Johnny Depp wins rare lawsuit against Amber Heard’s divorce settlement pledge

After struggling through lawsuit after lawsuit, Johnny Depp finally sees light in his longstanding legal feud with Amber Heard.

Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp has won a rare victory against ex-wife Amber Heard who must now prove that she has donated her $7 million divorce settlement to the American Civil Liberties Union and Children’s Hospital (ACLU) as she previously pledged.

The two married each other in 2015 after meeting at the set of The Rum Diary back in 2009 but split a year later after Heard accused Depp of domestic violence in a highly-publicized lawsuit. Depp and his lawyers denied the allegations. An investigation into the domestic incident involving a police radio call also found that no such abuse had taken place.

In August 2016, the divorce was finalized and a $7 million settlement was reached, with Heard promising to donate the amount to the ACLU in Los Angeles. 

Depp alleged that Heard’s decision to divorce him was an “attempt to secure a premature financial resolution by alleging abuse.”

The two would then meet at the courtroom once again in 2019 when Depp sued Heard for a $50 million defamation lawsuit after the latter wrote a piece on The Washington Post, which, although didn’t explicitly refer to Depp, included references to the domestic abuse she earlier claimed to have experienced. Responding to the article, Depp’s lawyer claimed Heard “masquerades as the victim rather than the abuser” and that her op-ed was an “elaborate hoax to generate positive publicity” for the Aquaman actress.

This would set the tone for a similar scenario the next year when Depp sued the publishers of the London-based outlet The Sun for libel after the latter labeled Depp a “wife beater.” 

In their rejoinder, Depp’s lawyer claimed that such a defamatory claim had started to take a toll on his career, even causing him to lose his role as Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise. Depp also alleged that Heard only married him for financial gain and her decision to divorce him was an “attempt to secure a premature financial resolution by alleging abuse.” 

Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp as Grindelwald (Image: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Heard refuted this, testifying that she “remained financially independent from him [Depp] the whole time we were together and the entire amount of my divorce settlement was donated to charity.”

Depp ultimately lost the lawsuit, with presiding Judge Andrew Nichol citing Heard’s gesture while deciding in favor of The Sun and saying that the “donation of the $7 million to charity is hardly the act one would expect of a gold digger.”

Now, despite rejecting Depp’s appeal multiple times, A New York court has finally partially granted a petition by Depp’s legal team that would force ACLU to provide documents that will prove whether or not Heard indeed donated the settlement amount as she promised to do.

In a statement to the press, Depp’s lawyer Andrew Caldecott has claimed that the promised donation was “a calculated and manipulative lie” that “tipped the scales against Mr. Depp from the very beginning,” per IndependentCaldecott also alleged that the ACLU wrote to Depp’s business adviser back in 2019 to inform them that Heard had not paid a single cent.

If Depp’s allegations prove to be true, then the scales would most likely tip to his favor and strengthen his claims against Heard’s character and motivation in marrying him. A favorable result for Depp would go a long way in his dispute against Heard that has dragged on for several years.

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