Ahead of the spring trial date for Johnny Depp's $50 million defamation suit against his ex-wife, Amber Heard, the actor's lawyers have issued subpoenas for Elon Musk, who Heard dated after she and Depp split, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which Heard named as a recipient of half of her $7 million divorce settlement from Depp.
Depp's team wants the ACLU to give testimony at a deposition and turn over all communications its had with Heard about donations, the defamation suit and the star's relationship with Depp, according to subpoenas issued earlier this month and excerpted by Deadline late on Friday, Feb. 12.
Depp's lawyers also want Musk to sit for a deposition and hand over all communications he's had with the actress about Depp. The Musk subpoena's 24 specific requests include communication between the Tesla and SpaceX CEO and Heard about the ACLU, Depp's libel case against The Sun and "any allegations of physical abuse or domestic violence committed by either Mr. Depp or Ms. Heard," as well.
Depp filed the $50 million suit against his ex-wife in March 2019, claiming she defamed him by writing an op-ed for the Washington Post about domestic violence. Though she didn't name Depp in the piece, her claims Depp physically abused her while they were together had been covered extensively in the press by the time the op-ed ran.
Depp has denied the allegations and said Heard was in fact the abuser in their tumultuous relationship, which came to an end in 2016. The actor has also claimed Heard became romantically involved with Musk before her marriage to Depp fell apart, an allegation both Heard and Musk have denied.
The actress' relationship with Musk came up repeatedly last summer during Depp's failed libel trial against British tabloid The Sun, which had branded the "Pirates of the Caribbean" star a "wife-beater."
Depp is currently hoping to win an appeal in that case, which is slated for a hearing in March.
The initial libel suit ruling against Depp mentions Heard's promise to donate her divorce money to the ACLU and her work as an ACLU ambassador for women's rights.
Depp's lawyers have pointed out Heard has yet to make her full, promised donation to the group, a delay Heard's lawyer confirmed last month, according to Deadline.