Johnny Depp is suing the American Civil Liberties Union (the ACLU) in an attempt to force them to disclose how much Amber Heard has donated. This is the latest twist in the long-running Depp/Heard legal brouhaha, centring on the latter’s public pledge to donate her $7 million divorce settlement.
In 2017, Heard promised to split the settlement into two donations to the ACLU and the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital. At the time, the actress 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.”
In the British libel trial, this donation was held up as proof that Heard was not a “gold digger,” though appeal court judges later ruled that this hadn’t factored into the judge’s decision against Depp. Even so, it’s become a bone of contention in the case, as Johnny has claimed that Amber lied about donating the money, while the actress’ team says the donations will be made over 10 years and provided evidence that she’s already donated $950,000 to the ACLU and $850,000 to the Children’s Hospital.
But Depp wants to see the figures for himself and has filed a suit attempting to subpoena hard information. The documents say he’s seeking the following:
“Discovery concerning any donations to the ACLU Foundation by Ms. Heard or in her name, and/or any public statements related to such donations; communications with Ms. Heard or those acting on her behalf concerning her relationship with Mr. Depp and divorce from Mr. Depp; discovery concerning Ms. Heard’s work as an ‘ambassador’ for the ACLU Foundation and the conception, drafting, and placement of the Op-Ed; and communications with Ms. Heard or those acting on her behalf concerning the Virginia Action and the preparation and submission of the Wizner Declaration.”
All this is building to a titanic clash in Virginia next April. There, Depp is suing Heard for $50M over a Washington Post op-ed she wrote about her experience as a victim of domestic violence. In response, she filed a $100 million counterclaim, also alleging defamation and that Johnny was responsible for a social media effort to tarnish her career by getting her booted off Aquaman 2.
In an opening salvo, Heard’s team has argued that Depp’s case should be thrown out as the facts have been proved in the UK. Her lawyers entered a plea that says:
“Giving full effect to the UK Judgments necessitates a finding that statements in the op-ed published in the Washington Post are true – Mr. Depp committed domestic violence against Ms. Heard on many occasions, causing her to fear for her life. … Therefore, as a matter of law, Depp cannot prevail on any of his claims, and Depp’s Complaint against Ms. Heard should be dismissed in its entirety.”
There’s been no ruling on that, but however things go, expect to see Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s lawyers slugging it out for years to come.