E! News confirms that the actress has filed a defamation lawsuit against one of Depp's best friends, comic Doug Stanhope, in response to a guest article he had written for The Wrap, where Stanhope comments on the ongoing domestic abuse claims being made the actress, and alleges that Depp is being "blackmailed" by Heard.
"Amber Heard filed a lawsuit today in the Arizona Superior Court for the County of Cochise. The defendant is Doug Stanhope, a resident of that county," Charles J. Harder, Heard's civil litigation counsel tells E! News in a statement.
"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. Ms. Heard seeks the maximum possible jury award, and will donate 100 percent 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."
E! News has reached out to Stanhope for comment.
According to the court documents obtained by E! News, Heard's legal camp states that the allegations made in the article "are completely false and defamatory, and have caused and will continue to cause her tremendous harm."
The documents continue to state, "In response to Heard's truthful and necessary court filings, Defendants took action to publicly defame Ms. Heard by falsely accusing her of 'blackmail' and other criminal conduct, knowing that he had no factual basis to make the allegations...Defendants are engaged in a classic case of 'attacking the victim,' in an effort to discredit Heard, destroy her good name and reputation, and severely harm her hard-earned entertainment career, on top of the campaign of violence that Depp has inflicted upon her for years."
Heard's lawsuit then went into details concerning her relationship with Depp, including the alleged abuse, which was also mentioned in her restraining order documents against Depp, and her decision to file to divorce after an incident occurred in May 2016.
Stanhope's guest column, titled Johnny Depp Is Being Blackmailed by Amber Heard—Here's How I Know, alleges that Heard "was 'threatening to lie about [Depp] publicly in any and every possible duplicitous way if he didn't agree to her terms.'" Stanhope also claimed that Depp told him Heard "was going to pull off some kind of ruse to f--k him over."
The Wrap refused to take the article down upon request from Heard's legal camp, but added the note, "Amber Heard's attorney says the claim that Heard is blackmailing Johnny Depp is "unequivocally false."
—Reporting by Holly Passalaqua