Johnny Depp Stans Rushed to Fork Over Cash for Unsealed Court Docs. Did It Backfire? (2022)

Johnny Depp Stans Rushed to Fork Over Cash for Unsealed Court Docs. Did It Backfire? (1)

As Amber Heard and Johnny Depp both prepare to appeal the verdict in their mudslinging defamation trial, a newly unsealed document dump reignited the frenzy over the highly publicized trial

The mayhem around the six-week trial — which Depp specifically requested be televised — was nearly unprecedented, even when taking into account that people would naturally be interested in two high-profile actors airing out their dirty laundry. Depp had emerged the winner in the court of public opinion even before the verdict came down, with fans stationing themselves outside the Virginia courthouse in hopes of getting a wave from the Pirates of the Caribbean actor.

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But two months after the trial’s conclusion, Depp fans and curious minds are still eager to consume anything related to the case. So much so that last weekend, they helped raise more than $10,000 in a matter of hours to fund the $3,300 cost of recently unsealed trial documents.

While an initial analysis of the document dump — more than 6,600 pages — doesn’t seem to do Depp any favors, four legal experts tell Rolling Stone that what people are seeing are all the explosive allegations and potentially embarrassing claims that Depp’s lawyers successfully kept out of the trial.

“Absolutely, it was worse for Johnny,” Brett Ward, a New York family attorney, says. “Johnny Depp’s team won some key pretrial legal rulings. Overall, because he had better rulings during the pre-trial portion of the case, the stuff that he kept out hurts him more. The totality of the material now looks worse for him.”

“I think it would have been naive for anybody to think all these motions were only going to have flattering things for Johnny Depp and unflattering things for Amber Heard,” legal analyst Emily D. Baker says. “I always expected it to be both sides slinging mud at one another because that’s what pretrial motions are.”

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“People have their minds made up about the two of them after that trial,” entertainment and media litigation attorney Dan Rozansky adds. “Based on what I’ve seen so far, I don’t know that anything really moves the needle in terms of changing public perception.”

Andrea Burkhart, a lawyer in Washington state who had garnered 50,000 YouTube subscribers from content primarily devoted to covering the trial, raised the funds by asking her Twitter followers to pitch in so she could purchase the documents. (Burkhart said in a statement provided to Rolling Stone that she donated $7,000 in leftover funds to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and Art of Elysium.)

Judge Penney Azcarate ordered for all previously sealed documents be unsealed last month, essentially opening the floodgates to all the explosive allegations that both sides had tried to include in the trial. “In this matter, both litigants sued one another, thereby opening themselves up to the public forum of a jury trial. Court records are public information,” Azcarate wrote.

The trove of papers mostly contains pretrial discovery motions, where each side duked it out over what would be permitted into the trial, with Depp winning several key points of contention, including the omission of details about his friendship with shock rocker Marilyn Manson.

Beyond his alleged drug use with Manson, Heard’s team had tried to pull in more of the men’s texts, where Manson called his current wife an “Amber 2.0,” according to the documents. Depp’s team had wanted to keep all mention of Manson out of the case, referring to the serious claims of physical and sexual abuse against the musician, claiming Heard was trying to “smear Mr. Depp under a guilty by association theory.”

The court papers also gave more insight to Depp’s strained relationship with Disney even before the studio dropped him from Pirates of the Caribbean 6 in 2018. His former agent Tracey Jacobs testified in a deposition that a Disney executive had called her up when Depp allegedly appeared on TV “drunk and stoned” and asked her, “What the hell was wrong with your client?’”

Jacobs ultimately testified about Depp’s conduct, as did his ex-girlfriend Ellen Barkin who told the court about Depp’s alleged drug use during their relationship in the late 1990s. But a claim she made in a 2019 deposition about Depp allegedly giving her a Quaalude the first time they had sex, never found its way to court, according to the unsealed filings.

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“He came on to me in the living room of my house, pulled me onto his lap and said something like, ‘Oh, come on Ellen,’ or whatever,” Barkin said in her deposition. “I protested a little and then, not too much. And that was that.” Later adding, “He gave me a Quaalude and asked me if I wanted to fuck.”

The filings show that Depp’s team had tried to get the judge to sign off on using nude photos of Heard and highlighting her past as an exotic dancer, while Heard had tried to refer to Depp’s medications to suggest he had erectile dysfunction.

Unsealing information regarding Depp’s alleged medications was surprising to Baker, who had been following the trial closely on her YouTube channel, as Judge Azcarate had kept under seal both parties’ personal information, including their medical history.

Los Angeles attorney Ryan Baker says Depp’s team appeared to have the upper hand due to clever legal maneuvering, such as Depp’s team fighting hard in pretrial motions against having him undergo a psychiatric evaluation, which Heard had done.

“Amber Heard made emotional distress or post-traumatic stress an issue in the case, because she made that an issue, she had to submit to a psychiatric evaluation,” he says, referencing a clinical psychologist testifying that she had diagnosed Heard with borderline personality disorder. “That’s pretty damning. Then you are waiting for the other person to get up and say [something] about Johnny Depp but Johnny Depp never got evaluated because he never had to submit because he didn’t make emotional distress or post-traumatic stress any kind of issue in the case.”

The same goes with Heard’s team accusing Depp of “modifying” photos of his bruises and handing over snippets of chopped audio recordings. During trial, the court heard how the actress allegedly edited images of her injuries — but claims of Depp doing the same thing never gained the same traction. Texts between Heard and Depp’s former assistant Stephen Deuters about Depp allegedly “kicking” Heard in 2014 weren’t permitted into court, despite the exchange being used in Depp’s failed libel trial against British tabloid The Sun.

Each of these wins played a role in how Depp’s team was able to successfully shape the case to their benefit months before heading into the trial. “A lot of court cases generally come down to the quality of legal representation,” Ward says. “I think they both had very good reputations, but I think some pretrial releases went Johnny Depp’s way that helped him.”

Baker offers that Heard’s team had some big wins by keeping details of more damaging testimonies and declarations out of the court, including from Jennifer Howell and Heard’s sister Whitney, noting those details were “tightly and narrowly constrained.”

All attorneys agree the fight between Heard and Depp will drag on, as both have notified the court that they plan to appeal their respective verdicts, with the likely possibility of Heard using some of her pretrial discovery that didn’t make it into the trial as part of her basis for an appeal.

Already, Heard has complained that she had a “binder worth of years of notes dating back to 2011 from the very beginning of my relationship that were taken by my doctor, who I was reporting the abuse to” that were deemed inadmissible at trial. “How could they make a judgment, how could they not come to that conclusion,” Heard said of the jury’s decision.

Both parties have until September 5 to file their official appeals, with their award payments on hold until they learn if their appeals will move forward. Heard has made clear that she can’t afford to pay Depp the $10 million in damages, recently selling off her California home.

Reveling in his redemption, Depp has joined TikTok and gone on tour with Jeff Beck to promote their new joint album 18. Still, there’s been no signs of an official comeback for Depp on the acting front. “This may not be over in the court of public opinion, more importantly in the opinion of [Depp’s] employers,” Rozansky says.

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FAQs

What was in the unsealed documents Johnny Depp? ›

It has been reported that in the unsealed documents were: text messages from Depp's then assistant about the time the actor allegedly “kicked” Heard on a flight; Depp's legal team's cynical attempt to implicate Heard in the death of a friend who died in a car accident; the fact that Heard willingly walked away from “ ...

What did Johnny Depp do that was controversial? ›

Depp later successfully sued Heard in a 2022 trial in Virginia; a seven-member jury ruled that Heard's allegations of "sexual violence" and "domestic abuse" were false and defamed Depp under American law.
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Johnny Depp
Formerly ofRock City Angels P
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What country is Johnny Depp in now? ›

However, Depp has now left England and is taking himself across Europe, with his most recent destination being Switzerland.

What movies has Johnny Depp in? ›

Johnny Depp

Is Johnny Depp going to be in the next Pirates of the Caribbean? ›

Johnny Depp stated during the time of the ongoing trial against ex-wife Amber Heard that he sadly does not plan on ever returning as the iconic Captain Jack Sparrow to the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise.

Where is Dr Spiegel now? ›

For over 30 years, Dr. Spiegel has been a psychiatrist and is now a teacher at Eastern Virginia Medical School and a provider at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. Then, on Monday, he became internet-famous. He took the stand in the highly-publicized trial of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's lawsuits against one another.

How much does Johnny Depp make in a year? ›

Johnny Depp Net Worth
Name:Johnny Depp
Net Worth (2022):$210 Million
Profession:American actor
Monthly Income And Salary:$2 Million +
Yearly Income:$25 Million +
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Who is Johnny Depp in a relationship with now? ›

Johnny Depp's relationships have always made headlines. The “Pirates of the Caribbean” star, 59, is now reportedly dating Joelle Rich, one of the lawyers who represented him in his 2020 libel case against British paper, The Sun.

How many words does Johnny Depp say in Edward? ›

Edward Scissorhands isn't exactly the loquacious type. Throughout the movie, the leading role doesn't have many lines at all. In fact, as Edward, Johnny Depp says less than 150 words in total.

What actor has done the most movies? ›

Here's the full list:
  • Eric Roberts (401)
  • Richard Riehle (359)
  • John Carradine (351)
  • Mickey Rooney (335)
  • Danny Trejo (317)
  • Fred Willard (291)
  • Sir Christopher Lee (265)
  • Stephen Tobolowsky (251)
10 May 2017

Who has been in the most movies ever? ›

The “Man of a Thousand Voices,” Mel Blanc is regarded as the actor who's racked up the most acting credits — more than 1,200 — voicing Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, and many, many more cartoon characters since the 1930s.

Will Johnny Depp return as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean 6? ›

Pirates producer Jerry Bruckheimer, for his part, has also said that there are no plans to bring Depp back for another movie. Had the actor appeared in a sixth film, it would likely have been his last as Jack Sparrow.

Who is going to play Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean 6? ›

Johnny Depp Returns as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean 6 Fan Art.

Will Johnny Depp be in Pirates of the Caribbean 6 2022? ›

According to a July 20, 2022 post on ScreenRant, Bruckheimer “previously confirmed Depp isn't involved in Pirates of the Caribbean 6 at this point but that 'the future is yet to be decided. '”

What did Dr Spiegel say about Johnny Depp? ›

Spiegel, who had been hired by Heard's legal team, testified that Depp's behavior was “consistent with someone that both has substance use disorder as well as behaviors of someone who is a perpetrator of intimate partner violence.”

Can a psychiatrist prescribe medication? ›

Because they are doctors, psychiatrists understand the links between mental and physical problems. They can also prescribe medications.

Who was the psychiatrist that testified for Amber Heard? ›

Dr David Spiegel, a psychiatrist called to testify in court by Amber Heard at her defamation trial, has written about the “horrific backlash” he experienced after appearing in the witness box.

Is Johnny Depp still wealthy? ›

Johnny Depp has a net worth of $100 million.

His films have generated $8.7 billion at the global box office.

Who is the highest paying actor of all time? ›

Robert Downey Jr.

The actor's work outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has cemented the fact that he has an inherent gift for his craft, but it's the role as genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist Iron Man that has made him a box office sensation as well as the highest paid actor in the world.

Who is the No 1 richest actor in the world? ›

Who is the richest actor in the world of all time? As of August 2022, Jerry Seinfeld is the richest actor in the world with a net worth of $950 million.

How did Johnny Depp and Amber Heard met? ›

The couple met in 2009 while shooting the Bruce Robinson-directed film “The Rum Diary.” Depp played a journalist named Paul Kemp who takes a job in Puerto Rico and falls head-over-heels in love with Chenault (Heard).

Who is Joelle Rich? ›

Joelle helps individuals and families in the public eye protect their privacy and reputations, both in and outside of the court room. Often acting for her clients in times of crisis, Joelle works to defend their reputations against false and defamatory allegations in print, online, and on social media.

Is Vanessa Paradis married? ›

In November 2016, she began dating Samuel Benchetrit, who directed her in his fifth film, Dog. In June 2018, Paradis and Benchetrit married in the town of Saint-Simeon.

Did Johnny Depp defended Roman Polanski? ›

Johnny Depp has defended Roman Polanski saying shady dealings are behind the director's arrest for rape.

Who is Johnny Depp wife? ›

Johnny Depp

What was Johnny Depp's childhood like? ›

During the ongoing legal battle with Amber Heard, Depp has spoken out about his childhood, alleging that he and his siblings suffered abuse at the hands of his mother. “[Depp's mother] had the ability to be as cruel as anyone can be,” he said, noting that this also affected his siblings and father.

Who is Johnny Depp's family? ›

Johnny Depp

Are Johnny Depp and Marilyn Manson still friends? ›

Now he returns to films with a French film La Favorite and even to public events, turns out he is under fire again, and for his this with Marilyn Manson. For the unversed, Johnny and Marilyn have been very good friends for years.

Who signed the petition for Roman Polanski? ›

Woody Allen, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Martin Scorcese, David Lynch, Wong Kar Wai, Harmony Korine, Stephen Frears, Alexander Payne, Michael Mann, Wim Wenders, Tilda Swinton, Julian Schnabel, and Pedro Almodovar are among the 100 and counting film industry figures who have signed the petition, coordinated from France ...

What was the Polanski petition? ›

The reason was partly due to a petition signed by several high-profile members of the Hollywood film industry. The petition read: “We demand the immediate release of Roman Polanski. Film-makers in France, in Europe, in the United States and around the world are dismayed by this decision.

What was Johnny Depp's longest relationship? ›

Vanessa Paradis

Johnny's longest romance of his life, as the two spent 14 years as a couple. He met the French actress and singer in 1998, on the heels of his split from Kate Moss. The pair went on to start a family almost immediately, welcoming daughter Lily-Rose in 1999 and son Jack in 2002.

What did Johnny Depp's ex wives say about him? ›

Details from their relationship are emerging at the 2022 defamation trial. Heard alleges domestic violence and sexual assault. In testimony, Heard described him as the "man who beat me up for five years" and an "abuser."

Will Johnny Depp be in Pirates 6? ›

Pirates producer Jerry Bruckheimer, for his part, has also said that there are no plans to bring Depp back for another movie. Had the actor appeared in a sixth film, it would likely have been his last as Jack Sparrow.

How much does Johnny Depp make in a year? ›

Johnny Depp Net Worth
Name:Johnny Depp
Net Worth (2022):$210 Million
Profession:American actor
Monthly Income And Salary:$2 Million +
Yearly Income:$25 Million +
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How did Johnny Depp's mom treat him? ›

The actor, 58, said his late mother Betty Sue Palmer was "violent" and "cruel" to him when growing up, to the point where he "tried to stay out of the line of fire" where she was concerned. "The verbal abuse, the psychological abuse, was almost worse than the beatings. The beatings were just physical pain.

Is Johnny Depp left handed? ›

According to IMDb, Johnny is a right-handed man. The trivia section of his IMDb page mentions many details about him, including which hand he naturally uses in his day-to-day life.

What did Johnny Depp's father say to him? ›

What do Johnny Depp's tattoos say? ›

One of Johnny Depp's many tattoos was inked over his heart and is comprised of a “suprematism triangle,” which is based on a painting by Russian painter Ilya Chashnik, doodles of three separate rectangles, and the words “Lily-Rose,” in honor of his oldest child, who was born in 1999.

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