After suffering defeat in the London courts, Johnny Depp and his legal team are pinning their hopes on Fairfax County, Virginia. 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’s filed a $100 million countersuit, alleging defamation and that Depp was responsible for a social media effort to tarnish her career by getting her fired from Aquaman 2.
It’ll be a titanic legal battle that will draw worldwide attention. If Depp triumphs, he could see his career revived, but a second loss may be the last nail in his reputational coffin. Whatever happens, there’ll be fireworks, particularly if some very high-profile witnesses take the stand.
The biggest would be Elon Musk, who was romantically linked to Heard after she split from Depp and has been asked to report, as per D1SoftballNews, “all communications with Ms. Heard regarding Mr. Depp“. We know from the London case that Musk offered to arrange 24/7 security for Heard, but if his lawyers sense that he knows more than he’s letting on, they may try to get him to give evidence under oath.
Other potential witnesses are ACLU representatives. Heard promised to divide her $7 million divorce settlement into two donations to the ACLU and the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital, saying:
“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.”
This is a bone of contention, as Depp claims Heard 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. The ACLU has been subpoenaed for the details, so Depp will be hoping to turn up a smoking gun that proves she lied.
However this shakes out, it seems inevitable that more of Depp and Heard’s dirty laundry is going to be aired in public. The trial is scheduled to begin on May 17th, 2022, but expect there to be more drama before either side sets foot in that courtroom.