Missing Texts, Disney’s Threats and Marilyn Manson: Five Bombshells From Unsealed Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Docs
A trove of documents were unsealed in Johnny Depp’s libel case against Amber Heard, revealing a swath of even more explosive allegations
Two months after Johnny Depp’s highly publicized trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard ended with the Pirates of the Caribbean star going on a victory lap while the actress sold off her California home, the fervor around the case is far from over.
Heard has appealed the decision that saw Depp emerge victorious when a Virginia jury deemed that Heard had defamed the actor with her 2018 Washington Post op-ed, awarding him $10.35 million in damages. (Heard was awarded $2 million in her counterclaim against Depp.)
Now previously sealed pretrial motions and documents — amounting to more than 6,000 pages — were made public over the weekend by a legal blogger and first reported by The Daily Beast. The docs reveal even more damning allegations the two sides had tried to make part of the six-week televised trial.
Heard’s side was unsuccessful in excluding from trial certain audio recordings and photos used by Depp’s team that they claimed had been manipulated, and were unable to show certain texts that they claimed offered proof that Depp had been physically violent with Heard.
They also were limited in referring to Depp’s close friendship with accused abuser Marilyn Manson, as unsealed docs show alleged messages between the men referring to Heard and her claims of abuse against Depp. (Manson has denied all claims of physical and sexual abuse against him.)
Meanwhile, Depp’s camp had tried to argue they should be permitted the possibility of using nude photos of Heard to rebut her claims of abuse and labeled Heard’s team attempt to include mention of his medications as a ploy to embarrass the actor.
The trove of documents indicates the sheer amount of information from both sides that the jury was restricted from hearing, something Heard had voiced her frustration with shortly after the verdict, saying she had a “binder worth of years of notes” that allegedly supported her claims of abuse. “How could they make a judgment, how could they not come to that conclusion,” Heard said of jurors’ deeming her claims of abuse as defamatory.
Depp’s Friendship with Marilyn Manson
More details of Manson and Depp’s friendship were successfully kept out of the trial, as text messages submitted by Depp’s own team show the men referring to Heard and her abuse claims, according to court filings.
Manson, who is facing serious accusations of physical and sexual abuse from more than a dozen women, including his former partner Evan Rachel Wood, had allegedly texted Depp in 2016 to say his now-wife Lindsay Usich had “pulled an Amber and filed a police report” against him, calling her an “Amber 2.0.”
“I got a serious police amber type scenario with L’s family,” Manson allegedly texted Depp, according to the unsealed documents. “I’m fucking stressing. I don’t know if you are back, but I need asylum somewhere because I think the cops might be headed my way.”
“This is fucked,” he allegedly wrote. “Said I beat her up. And gave the cops my address. And said that I have drugs here. So I am ready to book outta here.”
In response, Depp allegedly wrote back that Manson shouldn’t take “NO SHIT” and advised him to stay calm to avoid giving “her what she wants which is TO MAKE YOU SCREAM, FLIP OUT AND FEED HER NARCISSISM!!!” At another point, Depp apparently referred to Heard as his “ex cunt” and said her behavior was “textbook sociopathic.”
Despite Heard’s team claiming that Depp’s own lawyers had submitted those messages as trial exhibits, Depp’s attorneys claimed that Heard wanted to include the communications between Depp and Manson to “smear Mr. Depp under a guilty by association theory” and to “raise in the jury’s mind” that “birds of a feather flock together.”
Depp’s relationship with Disney was apparently on the rocks due to his alleged wild behavior, Heard’s team seemed to suggest in a motion that sought to include testimony from Depp’s former talent agent Tracey Jacobs.
They claimed that Jacobs could provide relevant information regarding Depp’s working relationship with Disney based on prior depositions that she had given. According to the motion, Jacobs’ testimony would touch on Depp allegedly appearing on TV “drunk and stoned, to the point that Disney studio executives called Ms. Jacobs asking, ‘What the hell was wrong with your client?’”
“These same issues appeared during the filming of Pirates 5, and Disney told Ms. Jacobs the conduct was ‘not going to be tolerated,’ Disney was ‘not going to put up with this,’ and that ‘there was no love between Johnny and Disney, given the Pirates 5 situation,’” according to the court filing.
Embarrassing Claims, Nude Photos and Alleged Medical History
Heard’s attorneys claimed that Depp was “inappropriately” trying to submit “nude photos” of the actress as evidence in the case, as well as information about Heard’s “brief stint as an exotic dancer” years before she met Depp. They also accused Depp of “attempting to frivolously and maliciously suggest or imply that Ms. Heard was at one time an escort.” (Depp’s team fired back that while they didn’t anticipate using the photos, the images could be “relevant” to show a “lack of visible injuries.”)
Meanwhile, Heard’s team had attempted to include Depp’s alleged medical history and a list of medications he was supposedly on, such as “Nexium, Cialis and Valtre,” in an alleged attempt to suggest that the actor had “erectile dysfunction” in effort to embarrass him, according to Depp’s legal team.
Conveniently Missing Texts
Part of Heard’s strategy was to substantiate her claims of abuse against Depp by relying on corroborating witnesses, including Depp’s former assistant Stephen Deuters who messaged Heard after Depp allegedly “kicked” her during a private jet flight in 2014.
“If someone was truly honest with him about how bad it really was, he would be appalled,” Deuters had allegedly texted Heard. “I’m sad he does not have a better way to really know the severity of his actions yesterday. Unfortunately for me, I remember them in full, in full detail, everything that happened. He was appalled, when I told him he kicked you, he cried.”
Depp is said to have also texted Heard about the purported blowup, calling himself a “fucking savage,” according to the unsealed court documents. “Once again, I find myself in a place of shame and regret,” he allegedly wrote. “Of course, I am sorry…I will never do it again…My illness somehow crept up and grabbed me…I feel so bad for letting you down.”
The text messages about the alleged incident were submitted by Heard’s team as evidence, but Depp’s team said they couldn’t locate those messages on their end.
Manipulated Photos and Audio?
Heard’s legal team attempted to make a case that Depp had “modified” certain photos and audio that were submitted as evidence of Depp’s claims of abuse against Heard. According to the legal filing, the evidence was allegedly “‘modified’ days before their production in this case.” They specifically pointed to a photo of Depp widely shared as evidence of injuries he allegedly sustained from Heard, claiming the photo was taken in 2015 but had been modified as recently as 2020.
They also claimed that audio recordings between Depp and Heard were only snippets of the full conversation, with Depp’s team allegedly producing “multiple partial audio recordings that begin and end in the middle of a sentence.” They claimed those recordings had metadata that “indicates the recordings were created in September 2015 and then modified in June 2016, and again one day before their production, but Depp only produced the modified version.”
From Rolling Stone US.