Those who have followed Johnny Depp and Amber Heard‘s messy split from the beginning must recall when she first filed a restraining order against him – it was the initial accusation of domestic violence, when she claimed he hit her with an iPhone.
But did she really get the emergency filing because she was afraid of him and what he might do to her? Or was it all part of a plan to get what she wanted from the divorce? The latter is clearly what Johnny’s team is looking to show with a release of documents this week.
Related: Johnny Responds To Audio In Which Amber Admits To Abuse
On Wednesday, the jury was shown a letter from Amber’s attorney sent to Johnny’s legal team back on May 24, 2016, just days after the filing divorce. It was a list of financial demands; Amber wanted:
- for her and her friends to live rent-free in the three separate penthouse apartments Johnny owned in the Los Angeles area
- “Exclusive use and possession” of Johnny’s Range Rover she had been driving – and for him to continue paying it off
- for Johnny to pay $ 125,000 in her legal bills from the divorce
These aren’t exactly shocking demands after a divorce. What’s jaw-dropping is what Amber threatened if she didn’t get all she wanted.
According to the letter, she essentially said if she got her financial demands, she wouldn’t publicly file for a domestic violence restraining order against him. To be clear, the letter does not say that the domestic violence claims are false or will be faked – it just says Amber would rather keep them private… if the price is right.
Samantha SpectorAmber’s attorney at the time, wrote:
Although Amber is afraid of Johnny, she strongly insists that we do everything possible to keep this personal matter out of the media spotlight, which is why she has not yet sought a DV TRO and why we did not arrange for Johnny to have been personally served at last night’s movie premiere. “
(That’s in reference to Alice Through The Looking Glass btw, one of a number of children’s franchises Johnny was signed to around that time.)
The letter claims Amber has evidence that Johnny “violently attacked and threatened” her days earlier – as well as smashing up the apartment. Remember, this is the same incident two pairs of police visited the apartment for. Both testified they saw no injuries or damage to the apartment. There was even a body camera footage on the second team.
The letter goes on to state this was “not the first incident of domestic violence perpetrated by Johnny against Amber” and that there were “two other incidents in the last six months.”
Still, Spector wrote, their side would prefer a “private and amicable resolution” – that included Amber getting that car and apartment and cash.
“‘If the requested Notice is not signed and the original executed form is not returned to me by May 27th, we would have no alternative but to arrange for Johnny to be personally served.”
That’s just what happened. On May 27, it hit TMZ first. Amber filed for a domestic violence restraining order, showing up to court with a mark on her face from where she had allegedly been hit by the phone.
Notably, Amber also claimed at the time she had a video of one of the times Johnny had beaten her. (A video of this kind would obviously be a smoking gun in this case – but such a piece of irrefutable evidence has still never been produced publicly.)
The order was granted. Amber said there was an immediate threat of harm, even though her ex was out of town promoting his new movie. Also, how could she immediately have felt threatened if she was willing to let it go if her financial demands were met? These are certainly the questions this document brings up… as Johnny’s team knew it would. But still, Johnny was ordered to stay 100 yards away from Amber.
The actress also claimed at the time that Johnny offered her money to stay quiet about the abuse. But if we’re reading this correctly, this was the exact opposite of what happened. Per this letter, she demanded money to stay quiet, and he refused – hence her going public.
It really is a bombshell of a document – it flips everything we heard in 2016 on its head.
Related: Johnny’s Bodyguard Says He Started To Notice Injuries, But Not On Amber!
Lawyers for the Pirates of the Caribbean star have long held that Amber’s primary motive was money, something her team has always strongly denied. No way around it, this letter does seem to prove a prioritization of money. It obviously adds to the other evidence given this week, the ACLU confirming that Amber did not complete her pledged donation of half the $ 7 million she got in the divorce.
Will all this be enough, weighed against Amber’s harrowing descriptions of abuse, to convince the jury to side with Johnny? We still have our doubts, frankly. We’ll have to see how things change when the Aquaman star herself takes the stand.
[Image via WENN.]