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Amber Heard hasn’t fulfilled her commitment to donate $3.5 million from her Johnny Depp divorce settlement to the American Civil Liberties Union, Terence Dougherty, ACLU’s COO and general counsel said in pre-recorded testimony on Thursday as part of Depp’s $50 million defamation trial against his ex-wife.
Dougherty said Heard agreed to give half of her $7 million settlement in 2016 but as of this year, she had paid less than half of the commitment.
The most recent installment was made in December 2018 and in 2019 Dougherty said the ACLU contacted Heard about continuing payments and was told she was having “financial difficulties.”
He said Heard had directly paid $350,000 to the ACLU. A $100,000 check from Depp, a $500,000 payment from a donor-advised fund at Vanguard that Dougherty said the organization believes is associated with Elon Musk, Heard’s ex-boyfriend, and a $350,000 payment from a donor-advised fund at Fidelity that he believes also came from Musk, rounded out the payments.
Actor Amber Heard speaks to her legal team in the courtroom at the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Va., Thursday, April 28, 2022. (Michael Reynolds/Pool Photo via AP)
In total, she was credited with donating $1.3 million, with the majority of that appearing to come from Musk and Depp.
“So it’s fair to say she has not donated $3.5 million as of today?” Depp’s lawyer questioned Dougherty in his video testimony from last December.
Actor Johnny Depp returns after a break at the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Va., Thursday, April 28, 2022. (Michael Reynolds/Pool Photo via AP)
“True,” Dougherty answered.
After her divorce, Heard announced she would donate the money.
“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,” she said in a statement at the time, according to People magazine.
Musk emailed the ACLU’s CEO in 2017, after he started dating Heard, explaining that his girlfriend intended to satisfy her $3.5 million pledge over 10 years, Dougherty testified but said that time commitment wasn’t “specifically confirmed.”
Tesla CEO Elon Musk attends the opening of the Tesla factory Berlin Brandenburg in Gruenheide, Germany on March 22, 2022. Musk dated Amber Heard after her divorce and the ACLU believes he helped Heard with some of her pledged donation to the organization. (Patrick Pleul/Pool Photo via AP, File)
Dougherty also testified that the ACLU drafted the op-ed that Heard penned, claiming Depp had abused her during their marriage. The Washington Post op-ed is at the center of Depp’s defamation case. He denies the allegations.
Heard planned to give the remaining $3.5 million from her $7 million divorce settlement to the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. It’s unclear if she fulfilled that commitment.
In July, Heard’s lawyer Elaine Bredehoft said, the actress “has always said she fully intends to continue to give the full $7 million, but she can’t do it yet. She will do it when she can. But she has given a significant amount,” Vanity Fair reported.