Johnny Depp slaps $50mn defamation suit against Amber Heard

Los Angeles: Actor Johnny Depp has sued actress and former wife Amber Heard for defamation, seeking $50 million.

Depp’s lawyers filed the defamation suit against Heard on Friday over her December 18, 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post in which she characterised herself as a domestic abuse victim, reports

Depp’s lawsuit calls Heard’s allegations of domestic violence against him a “hoax”.

Heard “purported to write from the perspective of ‘a public figure representing domestic abuse’ and claimed that she ‘felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out’ when she ‘spoke up against sexual violence’,” Depp’s lawyers state in the lawsuit.

“The op-ed depended on the central premise that Heard was a domestic abuse victim and that Depp perpetrated domestic violence against her.

“Depp never abused Heard. Her allegations against him were false when they were made in 2016. They were part of an elaborate hoax to generate positive publicity for Heard and advance her career,” Depp’s lawyers say in the lawsuit.

In response, Heard’s representative said: “This frivolous action is just the latest of Johnny Depp’s repeated efforts to silence Amber Heard. She will not be silenced. Depp’s actions prove he is unable to accept the truth of his ongoing abusive behaviour.

“But while he appears hell-bent on achieving self destruction, we will prevail in defeating this groundless lawsuit and ending the continued vile harassment of my client by Depp and his legal team.”

Depp, 55, and Heard, 32, met on the set of 2011’s “The Rum Diary” and were married from February 2015 to May 2016.

The actress filed for a domestic violence restraining order against Depp in May 2016 after she accused him of abusing her. Depp denied the claims, and the two settled their divorce out of court in August 2016 for $7 million, which she donated to charity. Both actors signed NDAs barring them from discussing their relationship publicly.