The 55-year-old actor has responded to his ex-wife's new allegations of abuse

By Alexia Fernández
April 12, 2019 02:00 PM
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Johnny Depp is vehemently denying his ex-wife Amber Heard‘s allegations of abuse, calling them “new lies.”

The 55-year-old actor’s attorney issued a statement to PEOPLE after Heard, 32, claimed Depp became “the Monster” when he was allegedly under the influence of drugs and alcohol, according to court documents obtained by PEOPLE. Heard’s new court filing was in response to a $50 million defamation lawsuit Depp filed against Heard.

“A hoax confronted with the reality of evidence requires new lies to sustain itself,” Depp’s attorney said in the statement. “Yesterday’s filing, made by a woman with a prior arrest and incarceration for domestic abuse, presented Amber Heard’s new lies.”

(Heard was arrested in 2009 for an alleged domestic violence incident with then-girlfriend Tasya van Ree, though all charges against Heard were dropped. Van Ree said in 2016 the situation was “misinterpreted” and denied any domestic abuse.)

Heard’s attorney did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Johnny Depp, Amber Heard
| Credit: Todd Williamson/Getty; John Shearer/Getty

In her court filing, Heard claimed Depp repeatedly hit her, ripped out her hair and choked her. She alleged Depp “would become a totally different person, often delusional and violent. We called that version of Johnny, ‘the Monster,’” according to the court documents.

Heard also described an incident in March 2015 in which she punched the actor “in defense” after fearing he could push her younger sister, Whitney, down the stairs of his Los Angeles home.

“I punched Johnny in the face to draw his attention away from her,” Heard said in court documents. “That was the only time I ever hit Johnny.”

Depp has denied abusing Heard and has claimed that Heard was abusive toward him. His attorney says in the new statement: “Despite yesterday’s claim ‘that was the only time I ever hit Johnny’ concocted to explain our evidence of time-stamped photos of what she did to Johnny Depp’s face after he was late to her birthday party, in fact, Ms. Heard grudgingly admitted in her sworn deposition to multiple instances of violence against Mr. Depp.”

Heard and Depp married in 2015. In May 2016, she filed for 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 for $7 million, which she donated to charity. Both actors signed NDAs barring them from discussing their relationship publicly.

Depp sued her for defamation after she wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post in December 2018 in which she described being an alleged victim of domestic violence. While she never mentioned Depp by name, the actor’s lawsuit called her allegations against him a “hoax.”

Depp has previously denied all of Heard’s previous allegations of domestic violence, saying in his defamation lawsuit that he “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.”

In response, Heard’s rep said in a statement: “This frivolous action is just the latest of Johnny Depp’s repeated efforts to silence Amber Heard. 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.”

Depp is suing for compensatory damages following the op-ed, as well as punitive damages for the “willfulness and maliciousness that Ms. Heard demonstrated when she knowingly published the op-ed with the false implication that Mr. Depp violently abused her.”