Hollywood star Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard’s US defamation trial started on April 11 regarding the allegations that Heard made about domestic abuse. Depp filed a lawsuit of $50 million against Heard, regarding her 2018 opinion piece in Washington Post where she claimed to be a survivor of domestic abuse, according to the Hindustan Times.
The article never mentioned Depp’s name, however, his lawyers are claiming that Heard was targeting Depp. The lawyer further said that the claim has damaged Depp’s career and image. As the allegations of domestic abuse came up, Depp was dropped from the 'Fantastic Beasts' franchise where he had the main role. Depp acted in the first two instalments of the franchise but was replaced by Mads Mikkelsen in the third film ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore’.
Depp had denied the abuse claims and said that Heard’s claims were, "elaborate hoax to generate positive publicity for Ms. Amber and advance her career.”
Both sides have submitted a long list of potential witnesses. Heard’s list includes her ex-boyfriend and CEO of Tesla Elon Musk, whom she had texted about Depp. It also includes actor James Franco, who had enquired about the bruises on her face following an abusive incident with Depp.
Depp expects the Fairfax County jury to find that Heard knowingly made fake claims. Heard on the other hand, will argue that she is immune from the liability because her opinion piece on domestic violence in 2018 dealt with a public concern. Heard in a statement said, "I never named him. Rather, I wrote about the price women pay for speaking out against men in power. I continue to pay the price, but hopefully, when this case concludes, I can move on and so can Johnny.”
This trial comes in less than two years after Depp lost a case against The Sun, a tabloid, that labeled in as a ‘wife beater’. The actors met in 2011 while filming ‘The Run Diary’ and got married four years later. In 2016, Heard accused Depp of domestic violence after filing for a divorce that was finalised in 2017.
Depp became a popular name after he starred in Disney franchise of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ where he played Jack Sparrow. Heard is best know for her role in DC Extended Universe films ‘Aquaman’ and ‘Justice League.'
Heard has also brought in her claims saying that Depp smeared her by calling her a liar. The claims will be decided as a part of the trial which can go on for about six weeks. Heard is seeking $100 millions from Depp as damages.