Marion Cotillard and Angelina Jolie.
Photo-Illustration: Vulture and Getty Images
Johnny Depp’s American defamation case targeting ex-wife Amber Heard may get even uglier than its British counterpart. After losing his defamation case against the Sun, along with his role in the third Fantastic Beasts movie as a result, Depp is focusing on his American defamation case against Heard, according to a new feature in The Hollywood Reporter. The case, seeking $50 million, pertains to a December 2018 essay by Heard in the Washington Post in which she writes of speaking up about abuse, but never names Depp. And the case is already uncovering new details about Depp’s life, including that he was allegedly “romantic” with former co-stars Angelina Jolie, Marion Cotillard, and Keira Knightley, who are listed in the THR story and were confirmed by Vulture based on court filings. (In a 2019 email, Heard’s lawyers defined “romantic partners” as people Depp had been sexually involved with in the past ten years.) According to THR, Depp will have to turn over “all responsive communications” with these three actors as part of the case. Depp worked with Jolie on 2010’s The Tourist, Cotillard in 2009’s Public Enemies, and Knightley in the Pirates of the Caribbean series. In July, Depp objected to involving past romantic partners in the case, claiming documents related to them would be “irrelevant, immaterial, or unnecessary,” and that the request was “intended to harass” him.
The American case will go to trial in early 2021 in Virginia, where the Post is printed and the servers for its website are located. Depp is widely expected to lose after his previous loss in the U.K., given the country’s higher burden of proof for defamation than the U.S.
Depp’s British case already involved its own share of actors. Depp’s ex Ellen Barkin, who starred with him in 1998’s Fear and Loathing, claimed in her testimony that Depp once threw a wine bottle at her, which he denied. She has repeated the claim in a deposition for the American case, according to THR. However, Depp’s exes Winona Ryder and Vanessa Paradis did defend him in the U.K. trial. (Paradis, who shares two children with Depp including Lily-Rose, allegedly settled with Depp after their breakup, for what some outlets reported as up to $150 million.) And the British case may not quite be over either. While the justice who decided in favor of the Sun — and further that Heard’s abuse allegations were “proved to the civil standard” — declined Depp’s appeal, he applied straight to England’s Court of Appeal on December 9.