Although Amber Heard’s tumultuous relationship with Johnny Depp has made headlines, the 36-year-old actress is an activist and model in her own right.
The two are currently embroiled in a legal battle, in which Depp is suing Heard for $50 million for implying that he abused her in an op-ed for the Washington Post in 2018.
Here’s an in-depth look at who Amber Heard is, including her early life, her film and TV career, and everything in between.
Amber Laura Heard was born on April 22, 1986, in Austin, Texas, the daughter of David Heard and Paige Parsons. She has a younger sister, Whitney Heard, who is now 34 years old. The two grew up in a conservative Catholic home with a modest economy. In her younger years, Heard competed in beauty pageants. At 16, her best friend was killed in a car accident, and as a result, Ella Heard became an atheist. At 17, she dropped out of school to pursue a modeling career in New York, until she changed course to try acting in Los Angeles. Finally, she got her high school certificate through a home study course.
In 2004, Heard appeared in two music videos: There Goes My Lifeby country artist Kenny Chesney, and I Wasn’t Prepared, from the rock group Eisley. He also landed minor supporting roles in several television series, such as Jack & Bobby (2004), TheMountstill (2004) and The OC (2005).
He made his film debut with a supporting role in the sports drama friday night lights (2004), which subsequently inspired the television series of the same name. Heard landed her first leading role in the thriller All the Boys Love Mandy Lanepremiered at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival. Although, due to distribution problems, it was not released until 2008 in Europe and 2013 in the US.
In 2007, Heard had cameos in teen drama Hidden Palms and on the sitcom Californication. That same year, she appeared in the short film Day 73 with Sarah and in the indie movie Remember the Daze.
Best actress roles
It was not until 2008 in the comedy-action film Pineapple Expressin which Heard starred opposite Seth Rogen, James Franco and Danny McBride, when he gained media recognition.
Later, he appeared in zombieland 2009 and in 2011 he appeared alongside Depp in The Rum Diary, based on the 1998 novel of the same name by Hunter S Thompson. Another prominent role was in the 2015 comedy-drama Magic Mike XXL.
Her portrayal of Mera in the DC-verse in the 2017 film Justice League is perhaps his most notable role and one he reprized in the 2018 film Aquaman with Jason Momoa and his sequel, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdomwhich is expected to be released in 2023.
In 2020, Heard posted a photo on Instagram announcing her mother’s death.
Almost a year later, she shared the news of her first daughter, Oonagh Paige Heard, born on April 8, 2021, via surrogacy.
In the caption, she explained, “Four years ago, I decided I wanted to have a child. I wanted to do it on my own terms. I realize now how radical it is for us as women to think about one of the most fundamental parts of our destiny in this way. I hope we get to a point where it’s normalized not to want a ring to have a crib.”
The identity of the father has not been made public.
Since then, Heard has kept her motherhood private, often posting photos with Oonagh’s face covered or looking away.
From 2008 to 2012, Heard was in a relationship with photographer Tasya van Ree, and came out as bisexual in 2010.
In 2012, Heard and Depp are believed to have started dating. The couple reportedly met on the set of The Rum Diary. They became engaged in 2014 and married in 2015, with Heard filing for divorce five months later in 2016.
Heard is rumored to have dated actress and model Cara Delevigne in 2016. Though never confirmed, Depp’s friend Josh Drew allegedly testified in a 2019 deposition — in preparation for the current defamation lawsuit — that Heard had an affair with Delevigne. throughout her marriage to Depp.
Heard is believed to have dated billionaire Elon Musk on and off between 2016 and 2018. Depp suspected the pair were having an affair, and during his lawsuit with The Suntext messages between Heard and Musk were read in court.
She subsequently began dating art agent Vito Schnabel in 2018, and their relationship lasted less than a year.
His last relationship was with cinematographer Bianca Butti from 2020 to 2021. The couple dated quietly, with Butti even accompanying Heard to many of her court cases. The two are reported to have broken up due to distance.
During Depp and Heard’s divorce proceedings in 2016, it became public knowledge that Heard had been arrested in Washington state in 2009 on minor domestic violence charges. She allegedly grabbed Van Ree and punched her arm, but she was never charged.
Following which, Van Ree issued a statement saying the incident had been “misrepresented and overblown” and that Heard had been “unfairly” accused.
In 2018, Depp sued News Group Newspapersthe company that publishes The Sunfor alleged defamation for an article published in the tabloid newspaper in April of that year, with the headline: Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be “genuinely happy” casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film Goodbye Common Sense: How can JK Rowling be “genuinely happy” to cast Johnny Depp, a wife beater, in the new movie from Fantastic Beasts?).
The case went to trial in 2020. Heard testified as a witness for TheSun.
In August 2020, Heard filed a $100 million counterclaim against Depp in response to his defamation lawsuit, accusing him of allegedly orchestrating a “smear campaign” against her and describing her own lawsuit as a continuation of “abuse and harassment.” .
Depp lost the defamation battle in November 2020, when Judge Andrew Nicol said the defendants had shown that their allegations against Depp were “substantially true,” as reported by Associated Press at that moment.
When Heard isn’t traveling between filming locations, she maintains a significant philanthropic presence. She defends the rights of women and children. She dedicates her time to humanitarian organizations such as Amnesty International and Art of Elysium, which promote human rights around the world, and the Syrian American Medical Society, which helps Syrian refugees.
She was also named a United Nations Human Rights Council Champion for Human Rights in 2018.
Follow live updates from Depp’s libel trial against Heard here.