Johnny Depp may be remembered for his many iconic roles but there is one incident from his personal life that became an even larger topic of discussion globally. His divorce from actress Amber Heard followed by the 2022 defamation case was everything people were talking about around that time. Narrating the true story of this drama-worthy court case is Netflix‘s upcoming docuseries titled Depp vs Heard.
The docuseries includes footage from inside the court and discusses how social media played a huge role in scrutinising the case. Depp v. Heard will also include a discussion on true incidents from the story that is narrated by the actor and his ex-wife in court. Let’s dig a little deep and go back in time to see what actually happened in the court.
The true incidents that build the story of the trivial Depp vs Heard docu-series
Here is a detailed account of what led to the defamation trial that makes the crust of the docuseries.
Beginning of the relationship
It was on the sets of The Rum Diary when Johnny Depp and Amber Heard met for the first time in 2009. Two years later in 2011, rumours surfaced online that the two lovebirds had started dating each other. Three years later in 2014, the couple was engaged, followed by a wedding in 2015. Just a year later, Heard filed for divorce in 2016, asking for a temporary restraining order against Depp. This was the first time the couple went to court for divorce litigation.
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How did the litigation go?
Depp responded to Heard’s claims in divorce and accused her of “attempting to secure a premature financial resolution by alleging abuse”. The Aquaman actress retorted to the accusation by alleging that Depp was “verbally and physically abusive” throughout their relationship. Images of Heard’s injuries also made it to the internet. The case was finally settled in 2016, and their divorce was finalised in 2017. The actress even withdrew her restraining order.
Agreements made during the settlement
Heard was paid USD 7 million by the Pirates of the Caribbean actor. Heard pledged to donate the amount to the American Civil Liberties Union and the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. They also signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) barring either party from talking about their relationship publicly. Years later, it was found out that Heard had paid less than half of the amount that she promised to give away in charity. Depp was charged with 12 of the 14 alleged incidents during this case.
The aftermath of the verdict
Depp was slammed on the internet as the public judged him to be an abusive person. The repercussions were such that Depp had to resign from the Fantastic Beasts film series. In the meantime, Heard’s 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post surfaced online. The actress talked about sexual violence and how she was a victim of domestic abuse. Depp’s lawyer, Adam Waldman, published an article in the Daily Mail discussing how Miss Heard had manipulated evidence to prove herself innocent.
A new case filed by Johnny Depp
The case filed by Johnny Depp in 2019 is the true story that makes up for the plot of the Depp v. Heard docu-series. The actor sued his ex-wife in 2019 over the op-ed in The Washington Post. Heard countersued Depp in 2020. The trial was held at the Fairfax County Circuit Court with traction from across the world.
Developments in the case before trial
Several lawyers withdrew from Heard’s legal team during the initial stage of Depp vs. Heard case, while Depp’s lawyer, Adam Waldman, was barred from representing the actor in Virginia after he leaked confidential information. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was also asked to release documents linked to Heard’s charity pledge. Heard’s plea to dismiss the defamation case was also overruled by Judge Penney S. Azcarate. She also permitted that the courtroom proceedings could be broadcasted.
The true story of the trial will become the major focus of Depp vs Heard. The trial began in 2022 in Fairfax County, Virginia. The lawyers made their opening statements on 12 April. Depp’s lawyer accused Heard of fabricating domestic abuse evidence. They further asserted that she was the actual abuser. The lawyers also stated that Heard’s op-ed did not mention Depp’s name but she was clearly referring to the actor. They also talked about the many incidents where Heard instigated physical violence against him.
Heard’s lawyers discussed how Depp physically and sexually abused her on multiple occasions throughout their relationship. They also argued how the op-ed did not hamper Depp’s reputation, but it was his drinking and drug use that lead to this situation. Several witnesses were called in to testify in the case as well.
Other allegations made by the duo
Heard also claimed that Depp assaulted her with a bottle in Australia, while the actor said that he was abused by Heard as well. He even talked about an incident where he found human faeces on his side of the bed. A huge number of text messages and videos were also presented in front of the court. Depp was also accused of being addicted to drugs and having a drinking problem during the Depp vs Heard case.
The momentous verdict
The jury found Johnny Depp innocent and announced the verdict in his favour. He was awarded USD 10 million in compensatory damages, and USD 5 million in punitive damages from Heard. The actress was awarded USD 2 million in compensatory damages from Depp. She received no punitive damages. A few months later in October, Heard’s legal team asked the court to dismiss the complaint or order a new trial. Her appeal was rejected.
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Social media scrutiny
The defamation case was one of the most talked about incidents on social media. From Youtube videos to support groups, Johnny Depp and Amber Heard were under scrutiny worldwide. This forms the main premise of the Depp v. Heard docuseries as experts discuss the impact of this case on modern society.
All Images: Courtesy IMDb
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India