Johnny Depp in spat with ACLU over legal fees following trial

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp
Amber Heard and Johnny Depp Getty Images Remix By Keane Eacobellis

In the latest round of drama from the Johnny Depp / Amber Heard legal saga, the Pirates of the Caribbean is now refusing to pay the bulk of the legal fees that the American Civil Liberties Union has asserted the actor should cover.

The ACLU is seeking more than $86,000 in legal fees from Depp, as reported by Verify, over the preparation of documents. The non-profit argued the documents had to be prepared after they were issued subpoenas by Depp’s lawyers, and that “under New York law” they are entitled to be reimbursed.

Depp’s legal team, as you can imagine, has described the request as “not only exorbitant, unreasonable, but unsupported by New York law.” Depp’s team says the only amount the ACLU is entitled to receive from the Pirates of the Caribbean actor is a little over a thousand dollars for costs, according to the Law & Crime Network.

The ACLU also still has Amber Heard listed on their Artist Ambassador page at the time of writing. The non-profit released a blog post denying that they assisted Heard during the trial, despite Heard’s prior $3.5 million donation to the organization in 2016. “We do not write op-eds or offer ambassadorships in exchange for donations,” the ACLU wrote.

During the Depp/Heard trial, it emerged that the non-profit helped in the drafting of the Washington Post op-ed, which the entire defamation lawsuit centered around. The Washington Post has added an editor’s note to the original story, saying a jury found three statements in the piece to be defamatory. Heard’s legal team, however, reportedly plans to appeal the jury’s verdict.

About the author

Danny Peterson

Danny Peterson

Danny Peterson covers entertainment news for WGTC and has previously enjoyed writing about housing, homelessness, the coronavirus pandemic, historic 2020 Oregon wildfires, and racial justice protests. Originally from Juneau, Alaska, Danny received his Bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Alaska Southeast and a Master's in Multimedia Journalism from the University of Oregon. He has written for The Portland Observer, worked as a digital enterprise reporter at KOIN 6 News, and is the co-producer of the award-winning documentary 'Escape from Eagle Creek.'