controversial separation, allegations of abuse and trial for defamation

(CNN Spanish) — The confrontation between Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard entered a new stage this month: the beginning of a trial for defamation after a lawsuit filed by the former star of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ against the actress as a result of an article published in 2018 .

The relationship between the actors, who met in 2009, has been marked by the allegations of physical and verbal abuse made by Heard since 2016, when he filed for divorce, and the defense of Depp, who has denied the accusations and in turn has counterattacked at the public and legal level.

This is what we know.

A $50 million libel lawsuit (and a counterclaim)

In December 2018, Heard wrote an op-ed for Washington Post titled “I spoke out against sexual violence and faced the wrath of our culture. That has to change.”

“I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s anger at women speaking out,” she wrote at the time. “Friends and advisers told me that she would not work as an actress again, that she would be blacklisted. A movie I participated in gave another actress my role,” she said.

The actor’s name was not mentioned in the article. However, in 2019 Depp sued her, arguing that although her name did not appear, the article “clearly dealt with (and was consistently characterized as such by other media outlets) the alleged victimization of Mrs. Heard after she publicly accused her ex-husband, Johnny Depp (Mr. Depp), of domestic abuse in 2016.”

Johnny Depp on April 19, 2022 in Fairfax, Virginia.  (Credit: Jim Watson/ Pool/ AFP/ Getty Images)

Johnny Depp on April 19, 2022 in Fairfax, Virginia. (Credit: Jim Watson/ Pool/ AFP/ Getty Images)

The suit says Heard’s accusations caused him financial losses, including being cut from future “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies. Depp also dropped his role in the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise at the request of Warner Bros, he said in 2020.

In 2019 the actress tried to have the lawsuit dismissed. She didn’t make it, and a year later, the actress filed a US$100 million defamation countersuit that is ongoing.

Depp’s testimony: “I never got to the point of hitting Mrs. Heard”

This week, Depp took the stand to testify in the lawsuit, saying his “goal is the truth.” Depp acknowledged in his testimony that he and Heard had arguments during their relationship, but said: “I never got to the point of hitting Mrs. Heard in any way nor have I ever hit any woman in my life.”

He also described his parents’ tumultuous relationship and the verbal and physical abuse he and his siblings suffered from their mother.

In his testimony, Depp spoke about the beginning of his relationship with Heard, saying, “From what I remember, she was too good to be true.” “She was caring, caring, smart, kind, funny, understanding. We had a lot of things in common,” she said.

Depp said Heard was “wonderful” for anywhere from a year to a year and a half. “Then things just started to change, or things started to reveal themselves, is a better way to put it.”

Heard speaks of the “price” for “speaking out against the men in power”

Amber Heard speaks with her attorney at the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Virginia.

Before the start of the trial, Heard posted a note on her verified social media accounts that reads: “I never named [Depp], but I wrote about the price women pay for speaking out against men in power. I’m still paying that price, but I hope that when this case is over, I can move on and so can Johnny.”

“I have always held a love for Johnny and it pains me to have to relive the details of our past life together in front of the world,” she wrote. “At this time, I acknowledge the continued support I have been fortunate to receive over the years, and in the coming weeks I will lean on him more than ever.”

The background: a defamation case that Johnny Depp has already lost

In late 2021, a British court ruled against Depp in a libel suit he filed against News Group Newspapers and Dan Wootton, the executive editor of The Sun newspaper, for an article that claimed he was an abusive husband.

As part of that trial, Heard testified in London Law Courts in July 2020 that Depp had threatened to kill her “many times”.

BP Mean of the United Kingdom reported that in a written statement presented to the court, Heard accused Depp of subjecting her to verbal and physical abuse, including “yelling, insults, threats, punches, slaps, kicks, blows to the head and choking”, as well as a ” extremely controlling and intimidating behavior.”

Trial of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard: how does the legal battle begin? 2:43

“Some incidents were so severe that I was afraid he was going to kill me, either intentionally or simply by losing control and going too far. He explicitly threatened to kill me many times, especially late in our relationship,” the actress was quoted as saying. half british.

Depp, for his part, said in testimony at the time that the abuse allegations were “sick” and “completely untrue,” it reported. BP Meanand assured that, on the contrary, Heard was physically abusive with him.

a troubled marriage

Depp and Amber met in 2009 on the set of the movie “The Rum Diary”. Six years later, in 2015, they married, and quickly became involved in a contentious separation in which both parties made accusations of bad behavior.

Trial of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard: how does the legal battle begin?

Heard then obtained a restraining order against Depp, although he later withdrew a petition to extend it.

In the complaint filed to obtain the order, Heard alleged that Depp had been abusive and referred to his drug use. “Johnny has a long-standing, well-known public and private history of drug and alcohol abuse,” he said. Depp, for his part, has since denied the accusations.

In addition, the lawsuit concerned photos he had provided to the court showing injuries to his face after an alleged altercation with Depp.

In 2016 the couple settled their divorce, releasing a statement saying they “had agreed to resolve their divorce privately.” “Our relationship was intensely passionate and sometimes volatile, but always tied to love,” she said.

Winona Ryder’s words about Depp

Actress Winona Ryder, who had a four-year relationship with Depp and to whom she became engaged when she was 19, referred to the case in 2016, when the abuse allegations against Heard became known.

“He was never abusive towards me in any way. I only know him as a very good, kind and loving guy who is very, very protective of the people he loves,” he said at the time, although he clarified: “I was not there (. ..) I don’t know what happened. I’m not calling anyone a liar.”

Also at that time the actor’s daughter, Lily-Rose Depp, defended him with a message on networks that said: “My father is the most affectionate and sweet person I know, he has been nothing more than a wonderful father for my brother small and for me, and everyone who knows him would say the same.

With reporting from CNN’s Rob Picheta, Chloe Melas, Lisa Respers France and Milena Veselinovic.