“I’m going to go offline for the next several weeks. As you may know, I’ll be in Virginia, where I face my ex-husband Johnny Depp in court,” Heard, 35, shared via Instagram on Saturday, April 9. “Johnny is suing me for an op-ed I wrote in the Washington Post, in which I recounted my experience of violence and domestic abuse.”
In 2018, the Aquaman star wrote an essay on her experience with abuse, which she recalled starting from a young age, long before her marriage to Depp, 58, who she started dating in 2012 before their 2015 wedding. In 2019, the Pirates of the Caribbean star filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against Heard for publishing the piece, in which she wrote that she “became a public figure representing domestic abuse” and “felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.”
In her statement on Saturday, the Texas native defended her op-ed. “I never named him, rather I wrote about the price women pay for speaking against men in power,” she noted. “I continue to pay that price, but hopefully, when this case concludes, I can move on and so can Johnny. I have always maintained a love for Johnny and it brings me great pain to have to live out the details of our past life together in from of the world.”
In August 2020, Heard countersued her ex for $100 million, alleging that the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them star interfered with her career, interfering with casting and endorsement deals. She is suing for libel after Depp’s attorney Adam Waldman told several outlets that her story was “fake” and a “sexual violence hoax.”
The lawsuits follow the November 2020 libel case that Depp lost in the U.K. He sued British outlet The Sun for describing him as a “wife beater.” The court determined that the descriptor was “substantially true,” and Britain’s Court of Appeals refused to let him appeal the judgement in March 2021.
Heard and Depp’s divorce was filed in May 2016 and finalized in January 2017.
In her note on Saturday, Heard thanked her supporters. “At this time, I recognize the ongoing support I’ve been fortunate to receive thought these years, and in these coming weeks I will be leaning on it more than ever,” she wrote.
Pose star Indya Moore praised the model in the comments section. “So vulnerable and so difficult to have to process personal things in public,” Moore wrote. “So many people love both of your works and want you both to have the opportunity every human being deserves to heal and grow and put their growth and healing into practice. May you both come to truth and harmony and compassion and love!”
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for confidential support.