Amber Heard alleges Johnny Depp physically abused her; judge grants her a restraining order
Amber Heard was granted a restraining order against husband Johnny Depp on Friday after appearing at the courthouse with a bruised face and alleging that the “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor had physically abused her prior to her filing for divorce on Monday.
Judge Carl H. Moor granted Heard a temporary restraining order that requires Depp to stay 100 yards away from the actress. Heard also requested that Depp be ordered to have no contact with her Yorkshire terrier, Pistol, but was denied as the court cited “insufficient showing of need to protect pet dog,” according to legal documents obtained by The Times.
Depp’s response, filed by his attorney Laura A. Wasser, asserts that Heard is “attempting to secure a premature financial resolution by alleging abuse.” It states that Heard’s petition “appears to be in response to the negative media attention she received earlier this week.”
“These issues can and will be resolved,” the document says, noting that Depp and Heard are currently on different continents, making a restraining order unnecessary. Depp is willing to agree to a mutual stay-away order and is currently in Europe on tour with his band Hollywood Vampires. He is not expected to return home before June 7, at the earliest, according to the declaration. Depp’s publicist did not respond to a request for comment. The actor stars in “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” opening this weekend.
In Heard’s court filing, she claims that during the “entirety of our relationship, Johnny has been verbally and physically abusive to me. I endured excessive emotional, verbal and physical abuse from Johnny, which has included angry, hostile, humiliating and threatening assaults to me whenever I questioned his authority or disagreed with him.”
Photographs of the actress with what appears to be a bruise surrounding her right eye and damage inside the couple’s loft were submitted with the restraining order request.
The actress also alleges that Depp has had a long history of drug and alcohol abuse. “He has a short fuse,” according to Heard’s declaration. “He is often paranoid and his temper is exceptionally scary for me.” Heard asked the court to order Depp to attend 52 weeks of anger management courses; the request was denied on Friday pending a hearing in June.
Heard alleges that on the evening of May 21 an inebriated Depp returned to their loft and the situation soon devolved into an altercation. Heard says, “Johnny then grabbed the cell phone, wound up his arm like a baseball pitcher and threw the cell phone at me striking my cheek and eye with great force.”
Los Angeles police officers went to the couple’s downtown loft after receiving information from police in New York, said Capt. Don Graham, who oversees the LAPD’s Central Division. A woman had called New York police, saying “her friend Amber in L.A. was in a domestic dispute with her husband, Johnny Depp,” Graham said.
Johnny then grabbed the cell phone, wound up his arm like a baseball pitcher and threw the cell phone at me striking my cheek and eye with great force.
— Amber Heard stated in legal documents
When officers arrived at the loft, Graham said, they spoke with Heard, who was alone at the home. “At the time, there was no evidence” of a crime, he said, adding that Heard told the officers it was a “verbal dispute only.”
The officers handed their business cards to Heard, then left the loft, Graham said.
An LAPD spokesman said early Friday afternoon that there was no active investigation into Depp, saying no crime involving the actor had been reported to police.
“We are more than willing to investigate all crimes that are reported to us,” said Capt. Andy Neiman, a department spokesman. “At this point, we have no crime.”
Depp performed with the Hollywood Vampires at the Rock in Rio music festival in Lisbon on Friday. Before the performance, the actor and band members, including Alice Cooper, fitted and adjusted hearing aids on an elderly woman as part of an initiative with Starkey Hearing Foundation, which provides hearing aids to impoverished individuals worldwide.
On Thursday, a representative for the actor released a statement to news organizations saying, “Given the brevity of this marriage and the most recent and tragic loss of his mother, Johnny will not respond to any of the salacious false stories, gossip, misinformation and lies about his personal life. Hopefully the dissolution of this short marriage will be resolved quickly.”
Depp’s mother, Betty Sue Palmer, 81, died May 20 in Los Angeles after a long illness.
Depp, who emerged as a teen idol in TV’s “21 Jump Street” in the 1980s, and burnished his acting credentials with distinctive ’90s film roles like “Edward Scissorhands” and “Donnie Brasco,” evolved into one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars thanks to the moody, quixotic characters he has played in juggernaut Disney franchises.
This weekend, Depp reprises one of those roles, as the Mad Hatter in “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” a visual effects-driven adventure story that is not expected to match the box office success of its 2010 predecessor, a surprise hit.
A spokeswoman for Disney declined to comment on the actor’s recent personal issues.
Depp also has wrapped production on the fifth “Pirates of the Caribbean” film, due in 2017. The first four films in that series, which rely heavily on the actor’s charisma as Capt. Jack Sparrow and which earned him an Oscar nomination for the 2003 original, have grossed more than $3.7 billion worldwide.
It’s not clear how the accusations might affect “Alice’s” run, but for Disney, Depp’s personal problems pose a dilemma going forward.
Johnny will not respond to any of the salacious false stories, gossip, misinformation and lies about his personal life.
— a statement released by Johnny Depp’s representative
“Before you make any decisions, you get the facts,” said Michael Sitrick, whose crisis PR firm Sitrick and Company was advising R&B singer Chris Brown when he plead guilty to assault in 2009. “It’s easy to pre-judge or assume, but allegations are just allegations. If it’s true, you determine, is it an anger management issue? What is the person doing about it? Is he taking treatment? Is he taking steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again? If you do that, the public will give you a second chance.”
Over the course of his career, Depp’s movies have made more than $8 billion at the worldwide box office, much of it for Disney.
Depp’s successful career also has larger implications in his pending divorce, as Heard is seeking financial support, requesting $50,000 a month for spousal support based on their lifestyle, according to court documents.
Heard, 30, and Depp began dating in 2012, after meeting during the filming of 2011’s “The Rum Diary,” based on the Hunter S. Thompson novel of the same name. That same year, Depp separated from girlfriend of 14 years Vanessa Paradis, with whom the Academy Award nominee has two children.
Depp, 52, married Heard in February 2015.
Times staff writers Rebecca Keegan and Kate Mather contributed to this story.
MORE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Justin Bieber and Skrillex sued over ‘Sorry’ song
28 outdoor paintings go up for RFK Mural Festival, turning L.A. campus into alfresco art gallery
Review: ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ is more blunder than wonder
Follow me on Twitter @midwestspitfire
4:24 p.m.: This article has been updated throughout.
2:17 p.m.: This article was updated with information on Depp’s whereabouts.
1:33 p.m.: This article was updated with information from the Los Angeles Police Department regarding officers’ visit to the couple’s downtown loft.
12:25 p.m.: This article was updated with details regarding the approval of Heard’s restraining order request.
11:30 a.m.: This article was updated with Thursday’s statement from a Depp representative regarding the divorce, as well as with information on the death of Depp’s mother last week.
This article was originally published at 11:06 a.m.
It's a date
Get our L.A. Goes Out newsletter, with the week's best events, to help you explore and experience our city.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.