Amber Heard's lawyer shoots down blackmail accusations
A lawyer for Johnny Depp's estranged wife Amber Heard has slammed "offensive" allegations suggesting the actress made up her domestic abuse claims as a means of blackmail.
The 30-year-old beauty filed for divorce from her husband of 15 months on 23 May (16), but their separation proceedings took a troubling turn on Friday (27May16), when she submitted documents to the court alleging Depp had physically abused her.
At the weekend (ends29May16), Depp's close friend, comedian Doug Stanhope, published a guest column on TheWrap.com, suggesting the actress has ulterior motives with her abuse claims, writing that Heard was "threatening to lie about him publicly in any and every possible duplicitous way if he didn't agree to her terms".
He continued, "Blackmail is what I would imagine other people might put it (sic), including the manner in which he is now being vilified."
Heard's attorney, Peter Sample, fired back at Stanhope's accusation on Monday (30May16), slamming his essay in a statement to TheWrap, which reads: "It is highly offensive and disturbing that you would choose to publish it in the first place."
"The allegations against Ms. Heard are absolutely and unequivocally false," Sample continued. "The letter has no basis in reality and is nothing but the typical celebrity muckraking for profit."
He demanded a retraction of the article on the basis it is defamatory and "outrageous". Editors at TheWrap stated they will respond to his letter through their legal counsel.
Stanhope isn't the only one coming to the defence of Depp - in addition to his superstar friends, such as Paul Bettany and Mickey Rourke, the Pirates of the Caribbean star's daughter Lily-Rose Depp and her mother, his ex-partner Vanessa Paradis, have also defended the star, with Vanessa writing an open letter in which she called the abuse claims "outrageous".
Meanwhile, Depp was in Sweden on Monday, playing a gig at Stockholm's Grona Lund amusement park with his rock band Hollywood Vampires.
Critics who have called for a boycott of Depp's work amid the abuse allegations had urged event bosses to axe the show, but shortly before show time, a spokesperson insisted they would allow Depp and his bandmates, including Alice Cooper and Joe Perry, to play on as planned.
A representative for Grona Lund released a statement to People magazine, which read: "We are opposed to any sort of violence, of course. But it's also equally important that we cannot judge someone beforehand. Everyone, including Johnny Depp, should be allowed to have the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty."
Depp and the band went on as scheduled and performed for the sold-out crowd without incident.
- Cover Media