Depp claims Amber ‘lied’ about $9m divorce donation


Johnny Depp has claimed that his former wife Amber Heard lied about giving her $9 million divorce settlement to charity.

The Pirates of the Caribbean actor has returned to London's High Court to demand an appeal in his defamation case against The Sun newspaper.

Justice Nichol last year found a report in the newspaper that claimed Mr Depp was a "wife beater" was substantially true and dismissed his claim for damages.

Much of the alleged domestic violence happened on the Gold Coast, when Mr Depp was filming a Pirates' movie there.



Lawyers for Mr Depp claimed in court on Thursday London time that Ms Heard had not been truthful in her testimony about giving away the divorce payout.

The court was told Ms Heard gave $2.3 million of her payment to a combination of the Children's Hospital Los Angeles and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

However, Ms Heard had said in a media interview that "wanted nothing" from Mr Depp, prompting her donations.

"Seven million dollars (USD) ($9 million AUD) in total was donated to - I split it between the ACLU and Children's Hospital of Los Angeles," she told Dutch broadcaster RTL in 2018.

Mr Depp's barrister Andrew Caldecott QC told the court that the claim was a "calculated and manipulative lie".

"In the context of this case, it implies revulsion at the way he has treated her physically," he said.

The case between Mr Depp, 57, and The Sun last year created headlines around the world, with Ms Heard giving evidence in person over several days.

She has been subjected to a vicious campaign on online abuse from supporters of Mr Depp. In November, Mr Justice Nicol rejected Mr Depp's claim that Ms Heard was a "gold-digger", saying in his ruling: "Her donation of the seven million US dollars ($9 million AUD) to charity is hardly the act one would expect of a gold-digger."

Mr Depp is suing Ms Heard in a separate case in the United States where he is claiming $64 million in damages because he has lost roles since he was labelled a wife beater.

The most high profile role he lost was Grindelwald in the third instalment of JK Rowling's Fantastic Beasts franchise.

It was alleged that Ms Heard had clarified the amount she gave to charity in the US trial.

Adam Wolanski, QC, representing The Sun's publisher News Group Newspapers (NGN), said the new evidence Mr Depp wanted to rely on "would not have had any impact" on the result of the trial.

He said the issue of donating the settlement to charity was only of relevance to "the so-called 'gold-digger' thesis, and that was of course a thesis that was expressly abandoned by Mr Depp's legal team during the trial".

"The labelling of Ms Heard as a gold-digger was a misogynistic trope. The gold-digger theory was hopeless," Mr Wolanski said.

He also rejected Mr Depp's contention that Ms Heard had lied about donating her divorce settlement to charity, saying: "The information does not demonstrate that Ms Heard lied."

The court reserved judgment on whether Mr Depp's appeal would be allowed.

Originally published as Depp claims Amber 'lied' about $9m divorce donation