Skip to main content
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard on the red carpet in Toronto, Canada.

An Overview of the Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard Defamation Trial

On April 11, 2022 the Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard trial started at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Virginia. Actor Johnny Depp is suing his ex-wife, Amber Heard, for $50 million. The charges include damages of his reputation and career after Heard had posted an article off of The Washington Post in 2016, stating that she was a public victim of sexual and domestic abuse. Heard is suing Depp for $100 million for his legal team defaming her and referring to the claims as “fake” and “a sexual violence hoax”. Lots of video and picture evidence has come out to the public in which the media has taken their very own opinions on it. 


In The Washington Post, Heard explained the backlash from the media she got after she “became a public figure representing abuse.” The title of the article was “I spoke up against sexual violence --- and faced our cultures wrath. That has to change.” Heard did not mention Johnny Depp's name in the article, but it was easy to decipher based on the timeline of events. Depp denies any physical violence in their relationship while Heard claims that she was only ever violent to Depp in self-defense or in defense for her younger sister. “During the entirety of our relationship, Johnny Depp has been verbally and physically abusive to me,” said Heard in a sworn declaration. “He has a short fuse. He is often paranoid and his temper is exceptionally scary for me.” 


In Depp's testimony he says, “Never did I myself reach the point of striking Ms. Heard in any way nor have I ever struck any woman in my life.” He stated about an incident where Heard seriously injured his finger after throwing a vodka bottle at him. During the cross examination by Amber Heard’s team, a text was brought up about Depp’s drug and alcohol usage while also referring to Amber as a “rotting corpse”. He claps back saying it was a use of dark humor. “If you're writing, there is no set place that you have to stay in, you can travel.” Depp claims. “And sometimes pain has to be dealt with humor, and sometimes dark, very dark humor.” Depp also expresses how due to Amber Heard's actions, he was dropped from the sixth Pirates of the Caribbean film. “It could be real simple to not think that there was an effect on my career based on Ms. Heards’s words, whether they mentioned my name or not.” Depp said. 


Amber Heard took the stand for the first time on May 4th. She is testifying about the physical violence in her relationship with Johnny Depp and stated how Depp's abuse of drugs and alcohol fueled it. She talked about the secret part of their relationship and the violent turn their relationship took in 2012. “I will never forget it. It changed my life.” she said after describing how Depp started to use a variety of drugs including ecstasy and cocaine during their relationship. She says how Depp would accuse her of cheating on him very often. Amber also claims how when the two of them were in the Bahamas, Depp had threatened to kill her. “He slams me up by my neck and holds me there for a second and tells me that he was going to f----ing kill me and that I was an embarrassment.” Heard states. 


In conclusion, The Johnny Depp versus Amber Heard case is the biggest in the media. Defamation cases are one of the hardest cases to win. Amber Heard has recently been harassed on social media over evidence that most people believe she is lying about. So far, everyone has been on Johnny Depps side of the case, but let's see what's to come within the next few weeks of the trial.