In 2018, Johnny Depp filed a defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife, Amber Heard, for an op-ed she wrote for the Washington Post. The op-ed, headlined “I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath,” detailed Heard’s experience as a victim of domestic violence. Depp alleged that the op-ed was false and defamatory, and that it had damaged his reputation.
Depp and Heard had been married for 15 months before their divorce in 2017. During their divorce proceedings, Heard had accused Depp of domestic violence, which he denied. After the divorce, Heard wrote the op-ed in which she described her experience as a victim of domestic violence. In the op-ed, she did not mention Depp by name, but he alleged that it was clear that she was referring to him.
Depp’s lawsuit claimed that Heard’s op-ed was false and defamatory, and that it had damaged his reputation. He sought damages of $50 million. He argued that Heard had used the op-ed to advance her career and to gain sympathy from the public. He also argued that the op-ed had caused him to lose work opportunities.
Heard denied Depp’s allegations and countersued for defamation. She argued that Depp had used his wealth and influence to try to silence her and to discredit her claims of domestic violence. She sought damages of $100 million.
The case was eventually settled out of court in 2020. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but both parties issued a joint statement in which they said that the case had been resolved and that they both had “agreed to move forward with mutual respect.”
The case of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard highlights the importance of standing up against domestic violence and the need to protect victims of abuse. It also shows the power of the court system to hold those who make false and defamatory statements accountable.