On June 1, the jury in the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard defamation lawsuit came back with a verdict. They decided that both sides had defamed each other, but Amber Heard was more in the wrong. They awarded Heard $2 million in her lawsuit against Depp — she had requested $100 million. On the other side, the jury decided that Depp should be awarded $15 million out of his requested $50 million. While that is certainly a win for Depp, it looks like he may find himself back in court sooner than he ever thought.
According to exclusive documents obtained by Radar Online, the ACLU — American Civil Liberties Union — is suing Depp for more than $86,000. The basis of their claim? They claim that they spent that on documents they had to produce for the trial and for the time it took some of their people to testify in court. According to Radar Online:
They argue the star should reimburse them for the “considerable expense spent responding to onerous subpoenas served by Mr. Depp from an underlying action in which neither the ACLU nor any of its employees are parties.”
The organization said they had to review 7,500 documents and eventually turned over 2,000 documents to comply with a subpoena.
Further, “the ACLU produced three witnesses—including its Executive Director—for over sixteen hours of depositions. Along the way, Mr. Depp rejected numerous compromises to minimize the burden and expense on the ACLU and its employees.”
The ACLU said it has given Depp all the documents he sought. Their lawyer argued “while they cannot get back the significant time they spent responding to Mr. Depp’s subpoenas and the disruption to their work,” they are “entitled” to reimbursements.
The ACLU and its work with Heard became a large part of Depp’s lawsuit. The lawsuit was based on a 2018 OpEd that Heard wrote for The Washington Post, where Heard claimed that she was a survivor of domestic abuse. During the trial, it came out that Heard did not even write the original OpEd, someone at the ACLU did with her team giving notes. Heard had become an Ambassador for the ACLU, and they worked with people on Heard’s team to write the OpEd and then release it while Heard was doing press for her new film, Aquaman.
As part of her divorce settlement, Heard claimed that she would donate $3.5 million to the ACLU. However, it was stated during the trial that Heard had only paid $1.3 million to them, and it wasn’t even all from her. At least $500K from that $1.3 million was rumored to have come from Heard’s former flame, Tesla founder Elon Musk. Another $500K came from more than one “donor-advised” funds. Heard claimed that she had not yet paid because Depp sued her, but she had received all of her money from Depp months before the lawsuit was even launched.
A judge has not yet ruled on whether the ACLU’s lawsuit can move forward.