- In recently released audio, Amber Heard admits to starting fights and hitting her then-husband Johnny Depp.
- Depp’s lawyer confirmed the authenticity of the tape and said it details a pattern of physical and emotional abuse by Heard.
- Heard’s lawyer, however, said the tape does not mean that Heard isn’t also a victim.
- The tape is the latest development in a bitter feud between the former couple, both of whom have alleged domestic abuse by the other.
Heard Admits to Hitting Depp in Audio
In audio that surfaced Friday, Amber Heard admits to hitting her then-husband Johnny Depp during a 2015 informal therapy session.
The recording, which was obtained by the Daily Mail, was later confirmed to be authentic by Depp’s lawyer, Adam Waldman.
In it, Depp and Heard discuss their marriage in several heated exchanges.
Heard: “I didn’t punch you.”
Depp: “And I watched you lie.”
Heard: “I didn’t punch you, by the way. I’m sorry that I didn’t hit you across the face in a proper slap, but I was hitting you. It was not punching you. Babe, you’re not punched.”
Depp: “Don’t tell me what it feels like to be punched.”
Later in the conversation, Heard calls Depp a baby.
Depp: “Because you start physical fights.“
Heard: “You are such a baby, grow the fuck up Johnny.”
Depp: “Because you start physical fights.”
Heard: “I did start a physical fight.”
Depp: “Yeah, you did, so I had to get the fuck out of there.”
Heard: “Yes, you did, so you did the right thing, the big thing, you know what? You are admirable. Every single time. What’s your excuse? When there’s not a physical fight, then what’s the excuse there? You’re still being admirable, right? Just by running away? And you can sit here and call me names, but you get called a name and what do you do? ‘That’s the last insult!’”
Several minutes later, the exchange becomes calmer. Depp tells Heard he loves her and that he does not want a divorce, but he also says the physical violence has to stop.
Depp: “Because I love you, and I do not want to leave you. I do not want a divorce, I do not want you out of my life. I just want peace. If things get physical, we have to separate.“
Heard then promises to change.
Heard: “I can’t promise that I’ll be perfect. I can’t promise you I won’t get physical again. God, I fucking sometimes get so mad I lose it. I can fucking promise you I’m going to do everything to change.”
While the two actors have not publicly spoken on the tape, Waldman said it displays a pattern of behavior common by abusers.
“The first confessional tape she made reveals a conversation any real abuse victim will recognize all too well,” he told USA Today. “It exposes that Ms. Heard perpetrated serial violence against Mr. Depp, and then concocted an elaborate abuse hoax to cover it up. Ms. Heard gives a motive for her violence: Mr. Depp was always trying to ‘split’ to escape her abuse.”
On the other hand, Heard’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, didn’t confirm or deny the video but said in a statement.
“The fact that a woman fights or talks back does not mean that she has not been the subject of repeated domestic violence and abuse,” Kaplan said. “It’s a myth to say, as Mr. Depp apparently is implying, that if Ms. Heard slapped him, then she can’t also be a victim. That is just not true.”
Heard Alleges Abuse Against Depp
Heard and Depp met on the set of the 2011 film, The Rum Diary. By February 2015, the two were married; however, by May the following year, Heard filed for divorce, citing “irreconcilable differences.”
“During the entirety of our relationship, Johnny has been verbally and physically abusive to me,” she said. “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.”
“Johnny has a long-held and widely-acknowledged public and private history of drug and alcohol abuse,” she added. “He has a short fuse. He is often paranoid and his temper is exceptionally scary for me as it has proven many times to be physically dangerous and/or life-threatening to me. Johnny[‘s] relationship with reality oscillates, depending upon his interaction with alcohol and drugs.”
With her filing, Heard also submitted images of herself with bruises on her face.
A few days after that filing, she applied for and was granted a restraining order against Depp.
Then, in August 2016, TMZ released a video of Depp throwing a wine bottle and a glass while Heard stands nearby. In the video, Depp is yelling and appears noticeably angry. For her part, Heard later denied leaking the clip.
Later that month, she and Depp reached a $7 million divorce settlement. Heard then announced she would be donating that entire amount to the ACLU and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. After additional back and forth with attorney fees, the divorce was finalized in January 2017.
Heard Publishes Washington Post Op-Ed
The feud then, at least publicly, died down until October 2018, while speaking with British GQ, Depp spoke on the matter.
“The thing that hurt me is being presented as something that you’re really as far away from as you could possibly get, you know?” he said.
Heard’s attorney then responded in an interview with Page Six, calling Depp’s statement “outrageous.”
“Mr. Depp is shamefully continuing his psychological abuse of Ms. Heard, who has attempted to put a very painful part of her life firmly in her past,” the statement said. “One need only look at the physical evidence to draw the proper conclusion.”
In December 2018, Heard followed up her claims in an op-ed for The Washington Post titled, “I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.”
In that op-ed, Heard never directly mentions Depp by name but speaks about “how institutions protect men accused of abuse,” likening Depp to the Titanic and the institutions to workers trying to repair a sinking ship.
“Like many women, I had been harassed and sexually assaulted by the time I was of college age,” she said. “But I kept quiet — I did not expect filing complaints to bring justice. And I didn’t see myself as a victim.”
“Then two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse,” she added, “and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.”
In the article, Heard also said her role in a movie had been recast, a global fashion brand dropped her, and she had faced doubts that she would be able to keep her role in Aquaman. Despite this, Depp’s team have largely accused Heard of making the allegations to “advance her career” and “extend her 15 minutes of fame.”
A few days after that op-ed, Depp was dropped from any future Pirates of the Caribbean films. Just prior to that in November, Depp had faced a wall of criticism on social media for his role as the titular antagonist in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
Dear Mr. Tsujihara.— justme (@justme_relax) November 17, 2018
As a fan of Harry Potter and WB/DC films and shows, I am deeply disappointed by the casting of Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts series. He abused his ex-wife Amber Heard, who happened to star in Aquaman, which is also a Warner Brothers film.
Depp Sues Heard for Defamation
In January 2019, the feud between the former couple began to take a massive turn when Depp’s attorney reportedly told E! News that they had “filed a partial list of evidence that we will use to disprove the fraudulent underlying allegations against Mr. Depp.”
Among that list included “dozens of video security tapes,” “eyewitness statements” and “sworn affidavits and deposition transcripts from 2016.”
In March, Depp then sued Heard for $50 million in a defamation lawsuit, with that lawsuit alleging that it wasn’t Heard but Depp who was the victim of abuse. The lawsuit also blamed Heard’s op-ed for him being dropped from Pirates of the Caribbean.
In retaliation, Heard filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, but that was later denied.
Depp then submitted a declaration of support for his lawsuit, with that letter alleging that Heard had painted on her bruises. Depp also said that Heard caused him “serious bodily injury,” that she was abusive while on a mix of “prescription amphetamines and non-prescription drugs with alcohol,” and that she had “hit, punched and kicked” him and “frequently threw objects into [his] body and head.” Notably, this included “heavy bottles, soda cans, burning candles, television remote controls, and paint thinner cans, which severely injured [him].”
With his allegations, Depp provided his own set of photos showing alleged bruises on his face, as well as a photo showing a partially severed finger that he said he suffered after asking Heard to sign a post-nuptial agreement. Heard then allegedly got so mad she started throwing bottles at him, with Depp claiming that one exploded when hitting a countertop, ripping off the tip of his finger in the process.
In addition to physical abuse, Depp is also alleging that Heard put him through emotional abuse, saying that at one point, she or one of her friends defecated in his bed as a prank.
During this time, Heard responded with more photos of her own that allegedly show bruises, as well as a clump of hair she said was ripped out by Depp.
Netflix Reinstates Employee Who Crashed Director-Level Meeting After Criticizing Dave Chapelle
Terra Field had publicly accused Chappelle of making transphobic remarks in his new stand-up special “The Closer” just days before she was suspended.
Netflix Reinstates Terra Field
Netflix reinstated a transgender employee who was critical of Dave Chappelle’s new stand-up special after suspending her for attending a director-level meeting without an invitation.
Terra Field tweeted on Tuesday that she was reinstated once the company determined “there was no ill-intent in” her decision to attend the meeting.
“I’m going to take a few days off to decompress and try to figure out where I’m at,” she added. “At the very least, I feel vindicated.”
Field also shared an email Netflix sent her regarding her suspension being lifted.
“Our investigation did not find that you joined the QBR meeting with any ill intent and that you genuinely didn’t think there was anything wrong with seeking access to this meeting,” the email said. “Additionally, when a Director shared the link it further supported that this was a meeting you could attend.”
Field’s suspension came just days after she tweeted a viral thread criticizing Chappelle’s latest program on Netflix, “The Closer.” She was one of many activists who claimed Chappelle’s set was transphobic and encouraged Netflix to take action. Field wrote that his comments attacked “the very validity of transness.” Netflix insisted those tweets had nothing to do with her suspension.
Field reportedly attended the director-level meeting with two other employees who were also suspended. A spokesperson for Netflix told Deadline that those two staffers have likewise been reinstated and the company “will be distributing broader guidance about meetings and clarifying which are for which people.”
Netflix’s Response to Dave Chappelle Controversy
Netflix, for its part, has defended Chappelle and rejected calls to remove “The Closer” from the streaming service.
“It never feels good when people are hurting, especially our colleagues,” Netflix co-CEO Ted Srandos wrote in an internal memo. “You should also be aware that some talent may join third parties in asking us to remove the show in the coming days, which we are not going to do.”
“We don’t allow titles on Netflix that are designed to incite hate or violence, and we don’t believe The Closer crosses that line,” he added. “I recognize, however, that distinguishing between commentary and harm is hard, especially with stand-up comedy which exists to push boundaries. Some people find the art of stand-up to be mean spirited but our members enjoy it, and it’s an important part of our content offering.”
Among other things, Chappelle took time in his special to defend author J.K. Rowling, who previously faced backlash over a series of transphobic remarks she made. Chappelle said he agreed with Rowling.
“I’m team TERF,” he added. “I agree. I agree, man. Gender is a fact.”
Chappelle went on to make jokes about Caitlyn Jenner before comparing the genitalia of transgender women to Beyond and Impossible meat.
Many employees at Netflix are still frustrated with the way the platform has handled the controversy surrounding “The Closer.” According to The Verge, a trans employee resource group is planning a walkout on Oct. 20.
“Trans Lives Matter. Trans Rights Matter,” the group said in a memo. “And as an organization, Netflix has continually failed to show deep care in our mission to Entertain the World by repeatedly releasing content that harms the Trans community and continually failing to create content that represents and uplifts Trans content. We can and must do better!”
See what others are saying: (The Verge) (Deadline) (The New York Times)
Lil Nas X and Bella Poarch May Have Abandoned Plans To Participate In TikTok NFT Program
Lil Nas X’s TikTok NFT was scheduled to debut a week ago and is still not available to the public.
Creators Allegedly Leave TikTok’s NFT Program
Musicians Lil Nas X and Bella Poarch may have quietly exited TikTok’s new NFT collection, according to a report from Rolling Stone.
TikTok first announced the line, which is called “TikTok Top Moments,” at the end of September. It involves a series of creator-led NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, which are unique and tradeable digital assets. TikTok’s NFTs can be purchased with the cryptocurrency Ethereum. According to a press release, the money will “largely go directly to the creators and NFT artists involved.”
TikTok said that creators like Poarch, Lil Nas X, Grimes, Curtis Roach, Brittany Broski, and more would be participating in the program. The company called NFTs an “empowerment tool” that will allow these creators to “be recognized and rewarded for their content.” It planned to debut the collection on Oct. 6 with Lil Nas X’s NFT, but that token has still not been made available. A source told Rolling Stone that it may never be released.
NFT Rollout Described as “A Mess”
The outlet also reported that Poarch is “actively contemplating pulling out of the program due to worries about its execution.” According to Rolling Stone, three sources familiar with the rollout of the program have described it as “a challenge,” “a mess,” and “a complete joke.”
Those sources claimed that in order to secure Poarch’s initial participation, TikTok offered her marketing support worth potentially $4 million for her next release. The company also allegedly promised to use one of her songs in an end-of-year campaign. A spokesperson for TikTok, however, described these claims as “not accurate.”
Neither Poarch nor Lil Nas X has commented on their participation yet. Meanwhile, TikTok declined to answer Rolling Stone’s questions about the status of their NFTs.
Some of TikTok’s announced NFTs have gone public, though. Throughout Tuesday, Roach’s “Bored in the House” video was up for auction on the platform Immutable.
NFTs took the internet by storm in early 2021, but their popularity peaked in May and declined throughout the summer. Celebrities, tech moguls, and everyday people featured in viral memes have hopped on the trend and made millions doing so.
According to Rolling Stone, TikTok has valued some of its own NFTs at $1 million. Now, it’s unclear if those tokens will ever hit the market.
See what others are saying: (Rolling Stone) (Dexerto)
Ariana Grande, Bella Hadid, and Others Honor World Mental Health Day
A slew of stars acknowledged the day by sharing personal stories and making hefty donations to organizations that offer mental health resources.
Celebrities Donate to Mental Health Organizations
Major celebrities honored World Mental Health Day on Sunday by speaking candidly about their mental health struggles and donating to nonprofits.
Singer Ariana Grande announced that she is donating $5 million worth of free therapy through the online counseling platform Better Help. The star previously partnered with the company over the summer to give $1 million in therapy to fans and opted to throw more money at the program following its success.
“I acknowledge that there are very real barriers when it comes to accessing mental health resources, and while this is only one small gesture (and a much larger systemic problem remains) I wanted to do this again with @betterhelp in hopes of bringing access to a few more people and perhaps inspiring a few of you to try something new and prioritize your own healing,” Grande wrote on Instagram.
Those interested can sign up for a free first month of Better Help and get an additional 15% off the second month.
Model Bella Hadid also pledged to donate to mental health resources. She teamed up with the beverage company Kin Euphorics, which will donate 10% of its October sales to Gurls Talk, a nonprofit that gives adolescent girls a space to talk about mental health, along with various educational tools to aid those discussions. Hadid will match those donations.
“Dealing with mental illness for most of my life, bringing awareness to the education of mental health through my platform is something that I will continue to do until our mental is just as respected as our physical,” Hadid wrote. “I want everyone who struggles daily to know that you are not alone.”
Stars Share Resources and Personal Stories
Meanwhile, actress and singer Selena Gomez used her new makeup brand Rare Beauty to share statistics about the prevalence of mental illness and the efforts to combat it. The company, which has previously focused on several mental health initiatives, shared that just 1.3% of philanthropic investments go towards supporting mental health.
The company additionally cited information from an American Psychological Association report, which revealed that young people are particularly vulnerable to mental health struggles. It found that seven out of 10 Gen Z adults are more likely to report experiencing depression symptoms compared to other generations.
Gomez shared Rare Beauty’s post to her own story as well.
Singer Olivia Rodrigo similarly opened up about mental health and therapy during an interview with CBS that aired Sunday. In it, she said she has been in therapy since she was 16, which she believes has helped her both personally and professionally.
“That was a really big, life-changing moment,” she said. “I’ve learned so much about myself.”
“I think there’s sometimes a stigma around it, too, like I was saying,” the singer continued. “Sometimes people are like, ‘Oh, you don’t need that. You have so much. Your life is so great. What are your problems?’ I think that’s definitely a thing that sometimes older people can do to younger people to kind of trivialize what they’re going through.”