Johnny Depp sues Elon Musk and ACLU in $ 50 million lawsuit by Amber Heard – Deadline

Just over three months to trial in Johnny Depp’s $ 50million libel lawsuit against Amber Heard should finally begin, slipped pink Fantastic beasts The actor wants Elon Musk and the American Civil Liberties Union to be drawn into the case.

As Depp awaits a UK hearing next month over his hopes of appealing in his defamation lawsuit lost late last year against the tabloid The sun for calling him a “wife beater,” his US lawyers have issued subpoenas for billionaire SpaceX, the non-profit group First Amendment and its Foundation arm. Now facing a $ 100 million counterclaim Rum Journal co-star, Team Depp wants Musk and the ACLU entities to sit down to file depositions on the matter, as well as relevant documentation of their interactions with Heard.

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In Musk’s subpoena, Depp’s attorneys at Brown Rudnick LLP have 24 claims that essentially cover “all communications between you and Ms. Heard relating to Mr. Depp.” Among the two dozen requests are specific requests on The sun case, the ACLU and “any allegation of physical abuse or domestic violence committed by Mr. Depp or Ms. Heard.”

In the ACLU’s first subpoena (read it here), the “topics” searched are basically the same in scope, with an emphasis on donations, the libel lawsuit, and conversations about “Mr. . Depp and Mrs. Heard ”.

You might be wondering what Elon Musk and the ACLU have to do with the case Depp launched against his ex-wife in March 2019 at the end of 2018. Washington post did she write?

Well, Musk dated the Aquaman the actress for a while after her marriage to Depp fell apart. However, although the latter has repeatedly claimed that the former and Heard were involved in a romantic relationship before she and Depp went their separate ways. The PayPal co-founder has denied the allegations. Musk even joked last summer about settling things with Depp in a ‘cage fight’ as his name kept coming up in the UK libel lawsuit. The ACLU was one of two organizations Heard said in 2016 it was donating half of its $ 7 million divorce settlement from Depp.

Subsequently appointed ACLU’s Ambassador for Women’s Rights, Heard was publicly thanked at the time by the organization’s “incredibly grateful” executive director for “so generously showing her support.” After hearing WaPo An editorial on domestic violence was published in late 2018, the ACLU reposted the article that sparked all this legal battle on the group’s website.

However, with the ACLU having apparently turned a blind eye to previous subpoena attempts, Heard’s lead lawyer Elaine Bredehoft diplomatically admitted last month that her client had been “delayed” in her full charitable contributions, as promised.

This is seen as vital in the case of the UK, where Heard’s character and gifts played a central role in Judge Andrew Nicol’s reasoning to judge overwhelmingly against Depp. Shortly after this verdict was revealed in London, Depp was kicked out of the Fantastic beasts franchise by Warner Bros. and hit its A-list roost well.

Neither Musk nor the ACLU responded to Deadline’s requests for their respective subpoenas. Right now, after several delays due to Covid-19 lockdowns and other cases, the trial is scheduled to begin on May 17 in Fairfax County, Virginia.

The latest subpoenas come as Depp’s side wants court permission for “non-party witnesses” to give “live testimony at trial” via video link due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and travel restrictions.

Heard’s lawyers are not 100% opposed to the idea, but fear that the “rules” have already made enough accommodation for such witnesses. A hearing on the motion is scheduled for the court for February 26. In addition, a February 19 hearing is scheduled on Heard’s request that a conciliator be appointed by the court to “help resolve disclosure disputes”, of which there have been many in this case. . . Part of the role of this conciliator, if he were to be appointed, would be to “force the contact details of previously identified witnesses”.

In that vein is the issue of the pending deposition of lawyer and adviser Depp Adam Waldman, who at times seems to have been as much at the heart of this case as the former high-profile couple. A February 3 letter released in the court register Thursday says finding the generally outspoken Waldman is not proving easy.

“I made several attempts in person to serve Adam Waldman at two Washington DC addresses with this subpoena, but without success,” process server Mark Simons said in correspondence with the clerk of the District of Columbia Superior Court. (read here). Essentially waiving, Simons says he sent the subpoenas to DC addresses and left them at the clerk’s office, “because I can’t confirm an address known to Mr. Waldman.”

Frequent tweeter Waldman has been silent on social media since January 21. He did not return to Deadline when we contacted him about the snafu surrounding his subpoena.

Drawing closer to the trial start date in late spring, Depp’s desire to drag Musk and the ACLU into the nearly two-year affair in many ways replicates a broad move launched by Heard in the month. latest. In January, the actress sent subpoenas to the LAPD and to Pirates of the Caribbean Disney studio for anything they might or might not have on her ex-husband.

A request that includes “body-cam” footage of LAPD 911 visits to the couple’s apartment in downtown Los Angeles in May 2016. The LAPD subpoena also seeks internal ministry communication on her and Depp. , as well as “all documents and communications of any kind with Mr. Depp and / or any of the agents, lawyers or other persons acting on his behalf, from May 21, 2016 until today. “

Among Disney’s many subpoena requests, the House of Mouse is to pass on any information on “incidents of drug or alcohol use (including suspected drug or alcohol use), details of “Any delay or delay caused by Mr. Depp”; and “any incident of violence or abuse committed by Mr. Depp.”

Already seen, once again.

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