In December, Amber Heard wrote a harrowing op-ed for the Washington Post, in which she recounted, in great detail, the alleged domestic abuse she frequently had to endure from her ex-husband Johnny Depp. Months later, Depp has now reportedly filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against Heard in response to the piece. Per Variety, the suit claims Heard “is not a victim of domestic abuse, she is a perpetrator,” and that her allegations were nothing more than an “elaborate hoax to generate positive publicity” for her career. Depp’s attorneys also claim Heard had a romantic relationship with Tesla founder Elon Musk throughout the course of their marriage. “This frivolous action is just the latest of Johnny Depp’s repeated efforts to silence Amber Heard,” Heard’s attorney told Variety in a statement. “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.”
In her op-ed, Heard detailed how speaking out against Depp’s alleged physical and emotional abuse forced her to change phone numbers on a weekly basis, because she received frequent death threats. “For months, I rarely left my apartment, and when I did, I was pursued by camera drones and photographers on foot, on motorcycles and in cars,” she explained. “Tabloid outlets that posted pictures of me spun them in a negative light. I felt as though I was on trial in the court of public opinion.” She also said numerous “friends and advisers” told her not to go public with the allegations, as she would likely be “blacklisted” by the industry as a result:
A movie I was attached to recast my role. I had just shot a two-year campaign as the face of a global fashion brand, and the company dropped me. Questions arose as to whether I would be able to keep my role of Mera in the movies Justice League and Aquaman.”
In addition to this lawsuit, Depp is also in the process of suing Britain’s The Sun for defamation, after the tabloid used a headline that defined Depp as a “wife beater.” Heard and Depp finalized their divorce in January 2017.