time it is not because it is a matter of safety, but rather because court dates for civil jury trials are booked.
Their prior rescheduled court date was set for May 7th of 2022, but a more pressing trial took precedent, so their court date was moved to the next closest available slot which is sometime in April of this year.
It’s unlikely that Depp will be able to use this time to better prepare for his defamation trial though, since he is continuing his efforts in the UK to rectify his loss in his libel suit against The Sun tabloid. On the same note though, Heard won’t get much more preparation done either since she is also having her team of UK lawyers continue to file oppositions to Depp’s defamation suits.
Amber Heard also dragged the Pirates studio, Disney, and the LAPD into this roller-coaster of a case in January for any and all evidence they may have on Johnny Depp. Heard’s actions however, lit a fire beneath Depp, which we’ve seen given his subpoena spree that has already locked down the ACLU and Elon Musk.
Do you think Depp will win this defamation lawsuit? I can tell you that it definitely won’t be a slam dunk. This is because it is harder for an actor or public figure to come out on top in these situations unless they are able to prove actual malice. This means Depp would not only need to prove that Heard lied about the abuse, but also that she had the requisite mental state and motivation or reckless disregard for the truth when she publicly declared herself a victim of Depp’s domestic abuse. In other words, Depp would need to prove that Heard’s accusations were false and that she made them in efforts to damage Depp’s career.
Only time will tell what the outcome of this case will be, but we’ll keep you updated.
Johnny Depp Wins Defamation Lawsuit Against Amber Heard!
The trial of the decade has come to an end! The seven-person civil jury consisting of five men and two women have reached the end of their short 3 day deliberations on the Johnny Depp trial. After seven weeks of in-court arguments and days of jury deliberations, the jury has come to the conclusion that Amber Heard defamed Johnny Depp by writing her 2018 op-ed for The Washington Post entitled “Amber Heard: I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.”
Amber Heard was ordered to pay Johnny Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million dollars in punitive damages. However, due to a Virginia state law, there is a cap on punitive damages so the maximum amount Johnny Depp can be awarded is $350,000. This brings Johnny Depp’s lawsuit winnings to around $10.35 million.
However, Amber Heard did win one of her defamation claims against Johnny Depp by virtue of the statements made by his lawyer, Mr. Waldman, in Johnny Depp’s UK defamation lawsuit. Amber Heard was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages and $0 in punitive damages, however since Heard now owes Depp over $10 million in damages, the two could come up with an agreement that pays Amber Heard nothing and Johnny Depp around $8 million.
We don’t doubt that reaching this verdict was a tiring process after reviewing the defamation claims brought by actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, which include both Hollywood stars accusing each other of abuse before and during their two-year marriage. Congratulations to both Amber Heard and Johnny Depp on their lawsuit winnings.
Amber Heard’s Million Dollar Countersuit Against Insurer
Amber Heard is in the news again, but the reason why still hasn’t changed.
In the newest update on the Johnny Depp defamation trial, Amber heard has now filed a million-dollar countersuit against insurer New York Marine and General Insurance Co. for failing to comply with her liability policy.
Heard had taken out a one-million-dollar policy to protect her from defamation claims prior to the infamous trial. She states in court documents that the company had promised to pay her defense costs and judgements up to a million dollars, no matter what.
However, New York Marine and General Insurance Co. claim that the deal was never unconditional, and since the jury found that Amber Heard committed willful misconduct in her defamation of ex-husband Johnny Depp, they have an out in fulfilling said liability policy.
This isn’t the first payout issue New York Marine has had during the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation trial though. Heard had also taken out an insurance policy with Travelers Commercial Insurance Company, which covered libel claims of up to five hundred thousand dollars.
The two companies didn’t work in conjunction though, resulting in Travelers suing New York Marine in 2021 for half of the cost to defend Heard. Travelers then accused New York Marine of using cheaper attorneys, saying that its own lawyers were kept in the dark about certain legal proceedings.
This then prompted Amber Heard’s current lawsuit against New York Marine. As the case continues, we will keep this blog updated so make sure to check back here for more.
Amber Heard Drops Countersuit and Settles the Johnny Depp Defamation Case for $1 Million
Amber Heard is done with the infamous Johnny Depp defamation lawsuit. The actress has issued a statement announcing that she is calling quits on her appeal! A decision that will cost 7 figures, but it won’t be coming out of her pocket. Her insurance company will be the one responsible for shelling out the million dollars to ex-husband Johnny Depp. The Pirates of the Caribbean star will reportedly be pledging (not to be confused with donating) the $1 million to several charities of his choice.
However, it is important to note that in Heard’s statement, she explained how “this is not an act of concession. There are no restrictions or gags with respect to my voice moving forward”. Camille Vasquez and Benjamin Chew say otherwise though. They explained to TMZ how “the jury’s unanimous decision and the judgement in [Depp’s] favor against Ms. Heard [will] remain fully in place”, and could be used against her in the future if she decides to continue with her defamatory claims.
Amber Heard’s decision to settle is a consequence of her loss of faith in the American justice system. After winning her defamation trial in the UK against Johnny Depp only to lose in the United States, she explained to TMZ how “she has exhausted almost all of her resources… and in the end, it seems she’s decided it was going to be a losing battle”.
So, what’s next for the two whose lives were consumed by this matter for years? Amber Heard plans to focus on her daughter and to continue her work for the causes she believes in, while Johnny Depp has made no announcements regarding his plans for the future.
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Defamation Lawyer Explains Johnny Depp’s Defamation Lawsuit
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