The new Discovery+ documentary series Johnny vs Amber will look at the breakdown of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s two-year marriage — and the messy legal battle that followed.
The Pirates of the Caribbean star and Aquaman actress were married in February 2015 and confirmed their split in May 2016. After filing for divorce later that month, Heard filed a domestic violence restraining order against Depp and brought photographic evidence of the alleged abuse she suffered.
Three years later, the Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald actor “vehemently” denied ever being violent with his ex-wife in court documents. He subsequently accused her of domestic violence as well.
Johnny vs Amber will delve into what went wrong between the former pair by focusing on both sides of the story. The first part will “introduce Depp’s side, how he felt he was married to a Machiavellian liar who would stop at nothing to protect her image, before Heard’s episode explains how the actress married the man of her dreams only to see him turn into a violent drug-fueled monster,” according to Discovery.
“The series provides an in-depth insight into the epic battle that powered #JusticeforJohnnyDepp and #IStandWithYouAmberHeard fan campaigns and the very public High Court case that gripped us all,” Clare Laycock, senior VP for planning and insights and head of entertainment at Discovery, said in a statement, adding that the result is “both engrossing and horrifying.”
Depp and Heard have been embroiled in a contentious legal battle since July 2020 after the 21 Jump Street alum was accused by a U.K. publication of being a “wife beater” following the pair’s 2017 divorce.
Depp sued The Sun newspaper for libel for an April 2018 story, citing allegations that Heard previously made detailing 14 different instances of abuse. The actor repeatedly stated that Heard’s accusations were false, but when she gave verbal testimony in the libel suit in July 2020, the actress went into extreme detail about the emotional, verbal and physical abuse she claimed she faced during their marriage.
In November 2020, a judge ruled that The Sun’s claims against Depp were “substantially true” — but the Ed Wood actor has maintained his innocence and requested multiple times to have the ruling appealed. In March 2021, he was denied permission to appeal the verdict.
Seven months later, James Franco and Elon Musk were subpoenaed in connection to the $50 million libel suit Depp filed against Heard in 2019 after she wrote a Washington Post op-ed about domestic violence. Although she did not mention the Sleepy Hollow actor by name in the piece, he believes that her accusations caused him to suffer financial losses.
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If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for confidential support.