When Amber Heard divorced Johnny Depp, she pledged to donate the entirety of her $7 million settlement to two charities: the ACLU and Children’s Hospital. Recently, celebrity gossip hub TMZ publicly accused her of breaking that promise by running the grievously misleading headline, “Amber Heard: CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL MONEY MIA.” In fact, Depp is withholding this money from Heard, thereby precluding her from paying.
TMZ is thought to be Depp’s close ally, and so may have published this false report as a means of retaliating against Heard’s domestic violence PSA. In the meantime, Depp refuses to follow through with the settlement; he would prefer to make these donations himself and reap the benefit of the tax deduction. It may also be the case that Depp no longer wishes to honor his settlement with Heard.
This evening, TMZ ran a new report with the headline “Amber Heard PAID THE ACLU $350,000.” The ACLU confirmed that they received the money three days after the divorce settlement — Heard delivered the advance under the assumption that Depp would pay the settlement. She was also preparing to donate to Children’s Hospital. According to TMZ, the process stalled because “she and Johnny began squabbling over the settlement deal.”
But Heard’s lawyer, Pierce O’Donnell, has responded to TMZ’s smearing; he asserts that Depp will pay Heard just as he is obligated to do:
“The settlement documents are being finalized and will be signed this week,” he says. This much TMZ includes in their report; after all, it doesn’t imply that Depp has been uncooperative. But O’Donnell’s statement continues as follows: “Johnny is obligated by the settlement to pay Amber, and she in turn will honor her pledges to Children’s Hospital and the ACLU.”
O’Donnell also confirmed that Heard’s PSA for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women did not violate the settlement’s terms. But though she did not mention Depp’s name—she could not legally do so—her point of reference was likely clear enough. Let’s hope she’s not punished further for refusing silence.
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