The Untold Story of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard



The Untold Story of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Cassondra Feltus
It's time for a deep dive into the turbulent relationship of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. For this video, we'll be looking at the past and current legal battles of two Hollywood stars. From a whirlwind romance to a very real legal battle, this video will cover it all.

The Untold Story of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re discussing The Untold Story of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.

For this video, we’ll be looking at the turbulent relationship between the two Hollywood stars as well as their past and current legal battles.

Have you been watching the trial? Let us know in the comments.

A Whirlwind Romance

Actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard first met on the set of Bruce Robinson’s “The Rum Diary”, which began filming in 2009. Both were in relationships at the time — Depp with his longtime partner, Vanessa Paradis, and Heard with girlfriend Tasya van Ree. After each of them split from their respective partners around the same time in 2012, rumors began to make the rounds that the former co-stars were dating each other, which the couple later confirmed to be true. But they didn’t make their first official appearance as a couple until they attended The Art of Elysium's 7th Annual Heaven Gala on Jan. 11, 2014. Days later, the paps got a shot of Amber Heard sporting what appeared to be an engagement ring.

Depp and Heard exchanged vows February 3, 2015, at his mother’s house, who was unwell at the time. Two days later, the couple held a ceremony on his private island in the Bahamas.

Divorce & Allegations

It didn’t take long for the Hollywood rumor mill to speculate on issues in the marriage. And the couple already made headlines in 2015 while Depp was filming the fifth “Pirates” film. Heard breached Australia’s biosecurity law against “importing” animals when she brought their dogs Pistol and Boo to the country without proper paperwork. The actress was faced with a decade in prison, but a judge agreed to drop the charges in exchange for a guilty plea. A public apology was also likely part of the deal, with the now infamous video having been released in April 2016.

In May 2016, just days after Depp’s mother died, Heard filed for divorce citing “irreconcilable differences.” She also requested a temporary restraining order due to Depp’s alleged abuse. Heard claimed that her husband physically and mentally mistreated her throughout their 15-month marriage, often under the influence. The order was granted, but later dismissed after Heard withdrew her allegations. In August 2016, the former couple reached a $7 million settlement, an amount which Amber Heard reportedly planned to donate to charities.

The divorce was finalized in January 2017.

Legal Issues

On Dec. 18, 2018, the Washington Post published an op-ed written by Amber Heard, where she detailed her experience with domestic assault. She wrote about the treatment she endured after speaking out. While Depp was not named, assumptions were made in the media that he was the culprit. Soon after the article made its rounds, Disney dropped the Captain Jack Sparrow star from the next “Pirates of the Caribbean” installment.

On April 27th of that same year, U.K. publication The Sun ran an article criticizing J.K. Rowling for seemingly supporting Depp’s role in the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise. The article recounted Heard’s allegations, and on June 1, the actor sued the publication for libel. Then in February of 2019, Depp sued Heard for defamation over her article. Depp denied the allegations, saying that Heard was the violent one in the relationship. He also suspected his ex of cheating with her “The Adderall Diaries” co-star James Franco. Heard was accused of cheating with Tesla CEO Elon Musk as well, whom she reportedly began dating in 2017.

Heard responded to the $50 million suit with a counterclaim for $100 million.

In March 2015, it was reported that Depp injured his hand on the set of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”, which led to delays in production. However, Depp later alleged that Heard threw a glass bottle at him during an argument, resulting in the injury. Heard claims the injury was self-inflicted. Things got even more complicated when The Daily Mail released leaked audio of the former couple in January 2020, where Heard is recorded admitting to hitting Depp in a previous altercation.

Career Setbacks & Personal Lives

In November 2020, a U.K. judge ruled in favor of News Group Newspapers - which publishes The Sun - stating that the allegations against the actor were found to be “substantially true.” Therefore, the publication is not guilty of defamation. That same month, Depp announced his resignation from the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise at the strong suggestion of Warner Brothers. Upon losing the role of Grindelwald, Depp fans created a petition to remove Heard from the “Aquaman” sequel. The petition gained over 1.9 million signatures. However, “Aquaman” producers stated that this held no weight when deciding to bring Heard back for her role as Mera.

Amber Heard explained in the op-ed that she hadn’t booked many roles since speaking out against Depp, even being recast in a film for which she had booked a role. Other than the upcoming “Aquaman” sequel, Heard has only been in only a few films since 2018, as well as television miniseries “The Stand.” On July 1, 2021, Heard announced via Instagram the birth of her daughter Oonagh Paige, who was born on April 8.

Depp v. Heard

Four years after the initial lawsuit, the Depp v. Heard trial began April 11, 2022. The trial is taking place in Fairfax County, Virginia, where there is a Washington Post print facility. Many legal correspondents believe the choice in venue by Depp’s legal team has to do with California’s strict “anti-SLAPP law,” which protects those who speak out from being silenced by lawsuits. The law is still upheld in the state of Virginia, but doesn’t let defendants stop the proceedings from the outset.

The highly publicized trial is being broadcast live on Court TV. Televised celebrity trials are nothing new, but given the star-studded witness list, including the likes of James Franco, Elon Musk, and Paul Bettany, it’s sure to be a legal battle for the ages.

The trial continues to reveal damning information about both parties, including explicit text messages, audio and video of possibly violent altercations, and photographic evidence of injuries. Heard and Depp each had troubled childhoods with parents who mistreated them, which may partially explain the toxicity of their relationship together.

No matter the outcome, it’s clear the reputations of both actors have been forever changed in the public eye.