Amber Heard is fighting back after comedian Doug Stanhope accused her of blackmailing her estranged husband Johnny Depp. Stanhope, a stand-up comedian who claims to be good friends with Depp, published a guest column for TheWrap on Sunday, May 29, alleging that Heard was falsely accusing Depp of domestic violence in an attempt to blackmail the actor. These allegations against Heard came just days after the actress obtained a restraining order against Depp and filed for divorce citing irreconcilable differences. In his column, Stanhope claims that Heard threatened to spread lies about Depp in the press if he didn't agree to her terms for a divorce, an alleged threat the comedian claims is now coming to fruition. In her response, Heard denied allegations that she was blackmailing Depp in a statement from her lawyer released on Monday.
In a letter to TheWrap, Heard's lawyer Peter Sample called the allegations "absolutely and unequivocally false." The letter went on, dismissing Stanhope's claims as "outrageous" and admonishing TheWrap for publishing the guest column, in which Stanhope claimed that he and other friends of Depp have never approved of the actor's relationship with Heard. Bustle has reached out to a legal representative for Heard, but did not hear back at the time of publication.
On Friday, Heard obtained a restraining order against her estranged husband, and details of the accompanying allegations of domestic abuse spread across media platforms. In a court document, Heard reportedly detailed an alleged incident that is supposed to have occurred on Saturday, May 21, during which she claims Depp threw an iPhone at her face, resulting in bruises. Along with her statement, Heard also submitted photos that appear to show Heard with bruises around her right eye.
In his column, Stanhope, who admits that he has only been close with Depp for "a few years," claims that he was with Depp on the Saturday that the alleged iPhone incident took place. Moreover, the comedian claimed that, during his visit with Depp, the actor allegedly told him that Heard was trying to blackmail him. "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 terms," Stanhope alleged. Depp has not yet commented on Stanhope's claims, but the column does echo a statement made by Depp's lawyer, Laura Wasser, Friday, accusing Heard of "attempting to secure a premature financial resolution by alleging abuse."
Stanhope denied all allegations of domestic abuse against Depp outright. In fact, he claimed that Depp was the victim of abuse, claiming that he had been watching Heard "manipulate and f*ck with him for years." According to Stanhope, all of Depp's friends disapproved of his relationship with Heard, but were too afraid to say anything, writing, "his closest circle had all agreed on this since the day we met and... we all feared that telling him outright might alienate us all."
Stanhope is just one in a long list of Depp's friends, co-workers and family that have released messages of support for the actor. Depp's ex Vanessa Paradis reportedly wrote a letter of support, and their daughter Lily-Rose has also come at the defense of her father. Terry Gilliam, director of Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, has also offered his support. Gilliam re-tweeted Stanhope's column, adding "Like many of Johnny Depp's friends I'm discovering that Amber is a better actress than I thought."
Meanwhile, rumors about Depp and Heard continue to circulate, suggesting that this will be a long, drama-filled celebrity divorce.