Amber Heard, estranged wife of Johnny Depp is suing comedian Doug Stanhope alleging defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. She is also suing others who have not yet been named, who she alleges urged Stanhope to write the article and assisted with its preparation. She is seeking unspecified actual damages, punitive damages, and attorneys fees.
The suit arises out of a guest column that Stanhope wrote on TheWrap.com which was published on May 29 in which Stanhope defends his friend, Johnny Depp, against allegations made by Heard that her husband was physically abusive toward her. In the article, Stanhope defended Depp and suggested that Heard might have other motivations for her statements against Depp. At the heart of the complaint are the article’s headline, “Johnny Depp is Being Blackmailed by Amber Heard”, and 10 other statements alleged to be both false and defamatory. You can read the full complaint at THR.com.
The complaint accuses Stanhope of falsely accusing Amber Heard of “blackmail” and other criminal behavior toward her husband, Johnny Depp, from whom she is seeking a divorce. Heard further claims that Stanhope knew there was no factual basis for the allegations, and engaged in a scheme to discredit her and divert public attention away from the true facts.
Heard’s attorney claims that Stanhope’s allegations are unequivocally false, and in addition to filing a complaint with an Arizona Superior Court, issued a statement. “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. 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.”