Johnny Depp has resorted to litigation to try and address the damage to his reputation from abuse allegations from ex-wife Amber Heard. He's filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against Heard, claiming that she made false allegations in order to further her own career, while she has fired back with a strong response of her own.
The suit, which claims that Heard's allegations have cost Johnny Depp a role in an upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean reboot, also goes as far as to say that "Ms. Heard is not a victim of domestic abuse, she is a perpetrator," responding specifically to an op-ed in The Washington Post by Heard in December of last year. The suit also seeks to refute Heard's well known allegations going back to 2016:
"Her allegations against him were false when they were made in 2016…They were part of an elaborate hoax to generate positive publicity for Ms. Heard and advance her career."
Heard's own attorney, Eric M. George, had an equally strongly worded response in Deadline, characterizing Depp as unwilling or unable to admit to his history of alleged abuse:
"Mr. Depp's actions prove he is unable to accept the truth of his ongoing abusive behavior…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 Mr. Depp and his legal team."
Heard and Depp got married in 2015, divorcing a little over a year later, with Heard accusing Depp of verbal and physical abuse and eventually providing alleged photographic evidence of the latter to the news media. The divorce was finalized with a $7 million settlement to Heard, which she reportedly donated to charity.
The suit comes as Depp is in the middle of several other legal battles, including a $30 million malpractice suit against his former attorneys.