Speed Reads

depp v. heard

Amber Heard speaks out as Johnny Depp defamation trial begins: 'It brings me great pain'

The long-delayed defamation battle between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard is finally about to kick off. 

Years after Depp was accused by Heard, his ex-wife, of domestic abuse, his defamation lawsuit against her goes to trial in Virginia on Monday. Before the trial begins, Heard spoke out on Instagram, telling fans she planned to go offline for several weeks amid the proceedings.

"Hopefully when this case concludes, I can move on and so can Johnny," she wrote. "I have always maintained a love for Johnny and it brings me great pain to have to live out the details of our past life together in front of the world." 

Depp is suing Heard over a 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post, in which she discusses becoming "a public figure representing domestic abuse." Notably, Heard never names Depp in the article, but his lawyers argue it was implied she was referring to him because she accused the actor of domestic abuse two years earlier. He has denied her allegations. 

Depp already lost a libel case against the British tabloid The Sun in 2020, leading to his exit from the Fantastic Beasts films. He sued over an article calling him a "wife beater" in reference to Heard's allegations, but a judge ruled this was "substantially true." Heard and Depp both testified, accusing one another of domestic violence, and they're expected to testify again in Virginia. She sought to have the defamation lawsuit dismissed in light of the U.K. verdict, but a judge allowed it to go forward, noting she was "not named a defendant" in the prior case. 

On Instagram, Heard said her op-ed was about "the price women pay for speaking out against men in power" and that years later, "I continue to pay that price." 

According to Deadline, opening arguments are expected to begin Tuesday after the jury is selected, and the trial should last around six weeks