Just when we all thought we could go back to thinking Johnny Depp was a creep—but in the sort of passive, unobtrusive way that didn’t colonize too much of our brains—the Fantastic Beasts actor has now decided to sue his ex-wife, Amber Heard, for defamation relating to her allegations of abuse against him. This is per Deadline, which reports that Depp—no longer content with his various legal death marches with his former representation, or his simmering cold war with Australian customs officials over their conflicting stances on dog importation—is seeking more than $50 million in damages against Heard.
Specifically, Depp’s lawsuit—which also accuses Heard of orchestrating “an elaborate hoax to generate positive publicity for Ms. Heard and advance her career” and accuses her of physically abusing him—targets a Washington Post op-ed Heard wrote last December, describing what it’s like to become a public face for domestic abuse victims in America. The piece never mentions Depp by name, but he’s accusing her of, among other things, causing Disney to drop him from the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise, which it did shortly after the article was published.
Also, in case this whole story wasn’t depressing enough, Depp’s lawyers also dragged Elon Musk into the mix; the Tesla founder had a romantic relationship with Heard after her divorce from Depp, but the actor’s legal team is accusing her of beginning their relationship while she and Depp were still married. There are also plenty of accusations that Heard faked injuries she accused Depp of inflicting on her, but really, that’s just kind of par for the course at this point in this whole ugly mess.
Depp and Heard formally separated in 2017; Depp paid his ex a $7 million settlement, most of which she then turned around and donated to charities focused on helping victims of domestic abuse.