Johnny Depp Wins Motion Against Amber Heard to Prove Donations From Divorce Settlement
Johnny Depp had a major legal victory in his attempt to disprove ex-wife Amber Heard's claim that she donated her divorce settlement to charity.
On Friday (July 30), The Daily Mail reported that a judge on the New York Supreme Court granted 23 of 24 requests from the Pirates of the Caribbean star's "motion to compel." This means that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) must produceocuments confirming Heard's donations. The only motion that Judge Arthur Engoron denied was to reveal documents relating to Heard's role as "brand ambassador" for the ACLU.
According to the report, the judge claimed that Depp "has satisfied the initial burden of stating the circumstances of reasons underlying the subpoena… the ACLU has failed to demonstrate that the information sought it utterly irrelevant to the action."
On Feb. 26, 2020, Heard submitted a witness statement to the court that read, "I remained financially independent from him [Depp] the whole time we were together and the entire amount of my divorce settlement was donated to charity."
The couple divorced in 2016 and Heard received $7 million. She pledged in a London court that she would donate the full amount split between the ACLU and Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. However, in January it was revealed that the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles only received $100,000 of Heard's $3.5 million pledge. According to the report, Heard has only donated $450,000 to the ACLU.
In their motion, Depp's legal team noted that Heard confirmed she planned to donate the full settlement amount in court and numerous media interviews. In response, Heard's lawyer explained that the actress plans to pay in installments and has needed money for legal fees against Depp.
Following their public split, both Depp and Heard have accused each other of domestic abuse. Audio of Heard admitting to "hitting" Depp was submitted during Depp's recent libel lawsuit against U.K. tabloid The Sun, who called the actor a "wife beater."
During a hearing for the case, Judge Andrew Nichol said that Heard's "donation of the $7 million to charity is hardly the act one would expect of a gold-digger" and ruled in favor of the tabloid.
Amid the fallout of their divorce, Depp was famously fired from Warner Bros.' Fantastic Beasts franchise. Heard, meanwhile, will remain in the studio's Aquaman franchise. Fans of Depp created an online petition calling for Heard's removal in the upcoming Aquaman 2 film. The petition has earned almost 2 million signatures to date, but the film's producer recently confirmed that Heard will not be fired.