According to emails obtained by DailyMail.com, Johnny Depp’s ex-wife Amber Heard had very little input in her December 2018 Washington Post op-ed on domestic abuse. Explosive documents have been unearthed that show that ACLU employees actually suggested that Ms. Heard write the piece currently headlined, ‘Amber Heard: I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.‘
The op-ed went through several legal modifications, with Heard’s lawyer concerned that mentioning Johnny Depp by name could violate the couple’s non-disclosure agreement. Depp later sued Heard for libel, alleging that the piece made many references to their failed marriage and erroneously called him an ‘abuser’. The newly discovered emails suggest that the ACLU wrote the post for Heard and may entangle the organization even further in the lawsuit. According to Depp’s attorney, Adam Waldman, the emails ‘show’ that the ACLU wrote Heard’s ‘false op-ed for her and were co-conspirators from the outset.’
Last Monday, the actor filed a lawsuit against the ACLU, demanding that they reveal whether Heard ever fulfilled a 2016 vow to pay half of her divorce settlement ($3.5 million) to the group. For the record, Heard never claimed to be the sole author of the op-ed in her pleadings, instead noting that she authored it “with the assistance and counsel of others.”
The DailyMail.com spoke with Depp’s attorney who was quoted as saying: ‘Those who scheme, write and publish defamation, even purported free speech advocates, are not immune from the consequences.’
The Daily Mail has the goods. The email traffic shows that Heard’s famous op-ed in the Washington Post was written by employees of the American Civil Liberties Union, led by an ACLU “communications strategist.” Heard had little or nothing to do with it, and her own lawyers–the op-ed was intensively lawyered on both sides–fretted that it could violate her non-disclosure agreement with Depp. So the language was carefully negotiated, but always with the ACLU doing the writing.
Why did the American Civil Liberties Union take such an interest in a Hollywood divorce? I suppose they would say, for reasons of feminism. But it turns out that there was a financial motive as well:
The ACLU is already facing a May 28 deadline to respond to a barrage of subpoenas from Depp’s legal team who want to know if Heard ever honored a public 2016 pledge to donate half her divorce money – some $3.5 million – to the vaunted civil rights group.
You can write a lot of op-eds for $3.5 million.
The previously unseen correspondence reveals ACLU staff came up with the idea for the op-ed when they appointed Heard an ambassador on women’s rights in late 2018. The couple had agreed to a $7million divorce settlement in August of that year when Heard vowed to give the windfall to charity, splitting it between the ACLU and the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Back in January, however, DailyMail.com revealed correspondence between Heard and hospital management suggesting she gave them only $100,000 – way short of the promised $3.5million ‘gift’. The ACLU was subpoenaed for the same information but has thus far refused to cooperate with multiple subpoenas. Heard’s lawyer said she intended to fulfil her pledge ‘eventually’, blaming her expensive legal battles with Depp for the delay.
Lots more dirt is expected to come out. The lawyers have mentioned that both Amber Heard and Johnny Depp had spent millions on the case calling it a “mind-boggling” amount. They said that more discovery motions are expected while currently, six discovery motions are still queued up. They admitted that 20 experts would be involved in the matter and that several more court hearings are to be expected.
The Virginia case won’t go before a jury until next year because of a backlog of trials. This story is one of many that raise questions about prominent nonprofits, regarding their motives and their alleged devotion to the public good. There is clearly corruption here on all sides, with the possible exception of Johnny Depp.