the trial in Johnny Depp’s libel suit against Amber Heard is currently underway in Virginia.
Depp sued Heard in March 2019 over a column in which Heard wrote: The Washington Post about domestic violence was defamatory and asked for $50 million in damages. Heard has filed a $100 million counterclaim.
The proceedings began with jury selection on April 11, 2022 in Fairfax, Virginia. Closing arguments are scheduled for May 27.
Here’s a timeline of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s relationship, divorce, and lawsuits, from when they started dating to the final trial:
2012: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard start dating
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are said to have started dating that year, after Depp split from his longtime partner, French actor Vanessa Paradis. Depp and Paradis have two children: a daughter named Lily-Rose and a son named Jack.
Heard and Depp are said to have met on the set of the 2011 film The Rum Diarywhere they both played.
March 2014: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard get engaged
Johnny Depp confirms he and Amber Heard are engaged, after a few months of speculation. “The fact that I’m wearing a chick’s ring on my finger is probably a clincher,” he says, promoting the film transcendence† “Not very subtle.”
February 2015: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard get married
Amber Heard and Johnny Depp get married. According to People magazine, they had two ceremonies: the first at Depp’s home in Los Angeles, and the second at Depp’s private island in the Bahamas.
May 2016: Amber Heard files for divorce
Amber Heard files for divorce from Johnny Depp, on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. That same month, a judge grants Heard a restraining order against Depp over allegations of domestic violence on his part.
In an affidavit, Heard alleges that during a fight, Depp threw a cell phone at her, hitting her in the eye and cheek, and yelled at her, punched her, violently grabbed her face, and pulled her hair. has pulled. According to The Associated Press, she will submit a photo of her bruised face to the court with the restraining order.
Heard is seen with “a bruise on her right cheek below the eye,” according to the AP, during a trial.
“During our entire relationship, Johnny abused me verbally and physically,” Heard writes in the file. “I have suffered excessive emotional, verbal and physical abuse from Johnny, including angry, hostile, humiliating and threatening attacks on me when I questioned his authority or disagreed with him.”
She also writes, “I live in fear that Johnny will return to (our house) unannounced to terrorize me physically and emotionally.”
Depp has denied the allegations of domestic violence. His lawyers alleged in a 2016 court document that Heard was “trying to get a premature financial solution by alleging abuse”.
The LAPD said in May 2016 that police officers responding to a radio call for domestic incidents on the 21st of that month found “no evidence of any crime.” Heard’s legal team has since sued the LAPD in connection with that same appeal as part of the ongoing defamation lawsuit against Heard and Depp.
August 2016: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard settle their divorce
After months of controversial proceedings, Depp and Heard reach a settlement in their divorce.
“Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times fleeting, but always connected by love,” the couple said in a joint statement at the time. “Neither side has made false accusations for financial gain. There was never any intention of physical or emotional harm.”
Heard pledges to donate Depp’s $7 million to the American Civil Liberties Union and the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. (In August 2021, a New York judge partially granted Depp’s request to determine whether donations were made.)
January 2017: The divorce is official
Depp and Heard formally finalize their divorce.
“We are all pleased to be able to put this unpleasant chapter in the lives of Mr. Depp and his family behind us,” Depp’s attorney Laura Wasser said in a statement. “The fact that his request to sign the rescission order was granted today made it a particularly happy Friday the 13th.”
Heard’s attorney tells Los Angeles Supreme Court judge Carl H Moor that his client “would love to move on with her life.”
June 2018: Johnny Depp sues The sun cup
On June 1, 2018, Depp News Group is suing Newspapers, the company that publishes The sunfor alleged libel over an article published in the tabloid newspaper in April of that year, with the headline: “Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be ‘really happy’ casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts movie? “
Depp would eventually lose the case.
December 2018: Amber Heard publishes an opinion piece
On December 18, 2018, Amber Heard publishes an opinion piece in The Washington Post titled: “I spoke out against sexual assault – and faced the wrath of our culture. That has to change.”
In it, she writes in part: “Like many women, I was harassed and sexually abused by the time I graduated. But I kept quiet – I didn’t expect filing complaints to bring justice. And I didn’t see myself as a victim.
“Two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic violence, and I felt the full force of our culture’s anger at women who speak out.”
Depp is not mentioned by name in the opinion piece. The op-ed would later become the basis of the $50 million defamation lawsuit filed by Depp, naming Heard as the defendant.
March 2019: Johnny Depp sues Amber Heard
Depp files a $50 million lawsuit against Heard for defaming him in her Washington Post op-ed.
“The opinion was based on the central premise that Ms Heard was a victim of domestic violence and that Mr Depp committed domestic violence against her,” the indictment alleges, in part, calling the domestic violence claim “categorically and demonstrably false.”
July 2020: lawsuit against Johnny Depp against The sun goes to court
The trial will begin on July 7, 2020 in London. Johnny Depp and Amber Heard both arrive at the Supreme Court, with Heard scheduled to testify in support of… The sun†
Depp’s lawyers claim he is looking for “justification”, not money, and Depp himself denies the domestic violence allegations. A spokesperson for Heard says: Vanity Fair Heard “never asked for this procedure to take place” and “tried to move on with her life”.
The trial lasts three weeks, with explosive allegations coming forward as part of the evidence and testimony. The procedure will be completed at the end of July.
August 2020: Amber Heard’s Counterclaims
Heard is filing a $100 million counterclaim against Depp in response to his libel lawsuit, accusing him of orchestrating a “defamation campaign” against her and describing his own lawsuit as a continuation of “abuse and harassment.”
In the filing, Heard asks the court to grant her immunity from Depp’s complaint and asks for damages of “not more than $100 million”, specifying that this is “twice the amount Mr Depp has claimed against Mrs Heard”.
November 2020: Johnny Depp loses his fight against libel against The sun
The court rules in favor of The sun in the libel case. Justice Andrew Nicol said the defendants have proven their allegations against Depp were “substantially true,” The Associated Press reported at the time.
“I have found that the vast majority of Ms Heard’s alleged assaults by Mr Depp have been proven to civil standards,” the judge said in a ruling.
A lawyer for Depp called the verdict “so flawed that it would be ridiculous if Mr. Depp did not appeal this decision”.
March 2021: Johnny Depp not allowed to appeal loss The sun case
Two appeals court judges convict against granting permission for Depp to appeal the judge’s decision in his libel suit The sun†
According to the AP, Judges James Dingemans and Nicholas Underhill ruled that the original hearing was “complete and fair” and that the judge’s rulings were “not even demonstrably affected by error of approximation or miscarriage of justice.”
Dingemans and Underhill found that “the appeal has no real chance of success and that there is no other compelling reason to treat it.”
“It is clear from the reading of the judgment as a whole that the judge based his conclusions on each of the incidents on its extremely detailed assessment of the evidence specific to each incident,” they said.
“With such an approach, there was little need or scope for the judge to give weight to an overall assessment of Ms Heard’s credibility.”
April 11, 2022: Defamation Case Occurs in Virginia
The trial in Depp’s libel suit against Heard began on April 11, 2022 in Fairfax, Virginia. †The Washington Postin which Heard’s op-ed was published has printing houses in the state.)
Depp suffered a significant setback before the trial began when the judge in the case, Virginia Judge Penney Azcarate, found that Heard could argue that her opinion addresses a matter of public interest.
According to the AP, Depp’s legal team had tried to argue that Heard should not rely on Virginia’s anti-SLAPP laws. Anti-SLAPP laws, which stand for Anti-Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, are designed to protect people from prosecution when speaking out on matters of public interest.
Judge Azcarate ruled that Heard could in fact invoke Virginia’s anti-SLAPP legislation in defense and argue before the jury that it should apply to her op-ed.