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(Video Credit: Access)
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) revealed in testimony during the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard $100 million defamation trial that it had ghost-written the Washington Post op-ed allegedly accusing Depp of domestic abuse, reportedly timing it for the release of “Aquaman” in which she played a role.
The ACLU also stated that Heard had only donated $1.3 million to their coffers after promising in 2016 to fork over $3.5 million from her divorce settlement with Depp, stating that the actress was having financial difficulties. The organization also contends that Heard’s ex, South African billionaire Elon Musk donated $500,000 of the money that Heard gave to the ACLU, according to the Daily Mail.
The Washington Post op-ed is central to the trial with Heard asserting that she is a survivor of domestic abuse at the hands of Depp.
Jezebel is reporting that email correspondence indicates that Robin Shulman, who is a communications strategist with the ACLU, first drafted the op-ed for consumption in November of 2018 a month before it was published. It is being alleged that Heard’s legal team deliberately edited the piece to make sure it did not outwardly incriminate Depp by name.
The ACLU just confirmed what everyone already knew. The Op-ed Amber Heard wrote was meant to be released along with the premiere of Aquaman. And that it was indeed, very intentionally, about Johnny Depp…as all parties involved schemed to make it about him as much as possible.
— Brian McPherson (@ThatBrianFella) April 28, 2022
Amber Heard’s lawyers today: “This op-Ed is not about Johnny Depp”
Amber Heard’s lawyers before publishing the op-Ed: pic.twitter.com/XF9UyibGdQ
— brooke (@depplyhaIIows) April 28, 2022
In a message to Heard that was dated November 29, 2018, Shulman said that she tried to “gather your fire and rage” for the op-ed piece.
In a follow-up message, Shulman told Heard, “Our lawyers should review this for the way I skirted around your marriage.”
Jessica Weitz, another member of the ACLU communications team, told Heard, ‘I want to make sure nothing was said in here that puts you in jeopardy with your NDA’ with Depp after the divorce.
Terence Dougherty, who is the general counsel and COO of the ACLU, testified that the ACLU was told to pitch the piece to a number of media outlets. The New York Times, Teen Vogue, and USA Today were initially considered but The Washington Post eventually won out and ran the op-ed. He claimed that it was about “gender-based violence issues.”
terence dougherty has just blown amber heard's case to pieces. her 2018 op-ed WAS about johnny depp. they knew as did everyone else. i hope the jury have taken good notes from this deposition because it ends it for her. #JusticeForJohnnyDepp
— cris ❦ (@crixmullen) April 28, 2022
Stacey Sullivan, who is another member of the ACLU’s communication team, pitched the article to Michael Duffy, an editor at The Washington Post.
The email allegedly said, “Hey Michael, wondering if we might interest you in an op-ed by Amber Heard ‘Who as you may recall was beaten up during her brief marriage to Johnny Depp.'”
Heard emailed her team and the ACLU after The Washington Post picked up the piece, “It’s going to the Washington Post!!!”
Garry Johnson, who is another communications associate, emailed other staff members about the timing of the release of the op-ed in order to promote the premiere of “Aquaman.”
“Since draft turned out pretty strong and Aquaman slated to do large numbers I’m wondering what you think about it?” Johnson wrote.
Another staffer was even blunter concerning the timing of the op-ed and asserted that it should be published as quickly as possible “to capitalize on the tremendous campaign for Aquaman.”
It is unclear whether the ACLU helping Heard had anything to do with the donation that she pledged to them.
Amber Heard paid $350k for her gig as ACLU ambassador. That should tell you all you need to know about her and this op-ed.
— Christina Pykles (@ChristinaPykles) April 28, 2022
Heard never signed a formal pledge prepared for her by the ACLU concerning her vow to donate half of her divorce settlement in 2016 to them. The other half was slated to go to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.
“We reached out to Heard starting in 2019 for the next installment of her giving and we learned that she was having financial difficulties,” Dougherty stated
There were three payments to the ACLU that included a $100,000 check from Heard’s ex-husband Johnny Depp, $500,000 from a donor-advised fund at the Vanguard Group, and $350,000 from a donor-advised fund at Fidelity Investments.
ACLU helped Amber Heard write the op-ed for the Washington Post. They knew she hadnt personally donated a penny. They knew Johnny Depp had donated $100000 in her name. They knew his reputation was being destroyed yet they stayed silent!#JusticeForJohnnyDepp
— Muffin🌟 (@JohnnyasR) April 28, 2022
Dougherty testified that the ACLU believes the Vanguard payment was from a fund established by Musk. The Tesla CEO had allegedly emailed Anthony Romero, the executive director of the ACLU, informing him that Heard would donate the total $3.5 million sum over a 10-year period as opposed to a one-time donation.
“Amber, I described your plan to donate $3.5 million to the ACLU over the next 10 years as you very much believe what you were doing,” Musk purportedly wrote in 2016.
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