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Johnny Depp sues ex-wife Amber Heard in defamation suit

The dropped 'Pirates of the Caribbean' actor is suing Heard for $50 million

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard were married when they were cast in 'London Fields', but have since become embroiled in a bitter divorce. AP 
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard were married when they were cast in 'London Fields', but have since become embroiled in a bitter divorce. AP 

Actor Johnny Depp is suing his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard, in a $50 million (Dh184m) defamation lawsuit, citing an opinion piece she wrote for The Washington Post about domestic abuse.

Heard's story was titled: "Amber Heard: I spoke up against sexual violence – and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change."

The complaint, filed Friday in the Circuit Court of Fairfax, Virginia, said that, while Depp was not named in the Post article, it was clear Heard was talking about him. The lawsuit called her ongoing allegations of domestic abuse "categorically and demonstrably false."

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 22: Actor Johnny Depp arrives at the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures' 'The Lone Ranger' at Disney California Adventure Park on June 22, 2013 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Johnny Depp has been dropped as Captain Jack Sparrow in 'Pirates of the Caribbean'. Getty Images

"They were part of an elaborate hoax to generate positive publicity for Ms Heard and advance her career," the lawsuit said, claiming that "she is the perpetrator."

The suit said Depp, 55, has suffered financial losses because of the accusations, including being dropped from his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean films.

In her article, published in the Post in December, Heard also said she lost an acting role and contract with a major fashion brand because went public with her claims of abuse.

"Two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out," Heard wrote for the Post. "Friends and advisers told me I would never again work as an actress – that I would be blacklisted. A movie I was attached to recast my role. I had just shot a two-year campaign as the face of a global fashion brand, and the company dropped me. Questions arose as to whether I would be able to keep my role of Mera in the movies Justice League and Aquaman."

After speaking out about domestic abuse, it was questioned whether or not Amber Heard would keep her role in the movies 'Justice League' and 'Aquaman,' seen here opposite Jason Momoa in 'Aquaman'. Courtesy DC Entertainment
After speaking out about domestic abuse, it was questioned whether or not Amber Heard would keep her role in the movies 'Justice League' and 'Aquaman,' seen here opposite Jason Momoa in 'Aquaman'. Courtesy DC Entertainment

"I want to ensure that women who come forward to talk about violence receive more support. We are electing representatives who know how deeply we care about these issues," the actress goes on to say. "We can work together to demand changes to laws and rules and social norms – and to right the imbalances that have shaped our lives."

Heard's publicists and attorney did not return phone calls or emails from The Associated Press seeking comment on Saturday.

In a statement to People magazine, her attorney Eric M George called the lawsuit "frivolous" and "just the latest of Johnny Depp's repeated efforts to silence Amber Heard."

Depp's attorney, Adam Waldman, responded to People that he and his client looked forward to presenting "overwhelming video, photographic and eyewitness evidence" that would clear Depp's name.

Heard first accused Depp of domestic violence in May 2016, the year after they were married. After Heard brought a photo of her with a bruised face to court, a judge ordered Depp to stay away from her. The couple met on the set of their 2011 film The Rum Diary. Their divorce was finalized in 2017.

Updated: March 3, 2019 09:23 AM

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