Johnny Depp wins victory in legal battle with Amber Heard over $7 million settlement donations
Johnny Depp has won a legal ruling from a New York judge that will force the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to reveal how much money his ex-wife, actor Amber Heard, actually donated to them after Heard claimed that she donated half of her divorce settlement with Depp to the organisation.
Depp and his lawyers believe that Heard has been lying about the size of her donation, and they believe that proving that she lied will be a major factor in the upcoming $50 million defamation lawsuit that Depp filed against Heard that will make it to court in Virginia next year. Heard has filed a $100 million defamation countersuit against Depp, as well.
Depp's lawsuit is based on a December 2018 piece that Heard wrote in the Washington Post that alleged that he was physically abusive of Heard during the couple's brief, tumultuous marriage.
Depp recently lost a similar defamation lawsuit in England against the newspaper, The Sun, for referring to him as a "wife-beater" based on Heard's claims. A British judge agreed with Heard's characterisations of their altercations.
The donation amounts matter because one of the reasons that the judge gave for believing Heard's version of events over Depp's was that one of Depp's biggest claims was that Heard only married him for his money and the judge noted that Heard claimed that she donated all of the $7 million that she received from Depp in the divorce settlement to charity, half to the ACLU and half to the Children's Hospital in Los Angeles.
If Depp can prove that Heard did not actually donate the money, it could impact his chances of winning his defamation suit. The New York judge ruled that the ACLU must now provide documentation to show how much money Heard has actually donated to the organisation.