The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has reached out to the legal teams of both Johnny Depp and his ex-wife, Aquaman star Amber Heard, to inform them that the organization is interested in serving as an advisor to Heard in the ongoing defamation lawsuit brought against her by Depp amidst objections from Depp’s lawyers.

According to The Blast, Vera Eidelman, a staff attorney for the ACLU, sent a request to the involved legal teams to enter the case as an “amicus curiae,” translated from Latin as “friend of the court,” which would allow the ACLU to provide additional information, such as their insight or expertise, regarding the case:

“The ACLU, ACLU of Virginia, and University of Virginia First Amendment Clinic intend to file an amicus brief in Depp v. Heard in support of Defendant’s Motion for Leave to File Amended Responsive Pleading and Demurrer. Could you please let me know whether you consent to us filing?”

Depp’s lawyers responded that they were not comfortable with the ACLU assisting Heard due to their previous affiliations. In 2016, Heard donated part of the $7 Million divorce she received from Depp to the ACLU. In 2018, Heard wrote an op-ed advocating for a change in alleged cultural norms that silence abused women and protects the men who abuse them, which also features implications that Depp is a domestic abuser, for The Washington Post, which was later reposted in-full to the ACLU’s website. (Related: Judge Denies Aquaman Star Amber Heard’s Full Request for Protective Order, Grants Partial Protections to Personal Information)

Though Depp’s legal team rejected the request due to being uncomfortable with the ACLU joining the case in the role of an advisor, Depp’s lawyer Adam Waldman has stated that they will still be involved in the trial as Depp’s legal team would be calling the ACLU as a “fact witness” and are considering adding the organization to the lawsuit as a defendant due to the re-publishing of The Washington Post’s article. (Related: Johnny Depp’s $50 Million Lawsuit Against Aquaman’s Amber Heard Claims She Chopped Off His Finger)

Waldman stated:

“The ACLU, co-conspirators with Ms. Heard in her defamation against Mr. Depp, also today sought permission to file a “friends of the court” brief. Since the ACLU will be a fact witness, and possibly a defendant in their actual role as “friends of the hoax,” we have denied their request. Ms. Heard may have failed yet again in court, but she is succeeding at sucking a number of social movements that have hit rock bottom but are determined to keep digging into her scam.”

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