Depp, known for his work in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, is suing Heard for $50 million in a Fairfax County, Virginia court over a 2018 Washington Post op-ed in which wrote about her experience with domestic abuse.
The piece published roughly two years after Heard alleged Depp bruised her face after throwing a phone at her in their Los Angeles home. Depp denied the allegation and was not charged with any crime.
Depp was not referred to by name in Heard’s piece. Still, Depp claims it led to financial losses for him, including being dropped from future “Pirates of the Caribbean” films after he led the franchise for 15 years.
Depp and Amber met on the set of “The Rum Diary” in 2009, married in 2015 and went on to be embroiled in a contentious split for months, with charges of bad behavior levied by both sides.
Heard had been unsuccessful in her attempts to get the suit dismissed. She filed a $100 million defamation countersuit against Depp in 2020, which is ongoing.
Lawyers for the newspaper group argued in court filings that Depp “beat his wife Amber Heard, causing her to suffer significant injury, and on occasion leading to her fearing for her life,” citing evidence, including photos, audio recordings and Depp’s own text messages.
During the trial, Depp said the tabloid’s claims that he was violent toward Heard were “completely untrue.”
Judge Andrew Nicol said in his judgment that the paper’s claims had been shown to be “substantially true.”
Heard posted a note in advance of the current defamation trial on her verified social media accounts, writing “I never named [Depp], rather I wrote about the price women pay for speaking against men in power. I continue to pay that price, but hopefully when this case concludes, I can move on and so can Johnny.”
“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 front of the world,” she wrote. “At this time, I recognize the ongoing support I’ve been fortunate to receive throughout these years, and in these coming weeks I will be leaning on it more than ever.”
CNN’s Rob Picheta contributed to this report.