Hartley, Maxwell, & Castellano Attorneys at Law
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Let Us Help You. Call Today. 805-232-5808

Johnny Depp sues ex-wife for $50M in defamation case

Actors Johnny Depp and ex-wife Amber Heard were married in a secret ceremony in 2015, but their 2016 separation grabbed countless headlines. As with many celebrity divorces, there were reports of salacious behavior and excess. The bad behavior of the rich and famous have long been entertainment for the general public, but Depp and Heard's case was more troubling due to accusations of physical and emotional abuse. This led to a restraining order in 2016 and the subsequent divorce in 2017.

Heard appeared on the cover of People magazine with bruises on her face. In 2018 she also published an editorial in the Washington Post portraying herself as a victim of abuse who was further vilified for defending herself.

Depp seeks damages

According to Depp and his legal team, this op-ed and other actions led to the loss of the job as his signature character of Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Depp has now launched a $50 million defamation lawsuit against Heard for the damage she has caused to his career and public profile.

His team is refuting what they claim are false allegations with evidence from two separate law enforcement officers, neutral third party witnesses and 87 newly obtained surveillance camera videos. Even at the time of the divorce, there were many that supported Depp's side of the story, including his children's mother, who had a 14-year relationship with the actor but never married him.

Depp also counters saying he was the one abused, citing such incidents as:

  • His finger was nearly severed by a bottle she threw at him
  • The destruction of a penthouse in a hoax to blame him
  • Malicious intent in writing the false op-ed

The suit also points out that Heard attacked a former partner in 2009 at the Seattle airport.

Disputes involving domestic violence

While the outcome of Depp and Heard's dispute is far from certain, any allegation involving spousal abuse must be taken seriously. Often, an attorney can help provide the legal protection and advocacy during this time for victims and their children.  An experienced family law attorney can help you through this difficult time, providing direction and relief knowing you are in good hands.

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