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7 New Details About The Johnny Depp/Amber Heard Lawsuit

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7 New Details About The Johnny Depp/Amber Heard Lawsuit

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard have been divorced for two years now but that doesn’t mean the drama around their famously acrimonious split is over. The pair are back in court this week, with Depp filing a defamation suit against his ex-wife.

In December, Heard published an op-ed in the Washington Post titled "I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture's wrath. That has to change.” While Heard did not directly mention her former hubby — whom she has accused of abuse — in the piece, Depp’s lawyers now say that there can be no doubt whom she was talking about in the article.

Depp’s team is saying that the information in the article that pertains to him is false, and the article itself violates the terms of a non-disparagement agreement between the two actors.

What did Amber Heard say and why is Depp suing her? Read on for all the details about the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard lawsuit. 

RELATED: 5 Details About The Amber Heard/Elon Musk Affair — And What Johnny Depp Believes

1. Relationship

Heard met Depp in 2011 while they were filming The Rum Diary.

Heard was in a relationship with Tasya van Ree at the time but she split with the photographer in 2012. Shortly after that, she and Depp got involved and were soon living together. They got married in 2015 in a private ceremony at their home.


A post shared by Amber Heard (@amberheard) on Jan 14, 2019 at 10:47am PST

2. Divorce

After only a year of marriage, Heard filed for divorce from Depp. Five days later, she applied for a restraining order against her husband and began what would become a long and tense legal process. In her initial filings, she detailed a violent incident that happened in the days before she filed the divorce papers. At the time, she told the court that she had not seen her husband in a month, following a violent argument the pair had regarding Depp’s absence from Heard’s birthday party. Depp threw a bottle of champagne and left.

The next time they had contact was weeks later in their L.A. home. Heard says he arrived drunk and high and she tried to talk to him about the recent death of his mother. The discussion turned into an argument, during which they called a friend to settle a question.

While the phone was still on speaker, Heard alleges that “Johnny then grabbed the cell phone, wound up his arm like a baseball pitcher and threw the cell phone at me striking my cheek and with great force. I immediately covered my face and was crying because of the pain resulting from the phone hitting me. Johnny charged at me, insisting on seeing my face. He taunted me, challenged whether or not the cell phone actually hit me. He then forcibly pulled back my hair as attempted to stand up from the sofa.”

A neighbor arrived at that point and protected Heard from further physical harm but Depp allegedly kept destroying items in their home and trying to hurt Heard. He eventually went into another room and Heard was able to go to her neighbor’s apartment and hide.


A post shared by Amber Heard (@amberheard) on Nov 29, 2018 at 7:02pm PST

3. Restraining order

Within days of this incident, Heard asked for not only a divorce but also a restraining order to keep Depp away from her.

She alleged that he had been violent throughout their relationship and his struggles with addiction made him volatile and unpredictable. At the time, he refused to talk about the allegations, though his ex-wife came to his defense saying "In all the years I have known Johnny, he has never been physically abusive with me and this looks nothing like the man I lived with for 14 wonderful years." 

Furthermore, Doug Stanhope, a longtime friend of Depp's said at the time “Amber was now going to leave him, threatening to lie about him publicly in any and every possible duplicitous way if he didn't agree to her terms Blackmail is what I would imagine other people might put it, including the manner in which he is now being vilified.”

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4. Video evidence

As the legal battle between the two actors dragged on in court, a video showing Depp throwing a fit in their home surfaced. In the video, Depp can be seen breaking objects and slamming doors.

There were rumors that Heard leaked the video but she and her legal team denied that at the time.

5. Settlement

Ultimately, the pair settled their divorce, with Heard getting $7 million that she pledged to donate to domestic violence-related causes. The divorce was finalized in January 2017. The restraining order was dissolved as part of the final settlement.



A post shared by Amber Heard (@amberheard) on Mar 5, 2019 at 3:47pm PST

6. New lawsuit

After Heard published an op-ed about her personal experience with domestic violence in 2018, Depp decided to go back to court. In the new defamation suit, he claims that she has been consistently making false accusations of abuse against him and he has suffered professional consequences including losing the role of Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

The court filings go on to accuse Heard of being violent to Depp, sharing an incident in which Heard threw a vodka bottle at him, nearly severing his finger and requiring surgery to fix. He has medical records to back up the claim. The suit goes on to claim all the allegations of abuse are a hoax designed to boost Heard’s career. At other times, Heard has alleged that Depp hurt his own finger in a violent rage during which he accused her of an affair with Billy Bob Thornton.


Greenlit @emmanmontalvan

A post shared by Amber Heard (@amberheard) on Mar 3, 2019 at 9:15am PST

7. Affair

In addition to the statements relating to the abuse claims, Depp says that Heard was having an affair with Tesla founder Elon Musk at the time of their marriage. Heard and Musk were romantically involved in 2017, thought Heard swears that the relationship didn’t begin until after the divorce saying  

“Elon and Amber didn’t start seeing each other until May 2016, and even then it was infrequent. They were not on the same continent for most of this time. Their relationship didn’t become romantic until much later.”

Depp is seeking $50 million in damages in the suit. Proceedings will take place at a court in Fairfax Virginia, where Depp filed his complaint.

If you or someone you know is involved in an abusive relationship, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.


Well-suited in @dzojchen

A post shared by Amber Heard (@amberheard) on Feb 5, 2019 at 9:31am PST

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Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.