Johnny Depp sues ex-wife for defamation, accuses her of playing victim

Johnny Depp’s lawyer has revealed that the actor’s ex-wife, Amber Heard, deceptively assumed the role of a victim in what they dismissed as the actress’s obsession with public image.

It was made known in the trial of Depp’s multi-million defamation suit against his ex-wife, which started on April 11 in Virginia.

Depp’s lawyer revealed that a 2018 domestic violence piece written by Heard in The Washington Post had implied that he was abusive.

Heard didn’t name the actor, but Depp’s lawyer stated her allegations made it difficult for him to land acting roles.

On the day of the opening arguments, Camille Vasquez, a lawyer for Depp, told jurors that Heard has been the aggressor.

She said Heard concocted a role for herself as a victim, after Depp asked her for a divorce to “avoid humiliation.”

“She is obsessed with public image. She has been living and breathing this role for years now and she is preparing to give the performance of her life” Vasquez said.

Heard’s lawyer countered the claim and stated that the actress endured verbal and physical harassment from Depp’s hand.

“Mr Depp wants to haunt her, to wreck her career,” Ben Rottenborn, her attorney argued.

Christi Dembrowski, Depp’s older sister while responding to questions from Depp’s lawyer, described a volatile childhood, which she and Depp had experienced, shaped by their mother’s abuse.

“Mom would scream, she would yell. She would hit dad and call him names. Depp never fought back”, she stated.

She described her sibling as “gentle and loving brother, son and father to his two children.”

She said her brother’s attitude changed and he seemed “sadder”, when he became involved with Heard.

Recalling an instance where Dior wanted to hire Depp for an ad, Heard would often insult Depp.

“She (Heard) said, ‘Dior, why would Dior want to do business with you? You don’t have style. She called him an old fat man”, Dembrowski said.

Depp started dating Heard in 2011. He met and stirred with her in The Rum dairy.

The couple married in a civil wedding in February 2015, but Heard filed for divorce in 2016. Heard had alleged that he had been verbally and physically abusive throughout their relationship, usually under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Depp denied the claims and alleged that she was attempting to secure a premature financial resolution.

A settlement was reached in August 2016 and the divorce was finalised in 2017.

Depp paid Heard a settlement of $7million which she pleaded to donate to ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) and the Children hospital, Los-Angeles.

In November 2020, the high court ruled that 12 of the 14 incidents of violence claimed by Heard were substantially true.

It rejected Depp’s claim of a hoax and accepted that the allegations Heard had made against Depp had damaged her career and activism.

Depp sought to appeal the verdict with his lawyers accusing Heard of not following through with the charity pledge.

His appeal to overturn the verdict was rejected by the court of appeal in March 2022.

He sued Heard for defamation in Virginia in 2019. He alleged that Heard was the abuser and her allegations constituted a hoax against him.

Depp added that, as a consequence, Disney had declined to cast him in future projects.

The defamation suit went on trial in Fairfax Country, Virginia on April 11, 2022.

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