Another grenade has been lobbed over the wall in the acrimonious (and apparently never-ending) battle between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. The former married couple divorced in 2016 and two days later, Heard announced that she’d be donating her entire $7 million settlement to charity. More specifically, the money was set to be divided between the ACLU (to support legal action related to stopping violence against women) and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.
At the time, she said:
“As described in the restraining order and divorce settlement, money played no role for me personally and never has, except to the extent that I could donate it to charity and, in doing so, hopefully help those less able to defend themselves. As reported in the media, the amount received in the divorce was $7 million and $7 million is being donated.”
Now, a new article in British tabloid The Daily Mail reports that Depp has accused Heard of “pocketing” the settlement and “repeatedly lying about giving it all to charity.” The ACLU is refusing to cooperate, but the Children’s Hospital has confirmed that to date they’ve received just $100,000 and have contacted Heard to find out what’s going on.
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The actress’ legal team has fired back, saying:
“Mr. Depp’s effort to plant stories in the media criticizing Amber for not yet fulfilling all the donations she pledged to charity is yet another desperate attempt to divert attention from the UK Court’s findings relating to allegations of Mr. Depp committing domestic abuse and violence. … Amber has already been responsible for seven figures in donations to charitable causes and intends to continue to contribute and eventually fulfill her pledge. However, Amber has been delayed in that goal because Mr. Depp filed a lawsuit against her, and consequently, she has been forced to spend millions of dollars defending Mr. Depp’s false accusations against her.”
This effectively confirms the allegation, as if she’s “not yet” fulfilled the donations, then she’s failed to make them. That puts Heard in a somewhat awkward position, as one of the reasons British judge Mr. Justice Nicol gave for believing her was that the $7 million donation was “hardly the act one would expect of a gold-digger.” In addition, the argument that Heard needed to keep the money to pay her legal fees is also on shaky ground as Depp didn’t sue her for defamation until 2019, over two years after the divorce settlement.
All of this could come into play for Johnny’s attempts to apply directly to the Court of Appeal in London in the hope of securing a new trial, though even with it, he’s facing an uphill battle. The point may also be made in the Virginia cases, potentially calling Heard’s character and truthfulness into question.
Regardless, I hope you’re not sick of this Johnny Depp/Amber Heard legal kerfuffle, because it’s going to rumble on for a long time to come.