Johnny Depp may have lost his libel case against UK paper The Sun for labeling him a “wife beater” — but the fight to clear his name is far from over.
In the US he is suing ex-wife Amber Heard directly for defamation. At the center of the lawsuit is the Aquaman star’s 2018 Washington Post op-ed in which she describes an abusive relationship, as well as the retaliation against her after the divorce. While the essay never mentions the ex by name, it is pretty obvious who she’s talking about — and Johnny is claiming he did not commit the acts of domestic violence she described. That would indeed make the op-ed defamatory, if he can prove his innocence.
To that end he and his legal team are trying everything to find any evidence that might exculpate the Pirates of the Caribbean star — or to prove Amber is lying.
Thus far we’ve heard audio in which Amber admits to hitting Johnny and taunts him that no one will believe him. We’ve heard from women claiming Amber listened to their stories of assault — and that some of her story was suspiciously similar to theirs.
But this is definitely one of the biggest bombshells so far…
That powerful personal essay? Where Amber talks about the trauma she faced after speaking up about her abuse? SHE MAY NOT HAVE WRITTEN IT!
OK, so remember that charitable donation Amber said she’d make? $7 million to Children’s Hospital LA and the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union)?? Johnny’s team believes those donations were never actually made after the Children’s Hospital claimed they never got their promised funds. So he’s now suing the ACLU to find out if she really did donate the money to them (or if her billionaire ex Elon Musk did instead).
And according to uncovered emails from the organization, shown to DailyMail.com, it seems the op-ed was not Amber’s idea.
The ACLU appointed the actress as an ambassador on women’s rights in 2018. According to the emails, someone on staff came up with the idea of having her write a huge op-ed about the experience of survivors of “gender-based violence” as a way to hit back at destructive new laws rolling back protection for victims. The email suggests:
“If she feels comfortable, she can interweave her personal story, saying how painful it is as a GBV survivor to witness these setbacks.”
The non-profit then offers:
“Would this be of interest? And if so, would you like for us to do the first draft (might: include a quick phone interview to get her thoughts) or would Amber prefer to start it off?”
Ultimately, the op-ed, entitled “I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change” was reportedly written by an ACLU staffer named Robin Shulman, who in one email to Amber talked about trying to capture her “fire and rage” in the piece, offering:
“I hope it sounds true to you.”
The essay was then sent back and forth as lawyers tried to make sure it didn’t violate Amber’s NDA. Eventually Amber wrote back:
“Everyone was very impressed. Thank you for finding my voice.”
We can’t believe she really didn’t write that op-ed!
In her own legal filings, Amber actually references this point, saying she wrote it “with the assistance and advice of others” — though at this point it seems like someone else wrote it with the assistance and advice of Heard and her lawyers. Still, she says the “op-ed speaks for itself” and affirms her claims of domestic abuse are true and therefore not defamation.
But Depp’s attorney, Adam Waldman, thinks this changes everything. He told DM:
“This new trove of emails finally proves one of the things the ACLU has fought for years to hide: they wrote Amber Heard’s false op-ed for her and were co-conspirators with Ms Heard from the start.”
He added, perhaps suggesting further legal action against the ACLU for their part in the alleged defamation:
“Those who scheme, write and publish defamation, even purported free speech advocates, are not immune from the consequences.”
BTW, the ACLU, says the outlet, have thus far refused to cooperate with subpoenas to prove Heard ever made her promised $3.5 million donation to them. So Depp’s team is far from done battling them.
This isn’t a good look for Amber, but whether it affects the Johnny’s legal case remains to be seen.
What do YOU think about the shocking discovery, Perezcious legal experts??
[Image via FayesVision/WENN/Instar.]