WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Amber Heard pledged that she’d donate $3.5 million from her divorce settlement with Johnny Depp to the ACLU.
- ACLU’s COO Terence Dougherty testified that the organization received only $1.3 million.
- Dougherty believed $500,000 of the sum came from Elon Musk, who Heard dated after separating from Depp.
Amber Heard announced in 2016 that she would donate the entirety of her $7 million divorce settlement with Johnny Depp to charity. Heard said the money would be divided between two organizations — the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
On Thursday, the general counsel and chief operating officer of the ACLU testified that it never received the full $3.5 million promised by Heard. Terence Dougherty believed about half the donations it received in Heard’s name came from Elon Musk. The Tesla CEO dated Heard after her breakup with Depp.
According to Dougherty, the ACLU received four donations in Heard’s name, totaling $1.3 million. Heard directly paid one of those payments — $350,000 in August 2016. The other payments were a $100,000 check from Depp, $350,000 from a donor-advised fund at Fidelity, and $500,000 from a donor-advised fund at Vanguard (which the ACLU believed was from Musk.).
Musk sent an email to Anthony Romero, the executive director of the ACLU, indicating that Heard would donate the total $3.5 million over a 10-year period, Dougherty said.
“Amber, I described your plan to donate $3.5 million to the ACLU over the next 10 years as you very much believe what you were doing,” Musk wrote in an email sent to Romero in August 2016.
Dougherty added that Heard hasn’t donated the rest of the money. Also, she didn’t sign a pledge form that ACLU staffers prepared for her. She also asked the ACLU not to issue a press release about her $3.5 million pledge.
The 2019 installment never came, Dougherty said. “We reached out to Heard starting in 2019 for the next installment of her giving, and we learned that she was having financial difficulties.”
Rumors started to surface about Heard dating Musk within months of Depp and Heard’s split in May 2016. In text messages shown in court on Wednesday, Heard told her former agent that she never really loved Musk. They reportedly had broken up in August 2017.
Depp said his ex-wife ruined his reputation and career by insinuating that she had been the victim of domestic violence in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed. Heard accused Depp of physically assaulting her on multiple occasions before and during their marriage.
Dougherty testified that ACLU lawyers had helped Heard draft the op-ed.