It takes a special level of focus and dedication to become as great an actor likeJohnny Depp. He has his name on some of the greatest films and TV shows of the last four decades. Johnny Depp’s personal life hasn’t been as smooth as his professional one though as the actor has lost hundreds of millions in lawsuits and divorces while making headlines for all the bad reasons since the early 2010s. His latest saga involves the trial in his defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard who accused him of being a wife-beater causing the actor’s fame to take a big hit in the brutal industry (which he won by the way). Heard countersued Depp for $100 million leading to the trial that has brought both interesting and shocking memories of their tumultuous marriage to the light.
It all started on the set of The Rum Diary
The Rum Diary was released in 2011 and wasn’t anywhere near Johnny Depp’s greatest films but it is the one film he will never forget. Amber Heard was in a relationship with the Photographer and painter Tasya Van Ree while Depp was still together with Vanessa Paradis, his girlfriend since 1998 and mother of his two children. Johnny Depp confessed that he felt something “he shouldn’t have felt,” for Heard while on the set. The two started a relationship that was confirmed in 2012 after they both formerly ended their previous relationships. Amber Heard said that Depp started being violent shortly after they started dating but that he later reduced his drinking and that is why she agreed to get engaged to him.
The marriage lasted less than 15 months
Despite all the storm Depp and Heard’s marriage has caused, that marriage wasn’t as long as many would think. Depp and Heard got married on February 3rd 2015 in a private ceremony before hosting a reception on Depp’s private island in the Bahamas. By May 2016, the marriage had hit the rocks and Amber Heard filed for a divorce citing irreconcilable differences. While on the stand in Depp’s lawsuit against her, an emotional Heard described the horrific events in their marriage that she said were caused by Johnny Depp’s alcohol and drug-fueled anger. Depp on the other hand said the marriage was good for at least the first years before Amber Heard’s verbal and physical abuse caused it to spiral into chaos.
The $7 million divorce
When Amber Heard filed for divorce in 2016, there were rumours that she was after Johnny Depp’s money with Depp himself saying that she was trying to use the claims of abuse to secure financial benefits from him. Amber filed for divorce on May 30 2016, a week after Depp allegedly hit her in the face with a phone leading to bruises on the eye and jaw. Heard even obtained a temporary restraining order and filed for a $50,000 monthly spousal support from Depp alongside a claimed settlement of up to $50 million. The two settled the case before it got ugly in the courts and released a joint statement saying their marriage was sometimes volatile but bound by love. They settled on $7 million payment which Heard said she would donate to charity.
Heard said she filed for a divorce to save her life
While taking the stand during Depp’s defamation trial against her, Amber Heard said that she filed for divorce because she feared for her life. Heard said that the violence in their marriage which had started with slapping and kicking on a private plane had become “normal”. She described Depp as a monster when high on alcohol and drugs. She described a violent incident sparked by a sex scene in London Fields in which Heard starred alongside Billy Bob Thornton. She said Depp freaked out when he saw the scene in a pre-release version of the film and slapped and hit her in the jaw accusing her of having an affair with Thornton.
Heard’s Op-ed caused Depp to resign from Fantastic Beasts 3
Amber Heard wrote in the Washington Post that she was a public figure representing victims of domestic violence shortly after her divorce from the star. Johnny Depp’s lawyers said that the release of the Washington Post Op-ed caused him to lose his $22.5 million because he lost his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean. Johnny Depp was also requested by Warner Bros to resign from Fantastic Beasts 3 which the lawyers said ruined his chances of landing roles with other producers. Publications by The Sun and other tabloids named Depp as a wife-beater despite Amber Heard not mentioning his name in her Op-ed.
Depp named Elon Musk as one of Heard’s extramarital affairs
Amber Heard described Depp as an obsessive husband that would become violent when she made friends and colleagues. Depp on the other hand accused Heard of infidelity during their marriage mentioning Elon Musk, James Franco and Billy Bob Thornton as Heard’s affairs. Amber Heard officially dated Elon Musk between 2016 and 2017 after divorcing Johnny Depp and the two are still good friends with Musk saying in 2017 that he was really hurt by the breakup. The rumours of infidelity were extended when a witness in Depp’s Libel trial against The Sun publishers said that Amber Heard and Elon Musk were together in 2015 while she was married to Johnny Depp.
Amber Heard severed Depp’s finger a month into the marriage
The explosive fight that led to Depp and Heard’s permanent split happened in 2016 but that was only one of the many violent fights in the marriage. In May 2015, the shooting of the fifth instalment of Pirates of the Caribbean had to stop when Johnny Depp flew back to the US for treatment for a severed finger. Depp said at his trial that Amber Heard caused the incident when she threw a broken vodka at him in rage. The whole incident happened just one month after the two got married. Johnny Depp said Heard was angry about a postnuptial agreement he was trying to get her to sign.
Johnny Depp vs The Sun
The Sun published an article in 2018 that called Johnny Depp a wife-beater for which Depp sued the editor and New Group Newspapers which owns The Sun for libel. The London high court ruled in The Sun’s favour in December 2020 and in March 2021, blocked Depp from appealing the decision. Depp was further ordered to pay over $600,000 in legal expenses incurred by The Sun during the trial. Depp’s lawyers condemned the court for only listening to Heard’s side of the story and ignoring all the witnesses that supported Depp’s claims including his 14-year partner Venessa Paradis. Depp’s lawyers proceeded to file the defamation claim against Amber Heard which turned into a bigger storm than the London case.
Heard’s psychologist said she suffered from PTSD
Dawn Hughes was Heard’s psychologist who had sessions with her between 2019 and 2020 and she concluded that Heard had PTSD as a result of the abuse she faced during her marriage to Johnny Depp. The psychologist’s testimony was so disturbing that it can’t be repeated in this writing. She described the horrific scenes of sexual assault that Depp exerted on Heard during what she called drug-fueled rage including one in which he allegedly penetrated her with a vodka bottle.
Depp’s marital and legal issues cost him an estimated $650 million
Johnny Depp is a talented actor and producer and one of Hollywood’s most expensive talents. He charges eight figures for his appearance in films because of his fame leading to his estimated net worth of over $100 million. Depp could however be way richer than that if he had his life in order since the early 2000s. He earned an estimated $300 million from Pirates of the Caribbean and a lot more from the films that followed the hit show mostly because of his friendship with Tim Burton. He had an eccentric lifestyle though, so despite his huge earnings, he was losing a lot of money. A lawsuit against his business managers in 2016 revealed that he spent $650 million between 2003 and 2016 which was just too much even by Depp’s standards. The divorce from Heard and the negative publicity has seen his call ups for films reduce which is a huge financial hit for the star.