When Johnny Depp and Amber Heard finalized their divorce back in 2017, the actors both signed non-disclosure agreements that prevented them from speaking publicly about their marriage.
The goal, it seems, was to prevent a war of words that would damage both parties’ careers and reputations.
Needless to say, that didn’t happen.
In the years since they went their separate ways, Depp and Heard have been embroiled in one nasty legal battle after another, and of course, all of the drama has played out in the public eye.
In 2018, Heard published an essay in the Washington Post, in which she described herself as a survivor of domestic abuse.
Now, in a trial that gets underway today in Virginia, Depp is suing Heard for defamation of character.
While Heard did not use Depp’s name in the article, his suit alleges that "the op-ed plainly was about (and other media consistently characterized it as being about) Ms. Heard’s purported victimization after she publicly accused her former husband, Johnny Depp (Mr. Depp), of domestic abuse in 2016."
On Saturday, Heard took to Instagram to address the situation, informing her 4.1 million followers that she’ll be taking a hiatus from social media in order to focus on the trial.
“I’m going to go offline for the next several weeks. As you may know, I’ll be in Virginia, where I face my ex-husband Johnny Depp in court,” she wrote.
“Johnny is suing me for an op-ed I wrote in the Washington Post, in which I recounted my experience of violence and domestic abuse.”
Heard went on to briefly make her case, arguing that she never made any direct allegations against Depp in the piece.
“I never named him, rather I wrote about the price women pay for speaking against men in power,” she noted.
“I continue to pay that price, but hopefully, when this case concludes, I can move on and so can Johnny," Heard continued.
"I have always maintained a love for Johnny and it brings me great pain to have to live out the details of our past life together in from of the world.”
Heard concluded by thanking fans for their support:
“At this time, I recognize the ongoing support I’ve been fortunate to receive thought these years, and in these coming weeks I will be leaning on it more than ever,” she wrote.
In her Post essay, Heard wrote that in the wake of her divorce she “became a public figure representing domestic abuse” and “felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.”
Heard is now countersuing Depp, alleging that the actor’s attorney Adam Waldman damaged her career when he told several media outlets that her story was “fake” and a “sexual violence hoax.”
Both Heard and Depp have alleged that they were the victims of violence and other forms of abuse over the course of their marriage.
In 2016, Heard appeared on the cover of People magazine with bruises on her face that she claimed were the result of an assault from Depp.
Depp, in turn, went public with a recording in which Heard admitted to "hitting" Depp and striking him with household objects such as pelting him with pots, pans, and vases.
In their most recent courtroom drama, Depp lost his suit against British tabloid The Sun after alleging that the tabloid had defamed him by referring to him as a “wife beater" in an opinion piece.
Jury selection in the actors’ current trial reportedly began this morning.
Both Depp and Heard were in attendance, and witnesses say supporters of Depp’s were gathered outside of the courthouse, with several female fans holding “Justice for Johnny" banners.
We’ll have further updates on this developing story as more information becomes available,