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"Hopefully I can move on": Amber Heard opens up about Johnny Depp defamation lawsuit ahead of trial

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp first met on the sets of 2011's film, The Rum Diaries (Image via Michael Kovac/Getty Images)
Amber Heard and Johnny Depp first met on the sets of 2011's film, The Rum Diaries (Image via Michael Kovac/Getty Images)

American actress Amber Heard confessed that she hopes she and actor Johnny Depp can move on after their defamation cases ahead of the start of their April 11 trial.

On April 9, the 35-year-old actress took to her Instagram handle to announce that she is "going to go offline" for the next several weeks, ahead of the court proceedings, which will take place in Fairfax County, Virginia.

The Aquaman star wrote that her ex-husband Depp is suing her for a column she wrote in a news publication where she recounted her "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. I continue to pay that price, but hopefully when this case concludes, I can move on and so can Johnny."

The actress went on to say that she has always retained a love for Johnny and that living out the specifics of their past life together in public brings her "great pain."

Depp and Amber Heard met on the set of 2011's The Rum Diaries and got married in 2015. They divorced in May 2016 after Heard filed for a domestic violence restraining order against Depp and accused him of abusing her.


A brief look into Amber Heard and Johnny Depp's libel drama

Amber Heard wrote an op-ed piece for the media outlet, The Washington Post, titled, “I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change” in 2018.

In the post, she recalled a childhood of abuse and being s*xually harassed and attacked "by the time I was of college age," pointing to a culture in Hollywood and beyond that has shielded male abusers and calls for change. She refered to prior claims she made about experiencing domestic abuse in the article, though she did not name Depp.

In March 2019, Depp filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against Heard over the article, claiming that although Depp was not directly named, it was apparent Heard was referring to him in it. According to the lawsuit, Heard's essay damaged both his cinematic career and reputation as a public personality, resulting in him missing out on parts.

In response to his libel claim, Heard countersued Johnny Depp for $100 million in August 2020. Amber Heard said that her ex-husband responded by using social media bots against her and leading a campaign to smear her career — interfering with sponsorships and acting contracts — in response to her op-ed piece.

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Following Depp's attorney Adam Waldman's public statement calling Heard's declaration "fake" and a "s*xual violence hoax," Heard added defamation counterclaims.

The trial was supposed to take place ahead of Depp's libel trial in the United Kingdom against British newspaper The Sun for referring to the actor as a "wife beater." However, it was repeatedly postponed.

The Sun libel lawsuit was settled in November 2020, with a decision that Heard's accusations of being attacked were "substantially true," before Depp filed an appeal in December 2020.

According to the Associated Press, two judges at Britain's Court of Appeal ruled in March 2021 that the actor could not pursue the High Court's dismissal of his libel complaint against the newspaper.

@Variety Amber Heard ::Tell the world Johnny, tell them... I Johnny Depp, a man, I'm a victim too of domestic violence... and see how many people believe or side with you"#JusticeForJohnnyDepp#JusticeForJohnnyDeppVirginia2022#AmberHeardIsALiar#AmberHeardIsAnAbuser https://t.co/mrIivRRARN

Following the November judgment, Warner Bros. cut relations with Depp and replaced him in the Fantastic Beasts franchise. Nearly a year later, in August 2021, Depp declared that he was being shunned by Hollywood. He also stated that cancel culture had gone "so far out of hand now that I can promise you that no one is safe," when speaking at the San Sebastian Film Festival.

Amber Heard sought dismissal of Depp's U.S. defamation claim following the U.K. verdict, but a Virginia judge ruled that the two cases and comments were "inherently different." Depp also sought immunity for remarks regarding Heard, but the court ruled that he will face counterclaims.

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Edited by Abu Amjad Khan
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