Johnny Depp, star of “Pirates of the Caribbean,” and Amber Heard, star of “Aquaman,” are back in court to determine whether Heard libelled her ex-husband in 2018 by publishing an op-ed that he claims unfairly painted him as a domestic abuser.
Heard has now launched a countersuit against Depp, alleging that his lawyers have defamed her.
The new trial, which is anticipated to last more than a month, is the latest legal battle between the renowned ex-husband and wife, who both appeared in court this week.
On Monday, jury selection in the case began in Virginia’s Fairfax County Circuit Court. According to the Associated Press, a civil jury of seven members and four alternates was chosen to hear the case at a trial presided over by Judge Penney S. Azcarate. The first official declarations were delivered on Tuesday.
Here’s all you need to know about the case thus far.
Who are the essential participants in this scenario?
Depp, 58, and Heard, 35, met on the set of 2011’s “The Rum Diary,” based on the Hunter S. Thompson novel of the same name, and began dating in 2012. Depp divorced Vanessa Paradis, his 14-year fiancée with whom he has two children, in the same year.
In February 2015, the global celebrity married Heard, but the union lasted less than two years.
In May 2016, she filed for divorce, alleging irreconcilable differences. That’s also around the time she made her first public accusations of domestic abuse against Depp, which he denied. She also took a photo of herself in court with a battered face, which prompted a judge to order Depp to keep away from her.
The actors stated in a joint statement released after Heard denied her restraining-order plea, “Our relationship was incredibly passionate and at times tumultuous, but always connected by love.” “Neither party has brought false charges for the purpose of gaining financial advantage.” There was never any intention of harming somebody physically or emotionally.”
They announced their divorce settlement in August 2016, and the bitter split was confirmed by a judge in January 2017. Despite this, they continued to publicly feud over their troubled relationship, including Heard’s choice to donate her $7 million settlement to the American Civil Liberties Union, for which she is a women’s rights advocate.
Johnny Depp attends the “Transcendence” premiere in Los Angeles.