The defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard began on April 11, 2022, and has kept the public entranced. The relationship that is believed to have started in 2012 has been tumultuous for the last few years and has culminated in the back and forth slandering that takes us to where we are today.
Depp and Heard have had no shortage of issues, but leading up to their ultimate divorce in 2017 the relationship had soured. So much so that Heard had taken to claims of domestic abuse by her once husband while they were still married, even filing a temporary restraining order. The claims, paired with photos of bruises and testimony in court, were enough for Depp’s carer to take a hit, from which it still has yet to recover.
Allegations against the actress say that this character assassination of Depp was for a greater sum of money in the divorce settlement, and many are inclined to agree, with Heard having promised to donate the $7 million she received from her husband to charity. No proof of donation has ever been shown.
Since then Depp has lost more money and standing, with The Sun newspaper printing slanderous articles about Depp in a bid to sell papers. With opinion divided between Depp and Heard, it was only a matter of time before the media ran with Heard’s side of the story.
And the heading that caused Depp to face The Sun on trial was as sensationalist as one would expect with the tabloid, calling the actor a “wife-beater” and foreshadowing his forced departure from the Fantastic Beasts franchise. Only months later, in late 2018, Heard published a statement joining the #MeToo movement.
In this, she reaffirmed what she had declared under oath at her divorce hearing; her ex-husband had abused her. This further dragged Depp’s name through the mud.
In late 2020 Depp lost his case against The Sun, all the while pouring his attention into suing his ex-wife. His grounds for suing was the claim that her statement against him was defamation, during which he requested $50 Million in reparation. This is an act that she reciprocated by countersuing him in August 2020 for $100 Million.
This brings us to this year. In April 2022, Depp’s defamation trial against Heard began. Already the trial has achieved Depp’s goal to restore his name, as his ex-wife continually embarrasses and contradicts herself. Until the current court hearing, people had been divided. Now public support has moved firmly behind Depp, as Heards abuse of her previous partner resurfaces and causes the actress to lose some key friends and supporters.
What remains to be seen is the outcome of the trial, and the effect this drama will have on their careers. Already this has influenced movies and franchises to which both stars are connected to. Two of Depp’s projects, Pirates of the Caribbean and Fantastic Beasts, remove the actor from the cast entirely.
More recently there are rumors surrounding Heard’s role in the Aquaman sequel and her character’s screen time.