Although she didn’t name her ex-husband, Johnny Depp, in the piece, he and his legal team claimed that it was heavily implied that he was the abuser and that he’d lost out on movie deals as a direct result of it.
Johnny has repeatedly denied being abusive toward Amber and filed a defamation lawsuit against her in response to the article. She has countersued for $100 million.
This is the second time that Johnny has taken domestic abuse allegations to court, having previously filed to sue the executive editor of British tabloid the Sun for libel after it referred to him as a “wife beater” in an article.
The case went to trial in 2020, and Amber testified that Johnny had been abusive throughout their relationship.
Johnny ultimately lost the case after a judge ruled that the Sun’s statement about him was correct. However, because Johnny sued the publication and not Amber, the judge’s verdict was not grounds to dismiss Johnny’s current lawsuit against her.
Instead, the incredibly public trial, which is taking place in Virginia, began last month and is being meticulously followed by people across the globe.
In fact, many social media users have come under scrutiny for creating memes out of the very serious domestic abuse allegations, as well as turning audio snippets from Amber’s tearful testimonies into viral TikTok sounds.
During her testimony, Amber said that Johnny had physically, sexually, and emotionally abused her throughout their relationship, which began in 2012. She has recounted some of the alleged encounters in detail, with photos of her injuries and text messages also being submitted as evidence.
Throughout his four-day testimony earlier in the trial, Johnny denied ever hitting Amber and accused her of being the aggressor in their relationship. Audio recordings that he made during their violent encounters have been shared.
Johnny’s fans have been showing up at the courthouse to share their support for him during the trial, and they are also rallying together on social media in his defense.
At times, their behavior has been called out for being problematic and trivializing the severity of the allegations against him — particularly when they filmed themselves reacting to Amber’s sexual assault allegations and claimed that she was describing “every woman’s fantasy.”
The audio of Amber describing the assault has since been removed from TikTok.
And Johnny’s supporters came under scrutiny again over the weekend when it was revealed that some are bombarding his 22-year-old daughter, Lily-Rose Depp, with abusive Instagram messages for not publicly supporting her father.
Lily-Rose has not posted to her social media account since before the trial began, but her previous posts have been targeted. A now-viral tweet shared a screenshot of just some of the comments that the user spotted on the model’s Instagram page.
“You post your t i t s more than your own dad, what a wreck,” one message read. Someone else wrote: “Please support your father. Regardless of YOUR relationship with him you know that Amber is NOT THE VICTIM. Support him please, speak up!!!!”
Another person added: “Not a single pic of your dad! What kind of human being are u!?” In a second comment, the same account continued: “After years you will be gone and forgotten and people will only remember you as the daughter of a legendary man.”
“I see not one picture of you with your father. WHY??” demanded one follower. Another wrote: “How come you did not speak out about your father’s case!”
Other comments showed Johnny’s supporters asking Lily-Rose how they can get in touch with his legal team to offer help in the trial.
Social media users were quick to share their shock as they reacted to the tweet that initially drew attention to these comments, with one tweeting: “Y’all harassing her over a man y’all have never met. Parasocial relationships are a disease. Y’all have no consideration that maybe all this is difficult for her, y’all feel entitled to her time & energy. It’s sick.”
“Do they think he would be happy that they’re harassing his daughter or what?” another asked.
Another person replied: “She is only 22 years old, she doesn't deserve this shit.” Someone else argued: “If they truly supported Johnny they wouldn’t harass his DAUGHTER but no they just want an excuse to be misogynistic."
While Lily-Rose hasn’t spoken out about this particular case, she defended her dad in a now-deleted Instagram post back in 2016, when Amber’s accusations against Johnny were first made public.
Sharing a throwback photo of Johnny helping her walk when she was still a baby, Lily-Rose wrote at the time: “My dad is the sweetest most loving person I know, he's been nothing but a wonderful father to my little brother and I, and everyone who knows him, would say the same.”
Lily-Rose has also been mentioned by both Amber and Johnny during the trial, with Amber claiming that Johnny was hiding his drinking from his children during a trip to the Bahamas on July 9, 2013. In addition to Lily-Rose, Johnny is father to a son, Jack, now 20.
Amber alleged that he was physically abusive toward her while they were on a yacht, and shortly afterward, she and Lily-Rose left the island together via helicopter.
Meanwhile, Johnny claimed that Lily-Rose did not have a good relationship with Amber and was absent from their 2015 wedding.
“My daughter, Lily-Rose, did not come to the wedding. She and Ms. Heard were not on particularly great terms, for several reasons,” he told the court. He also claimed that Amber would tell him that his children didn’t like him and called him a “bad father.”
Countering his claim that the children actually didn’t like her, Amber shared a 2013 email that Johnny sent to the singer Elton John, where he also called the mother of his children, Vanessa Paradis, a “French extortionist cunt.”
“On the other side of the coin…my kids have fallen head over heels in deep love with Amber (my girl) and that pressure off my shoulders is fucking gone!!!” the email read. “That is unlike the French extortionist (ex cunt) attempts to brainwash them against her…which, I'm sure is imminent.”
Johnny was with Vanessa for about 14 years, between 1998 and 2012, and she submitted a declaration in defense of him during his 2020 trial against the Sun.
In the court documents, she wrote: “I have known Johnny Depp for more than 25 years. We’ve been partners for 14 years and we raised our two children together. Through all these years I’ve known Johnny to be a kind, attentive, generous, and non-violent person and father.”
“I am aware of the allegations which Amber Heard has publicly accused Johnny of for more than 4 years now. This is nothing like the true Johnny I have known, and from my personal experience of many years, I can say he was never violent or abusive to me,” she continued.
Johnny’s relationship with Amber began shortly after his split from Vanessa, and he reportedly gave her $100 million after their breakup to avoid a court battle.