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The Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial has been flooding the news for the last few weeks, and one recent development may be a significant factor in the outcome of the trial. Depp and his legal team have accused Heard of lying about a substantial donation to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which could be a strike against her character that helps swing the case in Depp’s favor.
Are these allegations true? And if so, what does that mean for the case? Read on below to find out.
Why is this important?
During her 2017 divorce with Depp, Amber Heard pledged to donate half of her $7 million divorce settlement to the ACLU and the other half to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Depp and his legal team are arguing that Heard’s pledge to donate the divorce settlement was a “calculated and manipulative lie.” By making this promise, she allegedly set herself up to look like the victim of the situation, and according to attorney Andrew Caldecott, “tipped the scales against Mr. Depp from the very beginning.”
The court ordered the ACLU to release documents
Depp was granted a partial petition by the court that forced the ACLU to release information about Heard’s payments. While Heard only made a public promise to donate the money and isn’t legally obligated to do so, this information can give valuable insight into her character and the situation.
Heard stopped making her payments in 2018
ACLU Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel Terence Dougherty testified in court that Heard had paid less than half of her promised donation and that she had stopped making payments in 2018, citing supposed “financial difficulties.”
According to Dougherty, Heard only directly paid $350,000 of the pledged $3.5 million. The ACLU also received a $100,000 check from Depp, $500,000 from a Vanguard fund, and $350,000 from a fund at Fidelity.
Heard’s lawyers argue that since she had initially pledged to pay the full amount over ten years, it’s inconsequential that the payment hasn’t been completed yet. Depp’s team counters that since Heard hasn’t made a payment in the last four years and told the ACLU she was having financial difficulties, she had no intention to complete the full payment.
How much is at stake here?
Depp is suing Heard for $50 million for defamation, claiming that her false allegations against him ruined his acting career and resulted in a loss of over $40 million. Depp lost $22.5 million from his removal from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie franchise alone, but Heard argues that he hurt his career on his own and that the decision to remove him from the franchise came before her allegations.
In response, Heard and her legal team are countersuing Depp for $100 million, saying that he and his legal team have falsely accused her. Depp’s attorneys are expected to rest their case today, at which time Heard’s legal team will begin presenting their case.