Fact Check: Are Amber Heard's Parents on Johnny Depp's Side?

Johnny Depp's relationship with Amber Heard's parents has become a talking point in recent days, after the actress testified in their defamation trial last week that the actor had taken drugs with her dad.

Depp, 58, is locked in a high-profile court battle with Heard, 36, after filing a $50 million lawsuit accusing her of defamation over an op-ed published by The Washington Post, in which she said she was a victim of domestic abuse.

While Heard did not name Depp in the article, his lawyers argued it was obvious she was referring to the star. Heard is countersuing for $100 million.

Testifying at Virginia's Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse on May 5, Heard told how Depp had taken drugs with her father, David Heard, during the pair's engagement party in 2014. Depp and Heard wed the following year. Heard filed for divorce in 2016 and their union was officially dissolved in 2017.

Amber Heard, David Heard, Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp's (R) relationship with Amber Heard's (C) parents has become a talking point in recent days, after the actress last week testified in their defamation trial that the actor had taken drugs with her dad, David Heard (L). Depp is suing ex-wife Amber Heard for libel after she wrote an op-ed piece in "The Washington Post" in 2018 referring to herself as a public figure representing domestic abuse. Jeff Vespa/WireImage;/Kurt Krieger/Corbis via Getty Images

The Claim

After the fourth week of the trial ended on May 5, a host of Twitter users alleged that evidence showed that Amber Heard's parents, Paige Heard and David Heard, blamed their daughter's lawyers for the domestic abuse allegations.

The screenshots of the text messages shared on the micro-blogging platform appeared to have been presented in a manner that would suggest the Aquaman star's parents were somehow admitting to their daughter not being honest.

In messages dated May 27, 2016—hours after Amber Heard filed for a restraining order against Depp—Paige Heard was shown writing to her then son-in-law: "It's the lawyers on both sides doing this not Amber. I heard the whole story very teary—if I could just talk to Johnny. She didn't want this. Friggin lawyers on BOTH sides!! This was not her idea, not her wishes. She was told she would be evicted and out in 30 days if she did not do this."

Paige Heard, who passed away in 2020, added: "Her dumb lawyer possibly as the only way she would have a place to live in 30 days. She DID NOT want to do this I swear to you. The lawyers are frigging things up."

It was also suggested that Amber Heard's parents "[want] nothing to do with her," while they "admire" Pirates of the Caribbean star Depp.

The claim is one of many that have been shared as fact by fans of each of the stars as they debate the proceedings on social media.

The Facts

Amber Heard's parents did, indeed, have a good relationship with Depp, with a series of text messages over the years showing that the actor had a particularly strong connection with David Heard. Newsweek has reviewed the messages, which were presented as evidence during Depp's 2020 libel case in London.

The aforementioned text message was sent to Depp by Paige Heard, prompting the actor to respond, in part. "If she didn't want to file a restraining order against me and send a message to the world that i am some kind of violent wife beater... then why would she go to the courthouse with a photo of her that looks like she's been abused???"

"Her lawyer told her she had to and she had to today," Paige Heard responded. "That's why she wanted to talk to you. We didn't talk so please never bring this up. But I'll swear to you this was not her idea nor did she do it willingly or happily.

"She was told it was her ONLY option to not being kicked out. I'm not making excuses but that is what she believed. She did not want to do it. She felt she was betraying her only love but the lawyers said so."

"Please don't pass this on if you ever talk to Amber again. I love you, son," she added.

However, as the screen stars' relationship became more fraught, Paige Heard messaged her daughter on December 17, 2015, to say that David Heard sent Depp a "scathing message," adding: "He really reamed him. He compared you to Lily Rose [Depp's daughter] and how JD would feel. Your dad's blood is boiling."

After Amber Heard sent her mother photos of the injuries she had allegedly suffered at the hands of Depp, Paige Heard wrote in a May 21, 2016 message to her daughter: "I'd like to give him a [piece] of my mind, but don't worry I won't. He is crazy."

On December 21, 2015, David Heard messaged Depp to state that while he wished to fix his daughter's broken relationship with the actor, he also still loved him "like a brother or father of whatever."

David Heard added that his daughter "should never hit you or call you another name and same goes for you and if that were the case you guys could be happy together for the rest of your lives."

The patriarch went on to state in the lengthy message that his daughter is "not blameless and I know that but she's my kid and I love her unconditionally."

The Ruling

Fact Check - False

False.

While the text messages show that David and Paige Heard had a good relationship with Depp, it was made clear that they had not turned their backs on their daughter. Amber Heard's parents had never disparaged their daughter to Depp in the text messages.

FACT CHECK BY NEWSWEEK