Hollywood Scandals: DeppGate–Amber Heard Hopes She “Can Move On” Ahead of Johnny Depp Defamation Case

Amber Heard Hopes She “Can Move On” Ahead of Johnny Depp Defamation Case

The ‘Aquaman’ actress shared the message on her Instagram, where she also thanked her supporters and wrote that she hoped Depp could move on, too.


Amber Heard hopes she and Johnny Depp can move on following their dueling defamation cases days ahead of the start of their April 11 trial.

The Aquaman star posted a statement to Instagram announcing plans to “go offline for the next several weeks” ahead of the court proceedings, which will take place in Fairfax County, Virgina.

“Johnny is suing me for an op-ed I wrote in the Washington Post, in which I recounted my experience of violence and domestic abuse,” Heard began her statement about her case against her ex-husband, as well as his own case against Heard. “I never named him, rather I wrote about the price women pay for speaking against men in power. I continue to pay that price, but hopefully, when this case concludes, I can move on and so can Johnny.”

Johnny Depp

The actress continued the statement, writing that she has “always maintained a love for Johnny” and that living out the details of their former life together in the public eye “brings me great pain.”

“At this time, I recognize the ongoing support I’ve been fortunate to receive throughout these years, and in these coming weeks I will be leaning on it more than ever,” she concluded the statement.

In 2018, Heard wrote op-ed for the Washington Post titled, “I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.”

She describes history of abuse from young age and being sexually harassed and assaulted “by the time I was of college age,” pointing to a culture in Hollywood and beyond that has protected male abusers and makes a call to action for change. In the piece, she calls back to previous statements she made about experiencing domestic abuse, though she doesn’t name Depp in the piece.

In March 2019, Depp filed $50 million defamation suit against Heard over the article, with the complaint stating that despite Depp not being explicitly named, it would be clear Heard was referencing him in the piece. The claim states Heard’s piece damaged both his film career and reputation as public figure, and caused him to lose out on roles.

In August 2020, in response to his libel lawsuit, Heard countersued Depp for $100 million. Heard argued that her ex-husband retaliated, deploying social media bots against her and directing an effort to tarnish her career — interfering with endorsements and acting gigs — because of the statement she made in the op-ed. Following a public statement from Depp’s attorney Adam Waldman, which called Heard’s statement “fake” and a “sexual violence hoax,” Heard added defamation counterclaims.

The case was set to take place ahead of Depp’s U.K. libel trial against British tabloid The Sun for their description of the actor as a “wife beater,” but has seen delays. The Sun libel case concluded in November 2020 ruling that Heard’s claims of being assaulted were “substantially true,” before Depp appealed in December 2020.

In March 2021, two judges in Britain said the actor couldn’t challenge the High Court’s rejection of his libel lawsuit against the publication.

After the November ruling, Warner severed its ties with Depp, replacing him in the Fantastic Beasts franchise.

In August 2021, Depp said he was being boycotted by Hollywood and later that cancel culture had gotten “so far out of hand now that I can promise you that no one is safe” while appearing at the San Sebastian Film Festival.

Heard requested Depp’s U.S. defamation suit against her be dismissed following the U.K. judgment, but a Virginia court ruled that the two cases and statements were “inherently different.” Depp also attempted to have immunity over statements made about Heard, but a judge ruled he’d still have to face counterclaims.

In 2015, Heard, then 23, married Depp, 46, with Heard filing for divorce in May 2016, citing irreconcilable differences. The divorce was finalized in 2017.