Amber Heard 'Will Not Be Silenced' After Johnny Depp Claims Her Abuse Allegations Were a 'Hoax'
Heard's attorney released a statement in response to claims from her ex-husband that the op-ed she wrote alleging to be a domestic abuse victim was a "hoax"
Following the defamation lawsuit filed by Depp on Friday, in which he claimed Heard’s accusations against him of domestic violence were a “hoax,” the actress’ legal team responded on her behalf, slamming the Pirates of the Caribbean actor.
“This frivolous action is just the latest of Johnny Depp’s repeated efforts to silence Amber Heard,” her attorney Eric M. George told PEOPLE in a statement. “She will not be silenced.”
“Mr. Depp’s actions prove he is unable to accept the truth of his ongoing abusive behavior. But while he appears hell-bent on achieving self-destruction, we will prevail in defeating this groundless lawsuit and ending the continued vile harassment of my client by Mr. Depp and his legal team,” George added.
Depp’s attorney Adam Waldman responded in a statement:
Telling media ‘they want to silence Amber Heard’ doesn’t sound like a denial by Ms. Heard of Mr. Depp’s 40-page, evidence-packed complaint.”
“We hardly intend to silence Ms. Heard — to the contrary, we intend to subpoena and compel evidence from her, her three hoax-assisting friends, and Elon Musk. We look forward to holding the overwhelming video, photographic and eyewitness evidence we finally possess up against Amber Heard’s (so far silent) attempts to explain the inexplicable.”
Depp, 55, and Heard, 32, met on the set of 2011’s The Rum Diary and were married from February 2015 to May 2016.
A rep for Musk maintains that “Elon and Amber didn’t start seeing each other until May 2016, and even then it was infrequent. Their relationship didn’t become romantic until some time later.”
The actress filed for a domestic violence restraining order against Depp in May 2016 after she accused him of abusing her. Depp denied the claims, and the former couple settled their divorce out of court in August 2016 for $7 million, which she donated to charity. Both actors signed NDAs barring them from discussing their relationship publicly.
On Friday, Depp’s lawyers filed the $50 million defamation suit against Heard over her Dec. 18, 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post titled, “I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.”
In the lawsuit obtained by PEOPLE, Depp sued for compensatory and punitive damages after claiming Heard’s allegations of domestic violence against him were false.
Heard “purported to write from the perspective of ‘a public figure representing domestic abuse’ and claimed that she ‘felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out’ when she ‘spoke up against sexual violence,’ ” Depp’s lawyers state in the lawsuit.
“The op-ed depended on the central premise that Ms. Heard was a domestic abuse victim and that Mr. Depp perpetrated domestic violence against her,” his legal team continued.
“Mr. Depp never abused Ms. Heard. Her allegations against him were false when they were made in 2016. They were part of an elaborate hoax to generate positive publicity for Ms. Heard and advance her career,” Depp’s lawyers say in the lawsuit.
His legal team also says that the op-ed negatively affected Depp’s career, claiming that it cost him the role of Jack Sparrow in the ongoing Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. They say it was written to boost Heard’s profile before the premiere of Aquaman three days later.
In the lawsuit, Depp claims Heard received “late night” visits from the billionaire businessman Musk at the L.A. penthouse Depp and Heard shared while Depp was out of the country.
The actor goes on to claim Musk was granted access to his home the same night Heard “presented her battered face to the public.”
Reps for Musk did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Heard and Musk were first linked together in 2016. The two first broke up in August 2017 due to their busy schedules but rekindled their romance in January 2018 only to split for a second time a month later.
Musk stepped down as chairman of Tesla in October 2018 after charges were brought against him by the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to CNN.
While he remains CEO of the car company, Musk was fined $20 million.