Amber Heard Drops Defamation Lawsuit Against Doug Stanhope

Actress alleged that she was defamed by article claiming that she had blackmailed estranged husband Johnny Depp

Amber Heard has dropped her defamation lawsuit against Doug Stanhope, the comedian and friend of her ex Johnny Depp, according to court documents filed in Arizona Superior Court and obtained by TheWrap.

Heard filed her suit against Stanhope in June, claiming that he had defamed her with an article stating that Heard had blackmailed Depp.

“Defendants’ statements are completely false and highly defamatory,” Heard’s lawsuit claimed. “Defendants are engaged in a classic case of ‘attacking the victim,’ in an effort to discredit Heard, destroy her good name and reputation, and severely harm her hard-earned entertainment career, on top of the campaign of violence that Depp has inflicted upon her for years.”

In Stanhope’s guest column, published May 29 by TheWrap, the comic, a longtime friend of Depp’s, disputed Heard’s allegations and claimed that Heard had threatened “to lie about [Depp] publicly in any and every possible duplicitous way if he didn’t agree to her terms. Blackmail is what I would imagine other people might put it, including the manner in which he is now being vilified.”

“Heard never undertook any action that could even remotely be described as ‘blackmail,'” the suit continued. “Quite to the contrary, Heard told Depp that if he did not change his alcohol and drug-fueled abusive behavior towards her, that he would have no alternative but to leave him, even though she loved him and wanted their marriage to work.”

The actress had sought unspecified damages in her suit.

The dismissal was filed without prejudice, meaning that Heard could theoretically file her lawsuit again at a later date.

Stanhope’s attorney, David S. Gingras, emphasized to TheWrap that the dismissal was not the result of a settlement between Stanhope and Heard, and that no money was exchanged between the two. Gingras added that there is no confidentiality agreement attached to the dismissal.

“Instead, the dismissal of the case against Mr. Stanhope was negotiated as part of a larger deal between Ms. Heard and her ex-husband, Johnny Depp,” Gingras said of the dismissal. “Doug Stanhope is one of Johnny Depp‘s closest friends, and it appears that Johnny was able to convince Amber to drop the lawsuit against Doug as part of a global resolution of their divorce.”

Heard filed for divorce from Depp after little more than a year of marriage in May. Days later, she sought a restraining order against the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star, claiming that he had been abusive to her throughout their relationship.

The estranged couple eventually settled their divorce case for $7 million, with Heard donating her entire settlement to two charities, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.