Heard denies blackmail claim

Actress Amber Heard has given a statement to Los Angeles police accusing estranged husband Johnny Depp of domestic violence, her lawyers said on May 31.

LOS ANGELES • Johnny Depp's estranged wife has denied a claim that she is trying to "blackmail" the actor and lying about his domestic abuse.

Actress Amber Heard's lawyer responded after a guest column in entertainment website The Wrap made the accusation. In a letter to The Wrap on Monday, Heard's lawyer Peter Sample said the claim "has no basis" and "is nothing but the typical celebrity muckraking for profit", and demanded a retraction.

Heard, 30, last week filed for divorce in Los Angeles and appeared in court with a black eye, accusing the star of assault. In a sworn statement, Heard - who is seeking spousal support - said Depp was verbally and physically abusive to her in their relationship. She submitted pictures to the court showing a bruise on her face that she claimed was inflicted during a fight on May 21.

In the column, published in The Wrap on Sunday, comic Doug Stanhope referred to Depp as a friend and said he has known him for a few years. He wrote that he and his girlfriend were at Depp's house on May 21 just before the alleged assault. Depp, 52, told them: "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 (divorce) terms."

"Blackmail is what I would imagine other people might put it," Stanhope wrote.

Actor-director and Monty Python alumnus Terry Gilliam retweeted the column. "Like many of Johnny Depp's friends, I'm discovering that Amber is a better actress than I thought," he tweeted, immediately provoking a backlash from Twitter users, reported Agence France-Presse.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 01, 2016, with the headline 'Heard denies blackmail claim'. Print Edition | Subscribe