Johnny Depp claims $50 million in damages against ex-wife Amber Heard for defamation

File image of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 04, 2019, 01.37 PM (IST)

‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star Johnny Depp has sued actress and former wife Amber Heard for defamation as she claimed to be a victim of domestic abuse during the course of their marriage. Depp now seeks damages in $50 million against Heard. 

Heard claimed to be a survivor of domestic abuse in an article published on December 18, 2018, in The Washington Post. 

Calling out the allegation, Depp claims that they are just a “hoax”. He had earlier claimed that he has fresh evidence to disprove Heard's domestic violence allegations against him.

In the current lawsuit, Depp’s lawyer states that she “purported to write 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’.”

The lawsuit continued: “The op-ed depended on the central premise that Heard was a domestic abuse victim and that Depp perpetrated domestic violence against her. Depp never abused 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 Heard and advance her career.”

To this, Heard’s representative said: “This frivolous action is just the latest of Johnny Depp’s repeated efforts to silence Amber Heard. She will not be silenced. Depp’s actions prove he is unable to accept the truth of his ongoing abusive behaviour. 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 Depp and his legal team.”

The two actors were married for a short period between February 2015 and May 2016. They met on the sets of 2011 film ‘The Rum Diary’. Their divorce got bitter after Heard filed for a domestic violence restraining order against Depp in May 2016 post-accusing him of abusing her. 

Depp denied the claims, and the two settled their divorce out-of-court in August 2016 for $7 million. Heard donated the money to charity. They signed NDAs barring them from discussing their relationship publicly.

On the professional front, Depp will not be reprising his iconic role of Captain Jack Sparrow in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ franchise as Disney’s film production chief Sean Bailey confirmed the same. According to a Forbes report, Disney will reportedly save $90 million per film after Johnny Depp is no more in the picture. The actor’s salary, including the profit percentage, reaches close to  $100 million per Pirates film - that’s almost Rs 700 crore. 

Story highlights

Amber Heard claimed to have been a victim of domestic abuse during the course of their marriage that lasted between February 2015 and May 2016.