“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 … Ms. Heard’s domestic violence allegations against Mr. Depp were false, as is her portrayal of herself in her “Sexual Violence” op-ed as a domestic violence victim and her portrayal of Mr. Depp as a domestic violence perpetrator and ‘monster.'”
If you expected Johnny Depp’s $50 million defamation lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard to pull any punches, were are sorry to disappoint you.
Allegations of Abuse
The lawsuit alleges that general claims made by Heard in a December Washington Post editorial were false, and, specifically, that she attempted to fabricate a domestic assault at his penthouse. “Unaware that members of Mr. Depp’s security team (including an 18-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department) were mere feet away, Ms. Heard falsely began yelling ‘stop hitting me Johnny,'” according to the suit. “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.”
Not only does the lawsuit deny that Depp abused Heard, it points the finger at his accuser. “Ms. Heard is not a victim of domestic abuse,” Depp claims, “she is a perpetrator.” According to the suit, Heard was arrested at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in 2009 and charged with misdemeanor domestic violence for assaulting her then-domestic partner Tasya van Ree. The suit also claims Heard threw a glass vodka bottle at Depp, which “shattered the bones in the tip of Mr. Depp’s right middle finger, almost completely cutting it off.”
Malice and Moral Turpitude
“Ms. Heard published her op-ed with actual malice,” according to the defamation suit, and Depp claims it cost him his iconic role as Jack Sparrow in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise:
Ms. Heard’s implication in her op-ed that Mr. Depp is a domestic abuser is not only demonstrably false, it is defamatory per se. Ms. Heard falsely implied that Mr. Depp was guilty of domestic violence, which is a crime involving moral turpitude. Moreover, Ms. Heard’s false implication prejudiced Mr. Depp in his career as a film actor and incalculably (and immediately) damaged his reputation as a public figure.
“Mr. Depp’s actions prove he is unable to accept the truth of his ongoing abusive behavior,” Heard’s attorney Eric M. George fired back to Deadline. “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 Sues Comedian for Defamation Over Depp Divorce Comments (FindLaw’s Celebrity Justice)
- What to Expect in Johnny Depp’s Defamation Lawsuit Against Tabloid (FindLaw’s Celebrity Justice)
- Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Battle in Court and Media (FindLaw’s Celebrity Justice)
- Meet Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s Divorce Lawyers (FindLaw’s Celebrity Justice)