The ‘Aquaman’ actor took to her Instagram handle on Saturday night and posted a long note for her fans announcing that she is taking a social media break. “I’m going to go offline for the next several weeks. As you may know, I’ll be in Virginia where I face my ex-husband Johnny Depp in court,” Heard noted.
“Johnny is suing me for an op-ed I wrote in the Washington Post, in which I recounted my experience of violence and domestic abuse. I never named him, rather I wrote about the price women pay for speaking out against men in power,” her statement further reads.
The actress continued the statement, writing that she has “always maintained a love for Johnny” and that living out the details of their former life together in the public eye “brings me great pain.”
Heard, 35, continued the statement, writing that she has “always maintained a love for Johnny” and that living out the details of their former life together in the public eye “brings me great pain.”
“At this time, I recognize the ongoing support I’ve been fortunate to receive throughout these years, and in these coming weeks I will be leaning on it more than ever,” she concluded the statement.
The ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star and ‘Aquaman’ actor were married in February 2015 and confirmed their split in May 2016.
After filing for divorce later that month, Heard filed a domestic violence restraining order against Depp and brought photographic evidence of the alleged abuse she suffered, as per US magazine.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, in 2018, Heard wrote an op-ed for Washington Post titled, “I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.” Apart from describing a history of abuse from a young age, Heard mentioned experiencing domestic abuse, without mentioning Depp’s name in the article.
Three years later, Depp denied being violent with his ex-wife in court documents. He subsequently accused her of domestic violence as well.
In March 2019, Depp filed a USD 50 million defamation suit against Heard over the article, with the complaint stating that despite Depp not being explicitly named, it would be clear Heard was referencing him in the piece, as per The Hollywood Reporter.
He also claimed that Heard’s article took a stake in his film career and reputation as a public figure, and caused him to lose out on roles too.
In response to his libel lawsuit, Heard counter-sued Depp for USD 100 million, in August 2020. Heard argued that “her ex-husband retaliated, deploying social media bots against her and directing an effort to tarnish her career — interfering with endorsements and acting gigs — because of the statement she made in the op-ed,” as per The Hollywood Reporter.
Following a public statement from Depp’s attorney Adam Waldman, which called Heard’s statement “fake” and a “sexual violence hoax,” Heard added defamation counterclaims.
Reportedly, the case was set to take place ahead of Depp’s UK libel trial against British tabloid The Sun for their description of the actor as a “wife-beater,” but has seen numerous delays. The Sun libel case concluded in a November 2020 ruling that Heard’s claims of being assaulted were “substantially true,” before Depp appealed in December 2020.
The Hollywood Reporter informed that in March 2021, two judges in Britain’s Court of Appeal said the actor couldn’t challenge the High Court’s rejection of his libel lawsuit against the publication.
Following the November ruling, Warner Bros. broke the ties with Depp. In August 2021, Depp said he was being boycotted by Hollywood and later that cancel culture had gotten “so far out of hand now that I can promise you that no one is safe” while appearing at the San Sebastian Film Festival.
Heard requested Depp’s US defamation suit against her be dismissed following the UK judgment, but a Virginia court ruled that the two cases and statements were “inherently different.”
As per The Hollywood Reporter, “Depp also attempted to have immunity over statements made about Heard, but a judge ruled he’d still have to face counterclaims.”
Heard and Depp tied the knot in 2015. The ‘Aquaman’ actor filed for divorce in May 2016, citing irreconcilable differences. The divorce was finalized in 2017.
first published:April 10, 2022, 4:58 p.m.