Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Relationship and Legal Battles Timeline

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Relationship and Legal Battles Timeline


Are you wondering what happened with Johnny Depp and Amber Heard? Are you having trouble sorting out who's telling the truth as Johnny Depp and Amber Heard accuse each other of domestic violence?

As a counselor who has done a lot of research into domestic violence and written several books about partner abuse, including a book about women abusing men, I've been watching this case with a great deal of interest.

I decided to do a deep dive into Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's tumultuous relationship. I've realized that this is an ongoing project, but I've unearthed so much troubling information that I am sharing the timeline I'm creating to make sense of the many twists and turns.

From my review of the information that I have found so far, I have come to believe that:

  • Johnny Depp did not abuse Amber Heard. (For someone else's opinion, check out Teresa Silva's in-depth analysis of the veracity of Amber's accusations published in the Journal of Forensic Psychology Research and Practice article, "Assessment of Credibility of Testimony in Alleged Intimate Partner Violence: A Case Report.")

  • Amber Heard abused Johnny Depp in most, and possibly all, of the 7 forms of partner abuse (physical, sexual, financial, legal, verbal, spiritual, and emotional/psychological) to the point that she has tortured and tormented him.

  • Amber has falsely accused Johnny of domestic violence to control, demean, and punish him. (Partner abuse can be driven by any of 3 motivators: control, demean, or punish. Amber's false accusations of abuse hits the trifecta of partner abuse motivators.) 

  • Besides her motivations to abuse Johnny with her false accusations, Amber is playing the Domestic Violence Victim Card to get attention and admiration. Amber has set herself up as a victim-hero. Like her superhero movie character, she swoops in as a savior for women who have been abused. (The timeline exposes suspect timing of her public "advocacy" efforts and promotion of her movie Aquaman.)


I realize that it is challenging for people to recognize partner abuse when it is an abusive woman abusing her husband or boyfriend. I address this cultural blind spot in another post: Why is it So Hard To Recognize Abuse OF Men BY Women as a Problem?


Disclaimer: I'm NOT offering an official or legal diagnosis of anyone here. I'm just sharing my observations based on what I have seen. I have never met with any of the involved parties personally. 

 Ann Silvers books about partner abuse


As you review this timeline, please leave a comment below the post if you notice any mistakes, then I can work to fix them. Thanks.


Timeline of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Relationship, DV Accusations, and Legal Battles

Are you wondering when did Johnny Depp and Amber Heard meet? get married? start fighting? get divorced? What are the Amber Heard and Johnny Depp trials about and when are they?

I put together this timeline to help me make sense of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's relationship and the accusations of partner abuse. 

I've included links to articles and documents for those who want to learn more about the case for and against each of them. 


The Beginning of Amber and Johnny's Relationship to Their Marriage



Amber Heard arrested for domestic violence re assault on her then-partner Tasya Van Ree, in Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Amber spent the night in jail, charges weren't pursued because neither were WA State residents



Johnny Depp and Amber Heard meet filming movie "The Rum Diary"



Depp split from partner of 14 years Vanessa Paradis (mother of his 2 children, Lily-Rose and Jack)



Heard split from Tasya Van Ree



Depp/Heard announce engagement



Amber Heard and Johnny Depp Marriage


Amber Heard and Johnny Depp Marriage


Feb 3, 2015


Johnny Depp and Amber Heard wedding

Mar 8, 2015


Amber visits Johnny in Australia where's he's filming Pirates of the Caribbean. 

Johnny and Amber argue about the topic of a post-nuptial agreement.

Johnny's finger tip is severed 

Johnny Depp severed finger picture

Johnny says: Amber became violent and threw bottles at him. One of the bottles severed his finger. She also burnt his face with a cigarette. (Click here for video of JD's deposition re Amber throwing a vodka bottle at him and severing his finger.)

Amber says: Johnny went into a rage, tore up the place, beat her, and accidently severed his own finger tip. (See Amber's witness statement for the Sun libel trial. p 23-30.)

(Ben King, who was property manager in Australia, provided his knowledge of the scene of this incident in a statement.)

May, 2015


Authorities in Australia discover Amber Heard brought dogs into the country illegally

July, 2015


Heard charged in Australia for false documents re the dogs

Aug, 2015


Johnny and Amber honeymoon in Malaysia onboard the Eastern & Oriental Express train

mid-Sept, 2015 Johnny and Amber in Toronto for Danish Girl premier 
late-Sept, 2015 Johnny and Amber in Rio for JD's concert
Sept 26, 2015


Audio recordings of conversation between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard made at this time and presented as evidence by JD at The Sun libel trial in 2020 

 A few excerpts from the recordings:

Amber: "I was hitting you. It was not punching you. Babe, you're not punched. . . You didn't get punched. You got hit. . . .I did not punch you. I was hitting you."

Amber: "I can't promise you I won't get physical again. God, I f**king sometimes get so mad, I lose it.

JohnnyIf things get physical, we have to separate. We have to be apart from one another. Whether it's for f**king an hour or 10 hours or f**king a day, we must. There can be no physical violence.


I transcribed the entire 2 hours of recordings and offer analysis of some parts that stand out to me: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Audio Recording Sept 2015 Transcript and Analysis

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Audio Recording Sept 2015 Transcript and Analysis

Dec, 2015


One of the dates AH later alleges she was assaulted by JD (pictures released to People magazine during divorce negotiations summer 2016)

April 21, 2016


Johnny Depp attends a meeting in which he is informed that his long-time business manager has stolen over $600 million from him. JD is late for Amber's birthday party because of the meeting. He texts Amber throughout to explain his tardiness to her party. Amber is very angry. 

There is a fight and Johnny leaves the penthouse apartment.

Amber later claimed that Johnny physically abused her after the party. (One of the allegations in Amber's Request for a Restraining Order in May, 2016.)

Johnny accuses Amber of physically abusing him after the party: "Ms. Heard punched me repeatedly in the face as I lay in bed reading after the party, leaving me with an egg shaped swelling under my left eye." (Johnny Depp declaration May 2019.) 

(See The Sun UK libel trial transcript p 527-536.)

Amber throws Johnny's phone and attached wallet off the penthouse balcony. (See declaration from one of their security guards who tried to find the cell phone the next day.)

April 22, 2016


Johnny is informed by a housekeeper that there is feces in his bed.

Amber claims it was left by one of their small dogs. 

Johnny concludes that it was not possible that the small dog created the feces and that it was purposefully left there by Amber or one of her friends (iOTillet Wright). (See UK trial transcript p 538-540.)

(The housekeeper, Hilda Vargas, made a statement in 2019 confirming that the feces was a large quantity unlike feces produced by the dogs.)



Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Divorce Timeline


Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Separation DV accusations, divorce  




Johnny Depp decides to end the relationship and left Amber Heard permanently.

AH remains living in his Penthouse while JD lives in his other Hollywood house.



The death of Johnny Depp's mother after a long illness. (They were close.)



Johnny goes to the Penthouse to retrieve some personal possessions. (He has not been there for a month.)

JD and AH argue.

Amber's friend calls 911 for her to report domestic violence. 

LAPD Police report that they found no evidence of domestic violence. 

Police bodycam footage in Johnny and Amber's penthouse contradicts DV allegations.

Amber would later accuse Johnny of being violent—including hitting her and badly bruising her face—during this meeting. 


Amber Heard accusations of DV against Johnny Depp, evidence and testimony,

-------- I detail this event from the perspective of Johnny, Amber, the police, and witnesses in another blog post: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard May 2016 Domestic Violence Abuse Accusation, What Happened? --------------



Johnny leaves CA for the east coast to prepare for a previously scheduled tour with his band, Hollywood Vampires. He doesn't plan to return to CA for a couple of months.



Amber Heard files for divorce citing "irreconcilable differences", asking for $50K/month alimony and other financial support



Amber is in Johnny's West Hollywood home and meets with her stylist, Samantha McMillan. Samantha would later submit a declaration that she was close to Amber's makeup-free face and saw "no visible marks, bruise, cuts, or injuries to her face or any other part of her body."



Amber's attorney sends letter to Johnny's business attorney accusing JD of "violently attacking and threatening Amber on May 21st" and other acts of domestic violence. "Amber is afraid of Johnny" but "she strongly insists that we do everything to keep this personal matter out of the media spotlight" and that's why "we did not arrange for Johnny to have been personally served at last night's movie premier."

After this thinly veiled threat, they go on to make financial demands which must be met "by the close of business on May 27, 2016." 

While the letter says Amber is afraid of Johnny, it does not ask that Johnny stay away from her. It does ask for alimony, exclusive use of 3 penthouse apartments at Johnny's expense, $100k for attorney fees, and other payments. 



Johnny has not complied with Amber's financial demands



Johnny is in Europe with his band, Hollywood Vampires, for a tour beginning with a Lisboa, Portugal concert on this date.  


Amber files emergency ex-parte Request for Restraining Order etc. accusing Johnny of domestic violence including throwing phone at her on May 21: "During the entirety of our relationship, Johnny has been verbally and physically abusive to me."  

Amber's attorney confirms that she sent the May 24 letter to Johnny's business attorney. She claims that they have to do the emergency restraining order because that attempt to settle out of court failed. [But recall that the letter only pressed Johnny to agree to their financial terms or else they would go public. It did not even mention Johnny staying away from Amber.]

Amber's emergency request also reiterates her financial demands. (Remember that AH and JD were married for about a year.)


Amber Heard request for restraining order and alimony


The hearing is held on the same day as the emergency request. Heard appears outside of court with "bruise" on her cheek.



Amber is photographed coming out of a meeting with her lawyers. She appears to have little, if any, makeup on and doesn't appear to have a "bruise" on her cheek. 

Amber Heard pictures of bruise May 2016

Note: Photos of Amber May 27 appear in multiple newspapers and magazines.  May 28 pics appear in a mags/papers including US Weekly



Johnny's attorney's response to Amber's Request for Restraining Order:

"Amber is attempting to secure a premature financial resolution by alleging abuse."

There was no need for an emergency hearing.

The bulk of Amber's requests are financial and these are not typically taken up on an emergency basis.

"Johnny is willing to stipulate to mutual stay-away and personal conduct orders even though he and Amber are on different continents, as Amber is aware."



People magazine publishes photos—supplied by Amber— showing her with black eyes and bruised lip. Title: "New Photos Show Amber Heard's Injuries Allegedly Caused by Johnny Depp in Another Domestic Violence Incident"

Summer or Fall 2016


I'm unsure of the date or source of this recording, but a recording was made of a telephone conversation between Johnny and Amber during divorce negotiations. (The recording appears in a Daily Mail article. The full 30-minute recording is attached to a video near the end of the article. At the bottom of the article is a transcript of the call.) (The audio is also on YouTube.)

This recording is very damaging to Amber. She is using society's blindness to the reality that sometimes women can and do physically abuse their male partners to cover her.


"Tell the world Johnny, tell them Johnny Depp, 'I Johnny Depp, a man, I'm a victim too of domestic violence.'"

"You're going to get up on the stand, Johnny, and say, 'she started it'? Really?"

"And see how many people believe or side with you."



Divorce settlement: Depp to pay Heard $7 Million, Heard to get the dogs, both agree to not disparage the other publicly, Heard withdraws requests for DV restraining order and alimony



Amber Heard releases statement that she will donate her $7M divorce settlement to the ACLU for victims of DV and the Children's Hospital LA

"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.. . .

The donation will be divided equally between the ACLU, with a particular focus to stop violence against women, and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles . . ."

[Amber got an enormous amount of positive press from this for years. Media took it to be a fact that Amber did this generous act. She admitted in 2020 that she had not made the donations and Johnny's team is working on finding out what actually happened.]



Amber does a video domestic violence victims PSA entitled 'SPEAK UP' for the Girlgaze Project. 

The video is the focus of many online magazine articles, but all of them have the "video unavailable" when I was looking for it Dec 2021, for example in this NY DailyNews article:

Amber Heard Domestic Violence Victims PSA

I found the video here.

Dec, 2016


Amber writes "An open letter to Porter Magazine," a fashion magazine that is running a big article on her in their Fall 2016 edition. The "open letter" gets picked up by many online media outlets.

"You may have suffered alone behind closed doors, but you are not alone. You need to know that. I want to remind you of your strength, a strength that has been multiplied by the number of women who stand silently behind you—a truth that allowed me to break down the doors I once found myself behind… Let’s start with the truth—the cold, hard truth. When a woman comes forward to speak out about injustice or her suffering, instead of aid, respect and support, she will be met with hostility, skepticism and shame. Her motives will be questioned and her truth ignored… I never felt like anyone would or could rescue me, so naturally I resented the label of 'victim.'"

Jan, 2017


Heard/Depp divorce finalized



Johnny Depp Defamation and Libel Lawsuits and Trials Timeline

Johnny Depp defamation lawsuit libel trial timeline



Sun Newspaper, London, UK, runs a story based on Heard's domestic violence accusations against Depp. The Sun original wife beater article:  “Gone Potty: How can J.K. Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new ‘Fantastic Beasts’ film?”



Johnny Depp sues The Sun for libel



Amber is a speaker at the One Young World conference in the Netherlands. She is there as an advocate for justice for all.

Amber is then interviewed regarding her speech by RTL, a Dutch broadcast.

During the broadcast, the interviewer fawns over how great and noble Amber is and Amber takes the opportunity to once again declare that she has donated the entirety of her divorce settlement to two specific charities. 

Interviewer (9:25): Then there was a divorce settlement. You got $7Million. People were saying this is all about the money, but then you did something that twisted that whole argument. What did you do with the money?”

Amber Heard (9:34): “Seven Million Dollars in total was donated to. I split it between ACLU and Children’s Hospital of Las Angeles. . . .I wanted nothing.

Note that Amber clearly states that the "total was donated"--past tense. During the 2020 libel trial re The Sun article, it would be exposed that Amber did NOT make the donations. 



Amber writes an op-ed for the WaPo presenting herself as a maligned victim of domestic violence

Amber Heard Washington Post article accusations of domestic violence

The photo that accompanies the article is from the Dec 12th LA premier of Ambers' first big role: Aquaman, which was being released at this time. (Johnny points this out in his defamation lawsuit against Amber, p 20.)

Dec, 2018


Johnny fired from Pirates of the Caribbean by Disney

Mar 1, 2019


Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard: Depp sues Heard for defamation over the Washington Post article. The case is in Fairfax County, Virginia, the site of the WaPo printing presses.


Johnny's declaration for the defamation lawsuit:

"I am bringing this lawsuit not only to clear my name and restore my reputation, but to attempt to bring clarity to the women and men whose lives have been harmed by abuse and who have been repeatedly lied to by Ms. Heard purporting to be their spokesperson."

Jul, 2020


UK trial re Depp accusing The Sun newspaper of libel

Click for Johnny Depp vs News Group Newspapers trial transcripts.

Click here for witness statements related to the trial.

Among many things that are exposed during the trial is that Amber has NOT donated the divorce settlement that she received. 



Johnny loses the UK libel trial. The judge declared that The Sun article was "substantially true."



Johnny receives letter from Warner Bros: asks him to resign from the Fantastic Beasts movie role.

Feb, 2021


MGM postpones US release date of Depp's film "Minamata" to TBA



Heard requests that the US defamation case against her be dismissed because of the UK trial result.

Aug 17, 2021


US Judge rejects Amber's motion to dismiss Johnny's defamation case re the UK WaPo op-ed

Aug, 2021


NY judge grants Depp's petition to determine whether Heard donated the $7 Mil divorce settlement as she claimed 

Oct, 2021


Australian authorities confirm that they are investigating Amber for perjury in the 2015 dog importation case



JD wins ruling giving him access to AH's phone re whether she doctored pics of herself alleging DV injuries



Elon Musk and James Franco called to testify in JD's defamation case against AH

(During Sun trial, Concierge of JD's & AH's building testified: "From March 2015 onwards, Ms Heard was visited regularly late at night, at around 11pm to midnight, by Mr Elon Musk.")

Deposition dates: Musk, Jan 24, 2022; Franco, Jan 26, 2022

April 11, 2022


Planned beginning of trial for Johnny Depp's defamation lawsuit re the Washington Post op-ed


 Abuse OF Men BY Women: It Happens, It Hurts, and It's Time to Get Real About It





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  • Ann Silvers
Comments 3
  • Ann Silvers
    Ann Silvers

    Hi Esraa. Yes. Listening to the recordings of Amber and Johnny talking are chilling. You hear her manipulate Johnny as she flashes in anger, turns coy and complimentary to pull him in, chastises him for not “staying and fighting” . . . while Johnny stays calm and tries to present ways that they can have a better relationship. I wanted to know what was in the recorded 2-hour conversation between Amber and Johnny and not just the most common damning comments that Amber made, so I transcribed both of the 1-hour recordings. I put them in a blog post that includes my analysis:

  • Shirley Hicks
    Shirley Hicks

    I think about this case. I’m a DV Survivor. As Survivor I think about what he is going though. I understand he is a celebrity . He is a Man first with feeling! To me it’s heartbreaking to have your hole private life out there for the world to know about. It hard enough being a No body you may have 30 or less people know about your abuse . Mr. Depp has millions and social media which are daily reminders . I can only imagine the stress is under how he can’t move on. What he is doing is so adorable most men wouldn’t do what he is doing. I stand by him as a DV Survivor.

  • Esraa Elbehery
    Esraa Elbehery

    As a domestic violence survivor myself i feel offended and disgusted by what Amber heard has done! I never believed her. Specially after hearing the tapes, and watching her court recordings and watching her eat cookies to delay her answers till her lawyer advises her with what to say, shame on her!.
    We want justice for Johnny Depp!

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