Aside from Johnny Depp's own family members, his friend, the stand-up comedian Doug Stanhope, has been one of his most visible and vocal defenders against the allegations that he physically abused his wife Amber Heard. Now it looks like Stanhope's words in support of Depp have landed him in legal trouble.
Heard is reportedly suing Stanhope for defamation in response to an article he guest wrote for the website The Wrap titled "Johnny Depp Is Being Blackmailed by Amber Heard -- Here's How I Know," in which he said:
Bingo and I were at Johnny’s house for most of that Saturday until just before the alleged assault. We assumed initially that his dour mood was because of his mother’s death the day before. But he opened up in the most vulnerable of ways that it was not only his mother, but that Amber was now going to leave him, threatening to lie about him publicly in any and every possible duplicitous way if he didn’t agree to her terms. Blackmail is what I would imagine other people might put it, including the manner in which he is now being vilified.
After Heard's lawyers responded to The Wrap with a letter calling Stanhope's claims against her "unequivocally false," The Hollywood Reporter posted the entire text of Heard's lawsuit, which calls Stanhope out by name as well as other unnamed defendants. She apparently plans to donate any damages she wins in the case to charity.
"Stanhope is a close friend of Johnny Depp and, as part of a coordinated effort, wrote a highly defamatory article about Ms. Heard, filled with completely false, highly defamatory and very hurtful statements. Ms. Heard seeks the maximum possible jury award and will donate 100 percent of the proceeds from the lawsuit to Chrysalis, a domestic-violence shelter in Arizona, in an effort to counter the setback made to women by the defendants' defamatory article and related wrongful acts."
The documents claim that Depp's publicity team is taking action to smear Heard's name and to bury the allegations of abuse and false information. Here's what it said about Depp's recent press run for his new film.
"Depp's publicity tour was coordinated by Depp and his powerful representatives, who surreptitiously disseminated numerous false statements about Heard. As a result of his coordinated, malicious campaign, a number of news organizations have repeated these false statements, disparaging Heard and harming her reputation and career."
The lawsuit also includes more allegations against Depp, and refers to him as an alcoholic and drug addict.
“Depp has hit and kicked Heard on numerous occasions, has thrown objects at her, at one point nearly suffocated her to the point where she feared for her life. Heard repeatedly returned to Depp, despite his verbal and physical mistreatment of her, hoping optimistically that the man she married would change his behavior. Each time Heard returned, however, within months, the cycle of substance abuse and violence repeated.”
It's not clear how much Heard is suing Stanhope for, though the lawsuit states that it's the maximum damages. Stanhope is known for his stand-up, including his most recent special, Beer Hall Putsch, named for Adolph Hitler's failed coup attempt, as well as his appearance on Louie, in which he played an old friend who returns to NYC to tell Louie he plans to kill himself.