Actor Johnny Depp is suing his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard, in a $50 million defamation lawsuit, citing a piece she wrote for The Washington Post about domestic abuse.
The complaint, filed Friday in the Circuit Court of Fairfax, Virginia, said that, while Depp was not named in the Post article, it was clear Heard was talking about him. The lawsuit called her ongoing allegations of domestic abuse “categorically and demonstrably false.”
“They were part of an elaborate hoax to generate positive publicity for Ms. Heard and advance her career,” the lawsuit said, claiming that “she is the perpetrator.”
According to Depp, 55, the suit has suffered financial losses because of the accusations, including being dropped from his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films.
In her article, published in the Post in December, Heard also said she lost an acting role and contract with a major fashion brand because she went public with her claims of abuse.
“I spoke up against sexual violence – and faced our culture’s wrath,” the 32-year-old actress wrote, adding that she felt as though she was “on trial in the court of public opinion.”
Heard’s publicists and attorney did not return phone calls or emails from The Associated Press seeking comment on Saturday.
In a statement to People magazine, her attorney Eric M. George called the lawsuit “frivolous” and “just the latest of Johnny Depp’s repeated efforts to silence Amber Heard.”
Depp’s attorney, Adam Waldman, responded to People that he and his client looked forward to presenting “overwhelming video, photographic and eyewitness evidence” that would clear Depp’s name.
Heard first accused Depp of domestic violence in May 2016, the year after they were married.
After Heard brought a photo of her with a bruised face to court, a judge ordered Depp to stay away from her. The couple met on the set of their 2011 film “The Rum Diary.” Their divorce was finalized in 2017.