Johnny Depp Asks Court to Order ACLU Show Proof That Amber Heard Donated Her Divorce Settlement

Johnny Depp continues to claim that Amber Heard hasn't donated the $7 million divorce settlement, which her lawyers say she pledged over 10 years

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. Photo: Todd Williamson/Getty; John Shearer/Getty

Johnny Depp has sued the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to force the nonprofit organization to reveal whether Amber Heard made the donations she pledged after their divorce settlement.

Heard previously pledged to donate her $7 million divorce settlement to the ACLU and the Children's Hospital Los Angeles shortly after her and Depp's divorce was finalized. According to the court papers, filed by Depp and his lawyers in New York and obtained by PEOPLE, they have been asking both organizations to share how much Heard has donated.

In the court papers, Depp, 57, "respectfully requests that this Court enter an order directing the ACLU Witnesses to fully comply with the Subpoenas." Depp seeks the documents for his ongoing $50 million defamation case against Heard for her 2018 Op-Ed about domestic violence in The Washington Post.

The subpoenas are for "discovery concerning any donations to the ACLU Foundation by Ms. Heard or in her name, and/or any public statements related to such donations; communications with Ms. Heard or those acting on her behalf concerning her relationship with Mr. Depp and divorce from Mr. Depp; discovery concerning Ms. Heard's work as an 'ambassador' for the ACLU Foundation and the conception, drafting, and placement of the Op-Ed; and communications with Ms. Heard or those acting on her behalf concerning the Virginia Action and the preparation and submission of the Wizner Declaration."

Depp previously claimed Heard, 35, hadn't donated the money while hoping to overturn the ruling in his "wife-beater" libel case against the U.K.'s The Sun earlier this year. Depp's lawyers argued the judge was swayed by Heard's pledges to charity.

In reply, Heard's legal team stated that she has done "nothing dishonest" with her donations to both charities and that she "pledged to pay over 10 years" — something they added was "understood" by the ACLU.

To support this, Heard's attorneys provided their own evidence, which they say showed that the Aquaman star has, in fact, gifted a total of $950,000 to the ACLU and $850,000 to the Children's Hospital through anonymous donors.

Amber Heard
Amber Heard at the 2020 libel trial. Samir Hussein/WireImage

In a written judgment handed down by the Court of Appeal in London, judges Lord Justice Underhill and Lord Justice Dingemans refused the actor's application for a fresh trial on the grounds that a second hearing was unlikely to produce a different outcome.

After the court's ruling was made, a spokesperson for Heard said in a statement to Yahoo Entertainment, "We are pleased — but by no means surprised — by the Court's denial of Mr. Depp's application for appeal. The evidence presented in the UK case was overwhelming and undeniable. To reiterate, the original verdict was that Mr. Depp committed domestic violence against Amber on no fewer than 12 occasions and she was left in fear of her life. The verdict and lengthy, well-reasoned Judgment, including the Confidential Judgment, have been affirmed. Mr. Depp's claim of new and important evidence was nothing more than a press strategy, and has been soundly rejected by the Court."

Heard and Depp tied the knot in 2015. In May 2016, she sought a domestic violence restraining order against him, accusing him of abusing her. Depp denied the claims, and the former couple settled their divorce out of court in August 2016.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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