Amber Heard’s infamous libel trial against her ex-husband Johnny Depp is the subject of a new documentary to air this weekend.
The pair were embroiled in a high-profile legal battle last year, which saw Depp sue Heard for $50million (£38.2million) for suggesting he molested her in 2018 Washington Post op ed.
After a six-week testimonial period, Depp won his defamation suit against Heard, with a jury awarding him $15million (£12million) in damages. The jury also awarded Heard $2million (£1.6million) for part of her own counterclaim, according to which Depp’s lawyer allegedly called her abuse allegations against her ex-husband fraudulent.
Following the verdict, Heard released a statement saying she was “heartbroken” by the jury’s decision.
“The disappointment I feel today is indescribable. It breaks my heart that the mountain of evidence was still insufficient to withstand my ex-husband’s disproportionate power, influence and influence,” she said at the time.
A year later, the trial will be chronicled in Channel 4’s forthcoming three-part documentary entitled Depp V Heardtouted as an “in-depth” look at the events unfolding around the court case.
Below is a glimpse into Amber Heard, including her early life, film and television career, and everything in between.
Amber Laura Heard was born on April 22, 1986 in Austin, Texas to David Heard and Paige Parsons. She has a younger sister, Whitney Heard, who is now 35 years old. The two grew up in a conservative Catholic household with modest financial means. In her younger years, Heard competed in beauty pageants. At the age of 16, her best friend died in a car accident and Heard became an atheist as a result. She dropped out of school at the age of 17 to pursue a modeling career in New York before later moving to Los Angeles to pursue acting. She eventually earned her high school diploma through a home study course.
In 2004, Heard appeared in two music videos; Country artist Kenny Chesney’s “There Goes My Life” and rock band Eisley’s “I Wasn’t Prepared”. She also landed small supporting roles in a number of television shows including Jack & Bobby (2004), The mountain (2004) and That’s OK (2005).
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She made her film debut in 2004 with a supporting role in the sports drama friday night lights, which later inspired the TV show of the same name. Heard got her first starring role in the thriller All boys love Mandy Lane, which premiered at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival. Due to distribution issues, it wasn’t released until 2008 in Europe and 2013 in the US.
In 2007, Heard made guest appearances on the teen drama Hidden Palms and the sitcom California. In the same year she appeared in the short film Day 73 with Sarah, and the indie film Remember the daze.
Best Acting Roles
It lasted until Heard’s role in the action comedy in 2008 Pineapple Expressstarring Seth Rogen, James Franco and Danny McBride, it gained widespread mainstream acclaim.
She later performed in 2009 zombie land and appeared alongside Depp in 2011 The rum diarybased on the 1998 novel of the same name by Hunter S. Thompson. She also had a role in the 2015 comedy Magic Mike XXL.
Her portrayal of Mera in the DC-Verse in the 2017 film justice league is perhaps her most notable role and one that she reprized in the 2018 film Aquaman with Jason Momoa and its sequel, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdomwhich is expected to premiere in 2023.
In 2020, Heard posted an Instagram photo announcing her mother’s death.
Almost a year later, she shared the news that her first child, daughter Oonagh Paige Heard, was born on April 8, 2021 through a surrogate mother.
She captioned the photo, “Four years ago I decided I wanted to have a child. I wanted to do it on my own terms. I now know how radical it is for us women to think in this way about one of the most fundamental parts of our destiny. I hope we get to a point where not wanting a ring to have a crib becomes the norm.”
The father’s identity has not been released.
Heard has since spoken privately about motherhood, typically posting photos with Oonagh’s face covered or looking away from the camera.
Heard dated photographer Tasya van Ree from 2008 to 2012 and came out as bisexual in 2010.
Heard and Depp are believed to have been together since 2012 and reportedly met on the set of The rum diary. They got engaged in 2014 and married in 2015. Five months later, in 2016, Heard filed for divorce.
It is believed that Heard dated billionaire Elon Musk on and off between 2016 and 2018. She then began dating art dealer Vito Schnabel in 2018, with the relationship lasting less than a year.
She had her last public relationship from 2020 to 2021 with camerawoman Bianca Butti. The couple quietly dated, with butti even accompanying Heard to many of her court hearings. The two reportedly split due to the distance.
During Depp and Heard’s 2016 divorce proceedings, it was revealed that Heard had been arrested in Washington state in 2009 on charges of domestic violence. She allegedly grabbed Van Ree and slapped her arm, but was never charged.
Van Ree then issued a statement saying the incident had been “misinterpreted and over-sensualized” and that Heard had been “wrongly” blamed.
In 2018, Depp News Group sued Newspapers, the publishing company The sunfor allegedly defaming an article published in the tabloid in April of that year and headlined, “Gone Potty: How Can JK Rowling Be ‘Really Happy’ Casting Hit Wife Johnny Depp in New Movie Fantastic Beasts?”
The case went to trial in 2020, with Heard testifying as a witness The sun. Depp lost the case and was denied permission to appeal.
In 2018, an editorial by Heard was published the washington post, entitled: “I spoke out against sexual violence – and faced the wrath of our culture. That needs to change.”
Heard didn’t name Depp in the article, but spoke of how in 2016 she “became a public figure representing domestic violence and I felt the full force of our culture’s anger at women who spoke out.” In her $50 million lawsuit against Heard, she was accused of defaming him. The lawsuit called each allegation of domestic abuse “categorically and demonstrably false.” Heard then filed a $100 million countersuit, accusing Depp of orchestrating a “defamation campaign” against her.
Depp vs. Heard was tried in Fairfax, Virginia on April 11, 2022. Depp won the case against Heard on June 1, 2022 after two days of jury deliberation and was awarded US$10 million (£8million) in damages and an additional US$5 million (£4million) in punitive damages.
When Heard isn’t commuting between filming locations, she maintains a significant philanthropic presence. She fights for the rights of women and children. She dedicates her time to humanitarian organizations including Amnesty International and Art of Elysium, which campaign for human rights around the world, and the Syrian American Medical Society, which supports Syrian refugees.
She was also named a Human Rights Advocate by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2018.
Depp vs. Heard will be broadcast on Channel 4 on Sunday 21 May at 9pm.