How tables turned for Johnny Depp and Amber Heard in ongoing defamation case | Explained

First there was a suit, then a counter suit. Accusations led to counter accusations. And now, as things have got murkier, twists and turns seem to be unfolding like never seen or heard before. Yes, this high-profile legal battle between Hollywood stars Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard may sound like a scene from a courtroom drama, but it’s a harsh reality that has only opened a can of worms, making their private life public in rather a fashion that no one expected.


It all began in 2016 when the duo got divorced, following which Amber Heard also filed for a domestic violence restraining order, accusing Depp of “violent and volatile” behavior perpetrated under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Even though these charges were denied by Depp back then, and the actor had also sued a British tabloid for alleged libel over an April 2018 headline that called him a ‘Wife Beater’, two years later, in 2018, Heard went on to write an article for an international portal revealing her experiences with domestic abuse. She may not have named Depp, but subtly referred to herself as a victim, whereas called ‘him’ an abuser. Repercussions of this were faced by Depp. He was ousted from the sixth film of the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise and it was then that he decided to take a legal route to deal with the situation.


That’s right. Johnny Depp filed a defamation suit against Heard in 2019, seeking 50 million dollars. What’s more? Heard in turn filed a 100-million-dollar countersuit against Depp, claiming that he defamed her as his legal team referred to her article claims as ‘fake’ and a ‘sexual violence hoax’.

A year later in 2020, another setback came in for Depp as he lost the libel trial against the British tabloid. It further affected his career as he was requested by Warner Bros. to resign from his role as Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts movie series. Legally, Depp, still, however, did not lose hope. In fact, a year later in 2021, he contested this ruling that said there was an ‘overwhelming evidence’ that he assaulted Heard. But even this appeal was also ultimately denied by the court and then he had pinned all his hopes on the defamation case he had filed against Heard in 2019.

Cut to 2022. Seems like tables have turned.


In the ongoing defamation trial in Virginia, Depp shared details about his yearlong marriage to Heard, often depicting her as an aggressor and even concluded his testimony saying he was the victim of domestic violence in their relationship and was “broken” by the time their marriage fell apart. His fourth day on the witness stand in court in fact also ended with his attorneys playing an audio from a conversation that took place after Heard had secured a restraining order against him in 2016. And, they were rather distributing for both the jurors as well as the fans and media covering the case.

Amber, in one of the records was heard dismissively admitting to “hitting” Depp before mocking him. Depp in turn was recorded shouting vulgarities at Heard and disparaging her over her weight.

That’s not all. In another recording, Heard challenged her then-husband to go public with his claim that he was the one who had suffered abuse.

Amidst this ongoing trial, Amber Heard fired her PR team and hired a new firm after a psychology expert testified that she suffered from two personality disorders.

What also served as further embarrassment for Amber Heard in this case was when a makeup brand disputed a claim by her lawyer that she used her concealers to cover bruises from domestic violence. A video widely circulated on a social media platform clearly specified that the product that they claimed she was using came out a year after the couple’s divorce in 2016.


Meanwhile, Depp’s fans are calling for Heard to be axed from Aquaman 2, which is due to be released next March. In fact, a petition demanding the same has also crossed three million signatures. Critics believe Amber should suffer the same fate as Depp did when he was dropped by Disney as Captain Jack Sparrow in the sixth installment of Pirates of the Caribbean after Heard alleged he had domestically abused her. Even worse, social media has also been flooded with anti-Amber tweets.

For the unversed, Depp and Heard’s relationship began more than a decade ago, and eventually devolved into what appears to have been a toxic marriage.


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