nbsp;http://www.tmz.com/2016/08/16/amber-hear… says that Johnny Depp paid his plaintiff $7 million. The Independent published the litigants’ statement in full:
“Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love.
“Neither party has made false accusations for financial gain. There was never any intent of physical or emotional harm.
“Amber wishes the best for Johnny in the future. Amber will be donating financial proceeds from the divorce to a charity. There will be no further public statements about this matter.“
In my first posting on this subject, I wrote the following:
My prediction: When the dust settles the lawyers will have gotten paid a fortune, but Heard won’t net much more from her acquaintance with Depp than what she could have obtained by having quiet one-night encounters with a couple of successful married radiologists and collecting 23 years of child support under Massachusetts law.
If you assume that Heard ran up a $1 million legal bill, which supposedly is to be paid from the $7 million, she netted $6 million. This will be tax-free and therefore via a year of marriage she has more than doubled her estimated net worth of about $4.5 million. On the other hand, as noted above, if she had sex with two married radiologists or Medicaid dentists in Massachusetts she would have been entitled to collect roughly $2 million from each via child support, a total of $4 million. However, if she could have persuaded the judge that the defendants were not fit to take care of the children at least 30 percent of the time, she would have been entitled to more. Also, her defendants might have voluntarily paid a supplement over the guideline amount to keep the extramarital encounters from becoming public. Finally, sticking within the guidelines, she could have had sex with a third physician or dentist to realize a total of $6 million and/or found an unusually high-income defendant to have sex with.
[Note that Depp’s attorney, Laura Wasser, has two children of her own, each with a different father, married neither father, and lives with neither father. (Bloomberg)]
Let’s look at the statement, above: “Neither party has made false accusations for financial gain.” As California is a no-fault divorce state and therefore Amber Heard was automatically entitled to her freedom, what motivation other than financial gain could she have had for making what were, apparently, false statements regarding “intent of physical or emotional harm”? I had been looking forward to what kind of expert witnesses would be called to testify regarding Johnny Depp’s Ninja-style iPhone throwing skills. I had asked a divorce litigator about the case and she said “The truth of a domestic violence allegation is seldom relevant in divorce litigation” (see “The Domestic Violence Parallel Track” for how a domestic violence allegation dovetails with a typical divorce lawsuit).
The most curious part of the statement is “Amber will be donating financial proceeds from the divorce to a charity.” If she had wanted to donate money that Depp earned to a charity she could have written a check from a joint account during the marriage, then filed a straightforward “I want to be divorced but don’t need alimony or seek a share of the defendant’s savings” petition. Why go through all of that litigation if the goal was to enrich a charity? And is Amber Heard actually going to donate more than half of her net worth to charity?
[Courts are reluctant to look at money transferred prior to a lawsuit being filed. In a Massachusetts case that we looked at, a stay-at-home wife was having sex with a carpenter while the husband was at work. She transferred money from a joint account to her boyfriend, including transfers to offshore accounts in the boyfriend’s name. After a year or two of these gradual transfers she sued her husband and the judge awarded her 50 percent of the remaining assets. The defendant was unable to persuade the judge to look at dividing the assets based on the total before she started her offshore transfers and counting the transferred funds as already having been divided in her favor. The judge said that during the marriage the wife had legitimate access to the joint funds and could do whatever she wanted with them. Adding up the pre-lawsuit transfers, the lucrative alimony that the wife obtained via litigation, and the profitable child support that she obtained via the Massachusetts guidelines, the non-working plaintiff in this case ended up with substantially more than 50 percent of the savings accumulated from the working defendant’s earnings.]
A handful of friends on Facebook have taken a break from expressing hatred of Donald Trump and those Americans who would consider voting for him to discuss this case. One interesting assumption, expressed explicitly, is that Amber Heard could not have had a financial motivation to sue Johnny Depp because “she was a successful actress for years”.