Johnny Depp is suing his ex-wife Amber Heard and seeking $50 million over claims that she damaged his reputation in an article that she published last year.
Heard’s article, which appeared in The Washington Post last December, was about her past relationships with men and her experiences with domestic abuse.
In it, she claimed that she lost roles and endorsement deals when she spoke out about her experiences of abuse, and said that Hollywood closes ranks around powerful men.
The article does not mention Johnny Depp by name, but his lawyers nonetheless argue that its “central premise” is that Heard was a domestic abuse victim and Depp her abuser.
Depp’s lawyers say that the article defamed him, and that the allegations contained within are “part of an elaborate hoax to generate positive publicity for Ms. Heard and advance her career.”
Heard’s own lawyer Eric M. George has since issued an angry statement in response to the lawsuit, telling trade publication Deadline:
“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.”
Amber Heard first accused Johnny Depp of domestic violence in 2016, a year after they were married, and finalised their divorce in 2017.
He was ordered to pay a $7m settlement, which Heard pledged to donate to charities for domestic violence.