I have been sort of purposely trying to avoid writing about the Johnny Depp – Amber Heard divorce on purpose. If was a high-profile affair, and the added domestic abuse allegations against Depp made it a particularly sordid affair from a media perspective. All of the he-said she-said that comes along with such a case always promises to cast all sorts of doubt on the alleged victim of the abuse, as well as paint a potentially innocent “perpetrator” in a negative light unfairly. In the case of the Heard/Depp case, this was evident from the very moment the story broke. Just about every play from the High Profile Hollywood Divorce Handbook came to pass, with everything from Depp’s exes and friends writing open letters of support to photographic and video footage of Heard’s abuse allegations. Quite frankly, like everyone else, I did not know what to believe, and in an uncharacteristic move for a gossip writer thought it wise to just stay out of it entirely until there was a definitive end to the thing.
It appears that the moment has finally arrived. After months of speculation and allegations flying in both directions, Team Depp has agreed to pay Heard 7 million in a divorce settlement. Heard, who has had to endure the yoke of the type of public scrutiny that comes along with domestic violence allegations, has had to endure being called everything under the sun from “gold digger” to “crazy”, and then some. Admittedly, while I was never really a huge fan of Heard, it seems impossible that anyone would want to put themselves in the position that she has for the sake of a payout. As it turns out, Heard has made sure that as the case winds-up, everyone else knows that this is not the case. According to People Magazine, Heard has donated the entire 7 million that she received from the Depp settlement to charity. Yep, all of it. She gave away every last cent of Depp’s settlement money, and released the following statement.
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. As reported in the media, the amount received in the divorce was $7 million and $7 million is being donated. This is over and above any funds that I have given away in the past and will continue to give away in the future
Looking back at the case in hindsight, Heard has always maintained that her allegations were never about the money, and her actions in the wake of the settlement pretty much underscore that sentiment. As more and more information surfaces about Depp’s behavior – the substance abuse, the drunken rants, more and more it’s looking like Heard will be the one who emerge from the flames of this high-profile case intact. Admittedly, this is one of the most deft PR moves I have seen in a long while (Taylor Swift’s handlers, take note), and as the dust settles, I tip my hat to Heard and her team for not only taking the high road while the case was ongoing, but making sure that Heard quite literally put her money where her mouth is and silenced her critics once and for all. According to People, the donation “will be divided among a number of charities but with a particular focus to stop violence against women” as well as the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, where Heard has worked as a volunteer for the past 10 years.
I know these organizations will put the funds to good use and look forward to continuing to support them in the future. Hopefully, this experience results in a positive change in the lives of people who need it the most
Specific to the domestic violence charity, Heard has chosen the ACLU (the American Civil Liberties Union) to receive half of the 7 million settlement, and the donation has been specifically earmarked to aid in stopping violence against women.
With that simple yet sweeping financial gesture, Amber heard appears to taken any of the doubts and speculation as to what her motives have been during this case and sent them directly onto the trash heap once and for all. While she undoubtedly wants to put all of this behind her and start her life (and I daresay her career, if she is able) with a clean slate, she has made sure that the world, and particularly Johnny Depp, knows that she has won this round, and wants to share her victory with all women.
As for Depp, it will be interesting going-forward to see how, or even if, this affects his career. With so many high-profile people coming out of the woodwork and supporting him (despite a growing body of evidence that there may have been issues), I’m guessing that as usual, Hollywood will give one of their favorite sons a pass – again.
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