Trouble in the Courtroom, Featuring Johnny Depp and Amber Heard

Nuha Khatri

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard currently find themselves in the courtroom as Depp has sued Heard for $50 million in defamation. (Creative Commons)

Although “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor Johnny Depp and “Aquaman” actress Amber Heard have claimed the spotlight for years, recent headlines roped them back into prominence as the two celebrities find themselves on the other end of America’s “entertainment industry.” Acting is no longer an option for the former couple, as they face the consequences of real life.

Both individuals have spent a majority of their time in and out of the courtroom since the trial began on April 11, 2022 as Depp solidifies his case against Heard, suing her for $50 million for damaging his professional reputation. Within the past month, millions have watched livestreams of the case on various social media platforms, and the former couple has regained massive visibility. But many are confused as to how the previously-wed pair’s relationship came to an abrupt end.  

Depp and Heard share a tumultuous history that they kept mostly private to the public, outwardly showing apparent love in their marriage. The couple first met in 2009 on the set of “The Rum Diary,” a movie they both starred in. They began dating in 2012, became engaged in 2014, and were married by 2015. A year later, in 2016, Heard filed for a divorce, and four days after, she filed for a restraining order against Depp explained Vox Magazine. 

After filing for the restraining order, Heard reported domestic abuse and received $7 million from an out-of-court divorce settlement, afterwards claiming to donate the proceeds to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angelejs however, these donations have not been proven. At this point, both Heard and Depp began appearing in more popular films, as Depp had begun working on a “Harry Potter” spinoff, the “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” franchise. 

While the 2016 case seemed to lose prevalence and media attention, it was only three years after the initial lawsuit that Depp filed a $50 million defamation suit against Heard, who in turn sued Depp for $100 million. At this point in their interaction, both Depp and Heard were accusing each other of mutual abuse and gained notoriety from the case. 

In an effort to combat the extensive accusations made by Heard, “Depp’s team is also leaning on the difference between Depp’s reported history and Heard’s. While Depp has previously been accused of property damage and verbal threats, he’s never before been accused of the kind of violence Heard describes in her account, which previous girlfriends have described as uncharacteristic of him,” according to Vox Magazine

It has also been uncovered that Heard has not been as forthcoming about her actions as she claims to be. Previous partners of hers recall times when she allegedly used physical violence and even spat in her former assistant’s face when asking for a pay raise. 

As all the information pertaining to the individuals is revealed, there is quite a following that has built up in support of Depp. This can be credited to social media and the power of the internet as NBC reports, “Posters on Twitter and TikTok have overwhelmingly backed Depp, with hashtags like ‘JusticeForJohnnyDepp’ racking up nearly 3 billion views on TikTok. Similar hashtags have been tweeted thousands of times,” 

It is impossible to predict the outcome of this fluctuating, ever-growing trial. With new evidence and witnesses presented each day, only time will tell the fate of Depp and Heard.