In what is being described as a major victory for Amber Heard, the judge overseeing Johnny Depp’s defamation suit against his ex-wife granted her legal team access late yesterday to information involving Depp’s drug and alcohol use. Heard has said in her filings, that Johnny Depp abused drugs and alcohol during their relationship, and he would become extremely violent when he was drunk or high.
Depp’s legal team argued the information was irrelevant and earlier this month successfully argued his relationship with Heard and past substance abuse was not relevant in his unrelated assault case involving location manager Gregg “Rocky” Brooks. In that suit, Brooks has accused Depp of assaulting him as he attempted to enforce permit restrictions during production on Depp’s film City of Lies.
Obviously, the judge in Depp’s suit against Heard sees things differently.
Depp sued Heard in March over a 2018 editorial published in The Washington Post in which Heard wrote of the repercussions she faced after speaking out about domestic abuse. Depp wasn’t named in the piece but he believes the editorial was about him. He’s seeking $50 million in damages in the complaint filed in the Fairfax County, Virginia Circuit Court .
Heard has consistently claimed Depp became violent during their marriage during instances of substance abuse. But Depp had so far refused to produce any communications with his doctor about such abuse.
Yesterday, however, Fairfax County Chief Judge Bruce White ruled in favor of Heard’s motion to force Depp to produce the documents and records, stating Heard’s legal team should have full access to them.
Specifically, Heard requested “all DOCUMENTS and COMMUNICATIONS between Depp and any person employed by him or working on his behalf pertaining to the use of narcotics by him of Ms. Heard from 2013 to present” and “all DOCUMENTS and COMMUNICATIONS pertaining to any treatment for alcohol or drug use or abuse by him or Ms. HEARD from 2013 to present.”
Heard’s legal team has also apparently been granted access to “DOCUMENTS and COMMUNICATIONS exchanged between Depp or anyone acting on his behalf and Dr. David Kipper that mention Ms. Heard or any of his other romantic partners. ”
This is of paramount importance to the defense because Depp and his legal team have consistently implied none of his former wives or girlfriends have ever reported being abused by Depp in the way Heard contends she was. Most damning, though, is Heard will also receive “DOCUMENTS sufficient to show each time Depp were arrested and the reason(s) for the arrest.”
After the ruling, Heard’s lead attorney Roberta Kaplan told the Blast: “We are very pleased that the Court granted our motion to compel in full. Mr. Depp’s position on discovery, in this case, has been nonsensical, as if he were the one being sued. But it is Mr. Depp who started this lawsuit on the theory that Ms. Heard somehow made up all the abuse that forced her to obtain a restraining order against Mr. Depp back in 2016. Now that the facts in his own lawsuit are making him uncomfortable, Mr. Depp wants to hide evidence commonly understood to be connected to incidents of domestic violence: his decades-long abuse of drugs and alcohol, his past history of violence, and medical records showing among other things the laundry list of prescription medications he takes daily, and injuries from his drug-induced rages. But that is not how litigation works. Mr. Depp started this fight. Ms. Heard intends to finish it by proving, if necessary, the truth of what really happened.”
Amber Heard is expected to reprise her role as Mera in the upcoming sequel to Aquaman.