Hollywood actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard had a rocky marriage, rocky divorce, and they now have a rocky post divorce relationship. After ending their marriage that Depp described as volatile, the actor has filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against Heard for publicly accusing him of domestic abuse. Salt Lake City divorce attorney, Emy A. Cordano, cautions clients to keep divorce as civil as possible, but sometimes spouses on the other side make that a difficult task when they repeatedly make harmful and damaging statements and claims about their ex.
Amber Heard published a piece in the Washington Post about her experience with domestic abuse. She did not mention Depp by name in the article, but he alleges in his lawsuit that the article makes it clear that he was responsible for the abuse that she suffered. Depp claimed that she wrote the piece in an effort to generate positive publicity for her and also to advance her acting career. Depp further alleges that he has suffered financial losses because of her piece in the Post pointing to the fact that he was dropped from his part as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean films.
Depp also claims that he has overwhelming video, photographic, and eyewitness evidence that would clear his name. Depp’s complaint states that her abuse allegations have been refuted by two independent responding police officers, neutral third-party witnesses, and 87 surveillance camera videos. Heard’s attorneys responded by stating that the lawsuit is frivolous and just another one of Depp’s attempts to silence Heard.
Unfortunately, it is not only Hollywood celebrities who end up in ugly divorces like these. Ugly divorces happen in the real world as well. Saying damaging things about a spouse during and after a divorce is never good for anyone and it can cause serious harm to a person’s reputation and their relationships with children who are caught in the middle of the divorce. In some cases it can cause financial harm if the damaging comments lead to job loss or loss of business clients.
If your divorcing spouse has made untrue statements about you and you can show that the statements caused harm, you may have a case for defamation. You may understandably be reluctant to bring a defamation claim against your ex and if there may be at least some truth to the negative statements, bringing a defamation suit may be difficult. On the other hand, family law judges frown on this type of conduct, especially if you can show that your ex’s statements have harmed your relationship with your children, your reputation, and/or your job. Judges want a peaceful dissolution. They also want to protect children and they want parents to maintain gainful employment in order to be able to provide for their children.