Amber Heard is firing back against comedian Doug Stanhope, who accused her of blackmailing Johnny Depp, Variety has confirmed. Heard filed a defamation suit against the comic on Friday in Arizona Superior Court.
Heard’s filing claims that Stanhope’s accusation that she fabricated her domestic abuse allegations against Depp are “completely false and defamatory.” The document also states that Stanhope “orchestrated a plot to write an article” for The Wrap — titled “Johnny Depp Is Being Blackmailed by Amber Heard – Here’s How I Know” — which falsely accused her of “‘blackmail’ and other criminal behavior” toward her estranged husband.
Heard is seeking the “maximum possibly jury award,” which she plans to donate to a domestic violence charity, according to her lawyer, Charles J. Harder.
“The Complaint alleges that Stanhope is a close friend of Johnny Depp and, as part of a coordinated effort, wrote a highly defamatory article about Ms. Heard, filled with completely false, highly defamatory and very hurtful statements,” Harder said in a statement obtained by Variety. “Ms. Heard seeks the maximum possible jury award, and will donate 100% of the proceeds from the lawsuit to Chrysalis, a domestic violence shelter in Arizona, in an effort to counter the setback made to women by the defendants’ defamatory article and related wrongful acts.”
The filming provides new details of alleged abuse by Depp, which she calls part of a “cycle of substance abuse and violence.” In addition to four other alleged fights — around April 22, on May 21, in March of 2015 and in December of 2015 — “The Danish Girl” star discussed another altercation, when she claims Depp “nearly suffocated her.”
“Depp has hit and kicked Heard on numerous occasions, has thrown objects at her, at one point suffocated her to the point where she feared for her life,” the document says, echoing her earlier court claims. (“I live in fear that Johnny will return to (our house) unannounced to terrorize me, physically and emotionally,” Heard said in late May.)
She also reiterated that he suffers from alcoholism and drug addiction, which she first revealed in her declaration for a restraining order in Los Angeles County Court on May 27.
“His drug and alcohol abuse has increased dramatically in recent years, as has his violent behavior,” Heard states in the new papers.
She also accuses Depp and his team of 20 unnamed defendants of defamation.
“Depp and his representatives further ‘went on the offensive’ during the publicity tour, repeatedly making false public allegations about Heard to the press, accusing her of being manipulative, a blackmailer, and blaming her for the breakup of the marriage — as if Depp’s alcoholism, drug addiction, and campaign of violence against his wife played no part,” the filing reads.