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Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s days in court

Amber Heard is suing Johnny Depp for defamation over an op-ed she wrote for the Washington Post in 2018. “I stood out against sexual violence and faced our culture’s wrath,” the op-ed began. This must change.” Heard never mentions Depp by name, but she describes herself as “a public person who represents domestic abuse.” Depp and his attorneys contended, and a judge agreed, that Heard is obviously insinuating that Depp assaulted her during their one-year marriage. Heard first publicly accused Depp of domestic violence in May 2016, when she requested and won a temporary restraining order based on domestic violence only days after filing for divorce. Heard was lying, according to Depp’s lawyer, and was “attempting to gain a premature financial resolution by alleging abuse.” In August 2016, Heard withdrew her plea for a permanent restraining order after the couple struck an out-of-court divorce settlement. The two also released a united statement in which they inexplicably claimed that neither of their contradicting claims regarding each other was true. “There was never an intent of bodily or mental injury” (so Depp wasn’t abusive), and “Neither party has made false charges for financial benefit” (so Heard wasn’t lying to get a higher financial settlement). Heard, who reportedly received $7 million in the deal, said that she would donate her payout to charity, dividing it between the ACLU and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, in what appeared to be a gesture aimed to back up the second half of that joint statement. The announcement seemed to send a message: Heard couldn’t have been lying about Depp assaulting her for money if she didn’t get anything from the divorce. What possible reason could she have for making her accusation if it wasn’t true?

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