Actor Johnny Depp is reportedly suing civil rights group the ACLU as emails appear to reveal that the legal group wrote most of Depp’s ex-wife Amber Heard’s 2018 op-ed about sexual violence.
Heard and Depp divorced in 2016, and Heard publicly promised to give half her $7 million settlement to the ACLU and the other half to the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. However, some reports have found that Heard has only given $100,000 to the hospital thus far. And Depp wants to know if the ACLU got any of the cash.
Depp, who launched a lawsuit against the Washington Post over the 2018 op-ed, is now suing the ACLU, demanding that the organization reveal if Heard fulfilled her pledge to donate $3.5 million of her divorce settlement to the ACLU.
According to the court papers, filed by Depp and his lawyers in New York and obtained by PEOPLE, they have been asking both organizations to share how much Heard has donated.
In the court papers, Depp, 57, “respectfully requests that this Court enter an order directing the ACLU Witnesses to fully comply with the Subpoenas.” Depp seeks the documents for his ongoing $50 million defamation case against Heard for her 2018 Op-Ed about domestic violence in TheWashington Post.
Now, purported emails revealed by the Daily Mail appear to show that Amber Heard, 35, had very little to do directly with the op-ed that carried her name when published in December of 2018 by the Washington Post.
Heard was hailed for her bravery in 2018 for publishing the op-ed entitled, “I spoke up against sexual violence and faced our culture’s wrath,” in which she made explosive domestic abuse charges. But the Mail reports that the Aquaman star’s lawyer led the way on what became the published piece.
“The draft went through multiple legal revisions, with Heard’s lawyer anxious not to mention Depp, 57, by name or breach a non-disclosure agreement in the former couple’s $7million divorce settlement,” the Mail reported on Thursday.
Despite the efforts of the lawyers, though, the 57-year-old Depp sued anyway, saying that the piece was defamatory because it was clear the charges made in the piece were about him. The Mail claims that emails between those writing the piece show that the ACLU penned the bulk of the WaPo op-ed.
The bevy of emails published by the Daily Mail appears to show members of the ACLU engaging in a lengthy back-and-forth exchange with Heard’s lawyers as they made suggestions on what should appear in the op-ed.
One email even seems to prove that Heard understood that others were writing her piece because she specifically thanked the ACLU’s Robin Shulman. “Everyone was very impressed. Thank you for finding my voice,” Heard wrote.
Depp’s attorney, Adam Waldman, says the emails “prove” that the ACLU wrote the “false op-ed for her and were co-conspirators from the start.”
“Those who scheme, write, and publish defamation, even purported free speech advocates, are not immune from the consequences,” Depp’s lawyer added.
For her part, Heard says she has never claimed to be the sole author of the 2018 op-ed and that it was written “with the assistance and advice of others.”
Last year, Depp attempted to sue British newspaper The Sun for defamation over its reports characterizing the Pirates of the Caribbean star was a “wife-beater.” But in November, a British court ruled that the charges of abuse were “substantially true” and that “the great majority of alleged assaults of Ms. Heard by Mr. Depp have been proved to the civil standard.” Therefore, his defamation lawsuit was thrown out.
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