The Domestic Abuse Trial That Ruined Lives & Careers: Amber Heard + Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp with long hair, light facial hair, and a visible skull tattoo on his arm next to Amber Heard in a court setting, reminiscent of the Johnny Depp trial; she wears a white blazer, looking down and to the side with an expression of contemplation.
Edited by Disney Dining

As we approach the two-year mark since Johnny Depp and Amber Heard ended their legal dispute, we took a look at where the actors are now.

For many months, the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial was all anyone could talk about. The stars, embroiled in a bitter battle based on domestic violence allegations, became one of the biggest headlines in 2022, and the court case was live-streamed for fans and journalists to tune into and keep track of as it progressed.

Amber Heard and actor Johnny Depp were married between 2015 and 2017. At first, Depp sued Heard in 2019 over an op-ed she’d written the year before for The Washington Post, referring to herself as a “domestic abuse survivor.” The two took the stand in a very public trial in 2022.

The end of the legal battle found one clear winner in more ways than one—even though Depp was also held responsible for his actions, Heard was required to pay $15 million in damages, and audiences certainly prioritized Depp over Heard.

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Trial on Netflix

Depp’s ex-wife Amber Heard and Johnny Depp / Credit: Netflix

Of course, Amber Heard appealed the decision but eventually acquiesced and gave in. She settled with her ex-husband Johnny Depp, and shared a statement on social media while doing so.

“After a great deal of deliberation I have made a very difficult decision to settle the defamation case brought against me by my ex-husband in Virginia,” the Aquaman actress, 36, wrote. “It’s important for me to say that I never chose this. I defended my truth and in doing so my life as I knew it was destroyed.”

Now, two years past the trial that completely ruined her life “as she knew it,” Heard has still not quite recovered enough to return to Los Angeles. She has been quietly living with her daughter, Oonagh, in Madrid, Spain.

“Amber doesn’t want to raise a child in Hollywood,” a source shared in a new issue of Us Weekly. The source added that Heard, 38, “never liked the energy” of Los Angeles. “She [thinks] Madrid is a more welcoming place for her. She feels safe and secure, and she’s surrounded by better people where she is.”

At the time of sharing her truth, Heard had added, “The vilification I have faced on social media is an amplified version of the ways in which women are re-victimized when they come forward.” She had also claimed that she’d “lost faith in the American legal system,” and argued that her “unprotected testimony served as entertainment and social media fodder.”

By contrast, Depp seems to be faring better than his ex-wife.


“Johnny is in a good place,” an insider shared exclusively with Us Weekly, noting that the father of two — he shares Lily-Rose, 24, and Jack, 22, with ex Vanessa Paradis — is spending most of his time in the U.K. these days. “He really feels at home in London. He’s happy and busy. There’s been a weight lifted.”

During the defamation trial, Depp had been represented by attorney Camille Vasquez who then rose to fame for the way she handled the case.


Amber Heard in Aquaman, Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Carribbean

Amber Heard in Aquaman, Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean / Credit: DC/Disney

While many have been speculating about Depp’s return to Hollywood, (think of his iconic role as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean), Depp himself has continued working in French cinema and has been touring with his band, Hollywood Vampires.

“People forget that Johnny’s not just an actor,” a source told Us Weekly. “He’s an artist in many ways.”

“The world is Johnny’s oyster,” the source also continued, noting that Depp is interested in “whatever speaks to him,” adding, “There are no boundaries or limits — if something comes along that he’s passionate about, he’ll do it.”

Stay tuned to Disney Dining for the latest news on all things Disney! 

About Priyanka Kumar

Priyanka is a writer, artist, avid reader, and travel enthusiast based in Chicago. In her free time, she is probably walking by the lake, catching up on the latest releases on TV, or spending inordinate amounts of time rewatching Moana, Encanto, and her Disney Channel life-long favorites Zack and Cody wreak havoc on the Tipton.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.