Defamation Lawsuit Resulting from Domestic Violence Accusations

Domestic violence is an issue that divorce lawyers often address. In particular, if domestic violence occurred, it can influence the outcome of child custody.

In the case of Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard, legal proceedings have gone beyond divorce. The current legal proceeding is a defamation lawsuit brought by Johnny Depp against his former wife. He claims false accusations of domestic violence. According to NPR, he is seeking $50 million in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages.

What Prompted the Lawsuit?

Heard wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post in December, 2018 and voiced her support of the Violence Against Women Act. She mentioned her own experiences of sexual assault and domestic violence abuse. Even though she didn’t refer to Depp by name, she had accused him of domestic abuse in 2016. As a result of the op-ed article, Depp pursued a defamation lawsuit against her.

Details of the Domestic Violence Defamation Lawsuit

When Johnny Depp testified in a Virginia courtroom, he stated that he never physically abused Heard. In addition, he testified that he has never physically abused any woman. Both he and Heard began recording their arguments after they disagreed on what had been said.

Furthermore, Depp testified that he and Heard had both been involved in drug abuse. He had gone into rehab to free himself of drugs and alcohol. However, he said that Heard had refused to quit drinking when he requested she stop.

Another factor was when they married in 2015, they didn’t have a prenuptial agreement. After he attempted to reach a post-nuptial agreement with her, it resulted in a number of arguments. She threw a Vodka bottle at him, which hit and injured his hand, severing the tip of his finger. However, at the time he was embarrassed to report the truth. Consequently, lied to the hospital doctors about what had occurred.

The jury listened to taped conversations of their volatile arguments. In one tape, Depp accused Heard of punching him in the face. She argued that she had just hit him, not punched him.

He testified that Heard had feigned an attack on her by screaming as though she was being injured while talking on the phone with a friend. After that she appeared in court in 2016 with a battered face and sought a restraining order against him.

Is Domestic Violence an Issue in Your Divorce?

If domestic violence has been an issue in your marriage, be certain to address it with your divorce attorney. Your attorney can help protect your rights.

The Law Office of Lindsey J. Wilson provides legal representation for clients in cases involving family law, custody and support, divorce, property division and modifications and enforcement.