Amber Heard and Johnny Depp’s court battle continues to take every turn imaginable. The latest development, in this case, is the actress's effort to bring “hush money” that her former husband produced to light. Deadline published a report this week detailing a large settlement that Depp received from a separate insurance lawsuit. Heard’s team asserts that the timing of this and other payouts are suspect when put up to scrutiny. They believe that transparency, as it relates to this current case, would benefit their argument as it might help establish a pattern of behavior indicative of the type of reckless activity that Heard is alleging in her suit. Tracking these big expenditures would change the complexion of this case.
“Of particular relevance here, by its own account, TMG was aware that Mr. Depp had violently abused Ms. Heard and that he had pressured his employees to make false public statements denying this fact,” Heard’s team adde during the filing for the Virginia-set defamation suit. The representation made note of the messy $25 million fraud and breach of contract action Depp filed against TMG in January 2017. They also called attention to the extremely detailed cross-complaint that followed soon-after.
“TMG also paid millions of dollars to various members of Mr. Depp’s staff, many of whom will be witnesses in the Underlying Lawsuit, as well as millions of dollars to ‘bail [Mr. Depp] out of numerous legal crises’ and ‘mak[e] a series of hush money settlements,'” Heard’s team states, including quotes from the actual TMG cross-complaint filed by Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert LLP.
Roberta Kaplan, Heard’s lawyer issued a statement after that development explaining the reasoning for the request.
“Ms. Heard has already testified that it was almost always drugs and alcohol that fueled Mr. Depp’s abusive behavior and this is consistent with multiple accounts of his drug-fueled rages over many years,” She said.
Heard filed for divorce halfway through 2016 after abuse allegations surfaced. Disney dropped Depp from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Money issues would crop up for the star after that. Depp filed this current lawsuit after Heard’s column in the Washington Post that he perceived was about the abuse she suffered. No names were mentioned, but Depp’s representation thinks that it’s pretty clear who’s being referred to. For their part, Heard’s team absolutely denies that allegation.
Their statement reads, "Mr. Depp reads it as stating sub silentio that he abused her in 2016," the brief states. "That is incorrect. This is an op-ed about what happens to women who report men for domestic abuse and why society should react differently. Given that context, her claim about becoming a 'public figure representing domestic abuse' — and suffering 'the full force of our culture's wrath for women who speak out' — is a statement about what she believes happened after she accused Mr. Depp of violence. It describes her opinions about the personal consequences, not the underlying merits, of her decision to report Mr. Depp."
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.