The essay didn't directly refer to Depp by name, but his 2019 court complaint states, "the op-ed plainly was about Ms. Heard's purported victimization after she publicly accused her former husband, Johnny Depp, of domestic abuse in 2016, when she appeared in court with an apparently battered face and obtained a temporary restraining order against Mr. Depp."
Heard and Depp married in February 2015. Heard filed for divorce in May 2016 and days later obtained a temporary restraining order accusing Depp of hitting her during a fight in their Los Angeles apartment. Depp denied he abused her, and police said they found no evidence of a crime.
When the two settled their divorce in 2017, the agreement reportedly included a stipulation in which they agreed not to discuss their relationship in public.
Depp claims Heard's allegations were a 'hoax' to boost her career
Depp's filing against Heard accuses her of using domestic abuse allegations to boost her career and public standing. Heard's claims made her a "darling of the #MeToo movement" who gained prestigious positions at the United Nations Human Rights Office and the American Civil Liberties Union, as well as a deal with L'Oreal, the complaint states.
Depp also accuses Heard of using her allegations to promote her big-budget film Aquaman, which was released days after the Post essay was published. It went on to make more than $1 billion globally, the complaint notes.
In contrast, Depp says, his own career was severely damaged by the essay. Days after Heard's op-ed was published, his complaint says, Disney announced it would remove Depp "from his leading role as Captain Jack Sparrow—a role that he created—in the multi-billion-dollar-earning Pirates of the Caribbean franchise."
Depp accused Heard of making false claims against him, motivated by malice. His complaint also says Heard is not a victim of abuse, but a perpetrator, accusing her of physically abusing him during their relationship.
The court filing also cites Heard's 2009 arrest for domestic violence, which did not result in charges being pursued. Her partner in that relationship, Tasya van Ree, has defended Heard, saying her actions were "misinterpreted and over-sensationalized."
Depp previously sued a British paper for calling him a 'wife beater'