Before Cross-Examination, Deep Dive Into Amber Heard’s Missing Divorce Donation Rolls Around The Internet. Plus, Her Legal Team Calls Johnny Depp's Strategy ‘Shameful And Desperate’

Amber Heard is set to be cross-examined in court as part of her continued testimony in the defamation trial against Johnny Depp this week. Ahead of that, however, new information came to light regarding Heard’s divorce from the Pirates of the Caribbean actor and what actually happened to the money from the settlement that she had vowed to donate. We’d previously heard she donated in the seven-figure range, but that’s a far cry from the millions of dollars she had seemingly pledged around the time of her high-profile divorce. Now, the ACLU has commented in court, her legal team is ramping up for Heard to retake the stand and be cross-examined, and there’s been a deep dive into the money situation. Oh and Heard’s legal team has some comments about Depp’s. What a way to kick off a Monday. 

Just a few weeks ago, a spokesperson for the ACLU took the stand as part of the defamation trial. During the course of testimony, it came out that Amber Heard had donated less than half of the 3.5 million she had pledged to that organization, with ACLU Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel Terence Dougherty admitting in a video testimony (via NPR)  that Amber Heard had only donated $1.3 million of the pledged amount – and hadn't donated since 2018 despite owing millions more.

She had, however, reeled former beau Elon Musk in as a donor during this period. Musk confirmed on Twitter in 2018 he was on of the ACLU’s biggest donors. 

You may remember the headlines. When Amber Heard and Johnny Depp first split, the actress had vowed to donate half of the money she earned in the divorce to non-profits. In 2016, this was big news, as Heard had stated publicly that her comments about her ex-husband had nothing to do with gaining money and everything to do with abuse she said she had endured during her marriage to Depp. She noted in her announcement then:

As described in the restraining order and divorce settlement, money played no role for me personally and never has, except to the extent that I could donate it to charity and, in doing so, hopefully help those less able to defend themselves.

A deep dive report over at Rolling Stone looked into these finances. Published this week, it found the only direct payment Ms. Heard had made to the ACLU came around the time of her announcement. That payment was for $350,000 and Heard received a thank you for her donation, per the report. But the outlet’s dive into tax forms that year reveals she had not made a donation of that specific amount in 2016, though the ACLU responded to this, noting Heard’s donation would have been a part of a “donor fund” to keep the actress anonymous and would have been ties with other donation amounts in its ledgers. 

This isn’t the first time these payments have come into question, not only in regards to the missing money Heard was supposed to donate but also where the money that did get donated came from. During the libel trial that occurred in the UK against The Sun’s parent company before the defamation trial began playing out in the U.S., Depp’s legal team attempted to figure out what had actually gone on with this money, with the Rolling Stone article mentioning they were “repeatedly stonewalled.” 

Meanwhile, Amber Heard’s testimony is expected to continue on Monday, May 16. This is significant, because once she takes the stand, she’s going to be cross-examined this week. Quite probably, all of these questions about donations and what money went where are going to come up. Ahead of the actress taking the stand, her legal team spoke out this morning, sharing with TMZ

Today, we expect Depp's attorneys will instead pound away on the victim. We fear it will be equal parts shameful and desperate. And, the overwhelming evidence -- the truth -- is not on Depp's side.

As a reminder, Johnny Depp sued Amber Heard for defamation after she alleged he had abused her in an Op Ed that ran in the Washington Post. He says the statement isn't accurate and cost him work. He is suing for $50 million and Heard is countersuing for $100 million. The trial took a hiatus in the middle of the Aquaman 2 actress' testimony last week. 

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.