Johnny Depp has filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard, claiming the actress made “hoax” allegations of domestic abuse against Depp.
The lawsuit stems from a December 2018 op-ed that Heard penned for the Washington Post where she described her own experience as the victim of domestic abuse; Depp was not mentioned in the op-ed, but the lawsuit claims that it is insinuated that the actor was the perpetrator, People reported.
Heard “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 states. “The op-ed depended on the central premise that Ms. Heard was a domestic abuse victim and that Mr. Depp perpetrated domestic violence against her.”
Depp’s lawyers added that Heard’s “implication that Mr. Depp is a domestic abuser is categorically and demonstrably false.”
In a statement to Rolling Stone, Heard’s lawyer Eric George said, “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.”
Representatives for Depp did not respond to Rolling Stone‘s request for comment at press time.
Depp and Heard divorced in August 2016; the actress filed for divorce and a restraining order two days after a May 2016 domestic incident between the two; the alleged incident is detailed in Rolling Stone‘s profile of the tumultuous past few years in Depp’s life.
Following their divorce settlement, Depp and Heard both signed non-disclosure agreements and issued a joint statement, “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. Amber wishes the best for Johnny in the future.”
Depp’s lawyers claim that Heard’s op-ed, published just days before the release of Aqua Man to maximize exposure, has “negatively affected” Depp’s career. The actor last appeared in 2018’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald; City of Lies, with Depp portraying Notorious B.I.G. murder investigator Russell Poole, was shelved months before its release following allegations of a physical confrontation on set.