Following a 2018 opinion piece, which was published as an op-ed in the Washington Post, Johnny Depp has filed a defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife, Amber Heard. Within the past week, Depp has taken the stand in a Fairfax County, Virginia court to recount his past relationship with Heard and to defend his character. His ex-wife, to whom he was married from 2015 to 2016, has reportedly smeared Depp’s name, alleging domestic abuse during the course of their relatively short marriage. In response to this supposed defamation, Depp is asking for $50 million.
During his almost three-hour testimony, Depp stated his defense against the allegations presented in the op-ed. The actor mentioned his children and the possible effect that their ex-stepmother’s allegations have had on their impression of their father. In addition, after being described as an abuser, Depp has lost opportunities to reprise his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in future movies within the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, as well as other projects. Depp contends that not only has he never physically harmed his ex-wife, but also he has never struck a woman in his life. Within his testimony, the actor detailed his prior substance use issues and the abuse he endured as a child from his mother.
To Heard’s defense, the actress did not refer to Depp by name in her op-ed, but rather, explained her experience with domestic violence and the unfortunate consequences women face for exposing men in positions of power. Due to the fact that the actress had previously complained of Depp throwing a phone at her and subsequently bruising her face, it was implied that Depp is the subject of her accusations. Depp has addressed a prior altercation with Heard in which the tip of his finger was severed. Despite Heard’s attempts to have the lawsuit thrown out, she has been unsuccessful. In 2020, Heard filed a $100 million defamation countersuit against Depp.