Actor Johnny Depp’s defamation action against his ex-wife Amber Heard is now in court. This trial will most likely take weeks to complete, and live streaming cameras will broadcast every detail to the rest of the globe. It appears that this legal struggle has been in the works for quite some time. Depp and Heard’s romance lasted more than a decade and ended disastrously. They divorced in 2016, but their tumultuous relationship resurfaced in 2018. In 2018, Heard penned a tell-all for The Washington Post about surviving domestic violence. She didn’t mention Depp’s name, but it didn’t appear like she needed to.
Depp is seeking $50 million in damages in this continuing litigation. He claims that he has never been physically aggressive with Heard. Meanwhile, Heard has filed a countersuit for $100 million, claiming that she was only acting violently towards Depp in self-defense or to protect her younger sister. This case is trending on social media, with people debating the testimony and watching footage from the courtroom. The hashtag “JusticeForJohnnyDepp” is trending on Twitter and TikTok, indicating that the majority of people support Johnny Depp.
Depp and Heard’s Relationship Timeline
In 2009, Johnny Depp and Amber Heard met while filming “The Rum Diary.” According to court records filed by Heard’s legal team, they started dating in 2012. Depp and Vanessa Paradis also terminated their 14-year relationship in 2012. They are the parents of two children. Heard wore an engagement ring on her finger in public in 2014. In interviews, Depp later confirmed their engagement.
In 2015, they married in a private ceremony. They faced blowback soon after for sneaking their canines, Boo and Pistol, into Australia. Heard was eventually charged with two charges of unlawfully bringing the canines into Australia and one count of submitting a fraudulent document after the couple aired an apologetic video.
Heard then filed for divorce in 2016 and was granted a temporary restraining order against Depp. Depp, she alleged, had thrown a phone at her, causing bruising. She stated in a sworn declaration, “During the entirety of our relationship, Johnny Depp has been verbally and physically abusive to me. He has a short fuse. He is often paranoid and his temper is exceptionally scary for me.” She added that she was living “in fear that Johnny will return to [our house] unannounced to terrorize me, physically and emotionally.”
Depp, who denied hitting Heard at the time, was not charged by the police. Heard’s desire for Depp to attend anger management classes for a year was also denied, as was her request for a restraining order prohibiting Depp from visiting their canines.
Their divorce was finalized in 2017.
Amber Heard’s Article on Washington Post
Then in 2018, Heard published the article that became central to the defamation lawsuit.
In it, she wrote, “I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.”
She spoke of being abused as a youngster and as an adult. Depp’s name was never mentioned. His legal team, on the other hand, saw striking parallels between the instances described in the article and her accusations of violence throughout their divorce.
Depp sued Heard for slander the next year, demanding $50 million in damages. The piece in the Post, he claims, was a hoax to generate favorable news. He further stated that she is the perpetrator of domestic abuse rather than the victim.
The Daily Mail revealed an audio recording of Heard purportedly admitting he attacked Depp in 2020. Meanwhile, Depp believes Heard had romances with actors James Franco and Elon Musk, according to Depp. He also alleged that Heard was physically abusive to him, including an episode in which she slept in their bed with her own excrement. Paradis, Depp’s ex-girlfriend, said in a statement that Depp is “the farthest thing” from a violent person. 
Later, Johnny Depp filed a lawsuit against the British publication “The Sun” for referring to him as a “wife-beater.” The judge, however, decided in favor of The Sun in November. “Domestic violence victims must never be silenced, and we commend the judge for his thoughtful consideration, as well as Amber Heard for her bravery in testifying in court,” the newspaper stated in a statement.
Depp made a statement the same month saying that Warner Bros. had requested him to leave his role as Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts series. He went on to say “I intend to prove that the allegations against me are false. My life and career will not be defined by this moment in time.”
In 2021, Heard countersues Depp for $100 million.
Johnny Depp’s Defamation Case
The defamation trial commenced in April 2022. The case thus far has featured a reading of Heard’s Post story, as well as Heard’s team presenting Depp’s drinking, drug usage, and filthy text conversations in which Depp discussed murdering and defiling his wife at the time. Meanwhile, Depp’s crew claims that the reported incidences of abuse are untrue, and that his drunken conduct is exaggerated.
They depicted a 2015 debate in which Depp’s fingertip was severed. Jurors heard audio snippets of Depp berating his wife, as well as a tape in which Heard appears to mock him, implying that if he attempted to tell the world she was an abuser, he wouldn’t verbally believed. “Tell them, I, Johnny Depp, I’m a victim of domestic abuse … and see how many people believe or side with you,” Heard says on the recording. 
With additional evidence and testimonials being broadcast to the public, the case grows increasingly complicated. Others present unsubstantiated hypotheses, while others relive more frightening or funny events from the trial on social media. As Johnny Dep speaks slowly and calmly about his drug addiction and personal troubles, many people appear to connect with him. Others see this case as a much-needed example of a male domestic violence victim. Others, meanwhile, claim Depp benefits from misogyny, questioning where the phrase “believe all women” went. 
However, the case is far from done, regardless of who is on the internet’s side. There are additional witnesses and proof to be presented. Even while it appeared that the majority of the population supported Depp, the final decision has still to be made.
- “Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation trial: Summary and timeline.” NBC News. Kalhan Rosenblatt. April 27, 2022
- “Johnny Depp grilled over texts to ex-wife Amber Heard, concluding 4 days on the stand.” CBS News. April 26, 2022
- “Social media flooded with Johnny Depp support amid defamation case against Amber Heard.” NBC News. Kalhan Rosenblatt. April 22, 2022