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Johnny Depp's Defamation Suit

The famous actor sues his ex-wife for libel in high-profile defamation trial.
Johnny Depp's Defamation Suit

Johnny Depp is suing his ex-wife, Amber Heard, for $50 million after she wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post in support of the Violence Against Women Act that drew on her own experiences as a survivor of sexual assault and domestic abuse, reports Neda Ulaby for NPR. The issue is libel.

Ulaby writes that "the formerly married movie stars are squaring off in suburban courtroom near Washington, D.C." although "Heard's essay does not name specific perpetrators, it echoes claims against Depp the actress raised during their 2016 divorce."

Actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are facing off in a defamation trial (Neda Ulaby - NPR)

Excerpt from NPR: "Like many women, I had been harassed and sexually assaulted by the time I was of college age," Heard wrote. "But I kept quiet — I did not expect filing complaints to bring justice. And I didn't see myself as a victim. Then 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."
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In November 2020, Johnny Depp was involved in another high-profile libel case in the U.K. against the tabloid publication The Sun. Publishing an article in 2018 about Depp's relationship with his ex-spouse Amber Heard, the tabloid alleged that Depp was a "wife beater," writes Anastasia Tsioulcas for NPR. "In the British court case decided Monday, the judge found that what The Sun had published was substantially true, and that 12 of Heard's 14 allegations about episodes of physical assault were supportable," said Tsioulcas.

Johnny Depp Exits 'Fantastic Beasts' Days After Losing Libel Case (Anastasia Tsioulcas - NPR)

Excerpt from NPR: [As a result of losing the court case], Depp wrote [on Instagram] that the studio behind Fantastic Beasts, Warner Bros., had requested his resignation. He wrote in part: "I have been asked to resign by Warner Bros. from my role as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts and I have respected and agreed to that request." Depp played the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the first two film adaptations of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter prequel series.
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In developments during day three of the trial on Thursday, "a witness for the plaintiff in Johnny Depp’s defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard was suddenly dismissed Thursday after admitting she had watched trial coverage," reported The Washington Post. With the witness admitting "she had seen some clips online and bits of witness testimonies," the judge "promptly excused her from the stand and said she would instruct the jury to strike her testimony," writes Emily Yahar.

Day 3 at Depp-Heard trial: Therapist testifies; a witness gets booted (Emily Yahr - Washington Post)

Excerpt from The Washington Post: The pair’s former couples therapist testified about what she saw as “mutual abuse” between the actors. Laurel Anderson, a Los Angeles clinical psychologist, met with Depp and Heard separately and together for about 10 months starting in fall 2015. Anderson, whose video testimony was recorded earlier this year and played for the jury for about an hour, said that while she never personally witnessed any abuse between the two, she determined from her conversations with the couple that sometimes Depp started a physical altercation, and sometimes Heard initiated one.
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