A support network for abused women and children has issued a statement expressing support for Johnny Depp in his ongoing defamation suit against ex-wife Amber Heard.
Mission NGO, a nonprofit group led by the former Miss Italy Valeria Altobelli, issued the statement on Friday, expressing ‘compassion for Johnny Depp in this bad page of his personal history.’
It follows a growing chorus of support for Depp after the court heard disturbing evidence suggesting that Heard physically abused him, including an audio tape of Heard admitting that she had hit him.
Heard has long accused Depp of being the abuser in the relationship, allegations that he says scuttled his acting career, and led to his $50 million defamation lawsuit against the Aquaman actress.
Mission NGO, the support group for abused women led by the former Miss Italy Valeria Altobelli (left), issued a statement supporting Johnny Depp (right) on Friday
Heard has long accused Depp of being the abuser in the relationship, allegations that he says scuttled his acting career, and led to his $50 million defamation lawsuit
Altobelli, who founded Mission NGO with support from other participants in the 2004 Miss World pageant in China, said in a statement that her group ‘gives no sex, no gender, no race, no colour, no age to the concept of violence.’
‘Women from all over the world stand against domestic violence, regardless of gender, age or race,’ said Altobelli.
‘Our mission is to educate men and women, with no gender differences, to keep talking and living in the values of love, mutual comprehension and sensitivity in order to prevent all kinds of violence, against women, against men, against children,’ the beauty queen added.
‘As women, we have compassion and we feel empathy not for THE star, THE talent, THE actor but for a man, a father, a worker, A HUMAN,’ wrote Altobelli, referring to Depp.
‘Mental Health is something we have to care about to live in a positive environment where women and men can love and respect each other without any kind of abuse and violence,’ she added.
In his suit, Depp says a 2018 op-ed piece Heard wrote in The Washington Post unfairly portrayed him as a domestic abuser and cost him a lucrative Hollywood career that included the Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise.
Depp has testified he never struck Heard and that he was the victim of abuse inflicted by her.
Altobelli founded Mission NGO with support from other participants in the 2004 Miss World pageant in China
But Heard´s attorneys say those denials lack credibility because he frequently drank and used drugs to the point of blacking out.
On the trial’s 19th day on Thursday, Heard’s attorneys played for the court a previously taped deposition from actress Ellen Barkin, who dated Depp in the 1990s and portrayed him as controlling, jealous and angry.
During Barkin’s deposition, she testified that Depp was ‘always drinking or smoking a joint’ or doing other illegal drugs. She said she dated Depp for about three to five months and characterized the relationship as more sexual than romantic.
Barkin co-starred with Depp in ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.’ During filming, Barkin said Depp threw a wine bottle in her direction while he was fighting with some friends in a hotel room. However, she said she didn´t know why he threw the bottle.
Heard´s attorneys argue that Depp’s career free-fall was the result of his own bad behavior – not Heard’s op-ed.
They played witness testimony that charted the actor´s rise and fall from ‘the biggest movie star in the world’ to a man who struggled with drugs, money and the ability to show up at movie sets on time.
Tracey Jacobs, who served as the actor’s agent for about 30 years, said Depp was ‘showing up late to set consistently on virtually every movie’ during their final years working together.
Describing her breakup with Depp, Barkin said there was a ‘big goodbye’ and she didn’t hear from Depp again
Barkin, 68, said she met Depp around 1990 and developed a friendship that lasted 10 years, including starring together in the film Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. She said the relationship became sexual
Barkin said: ‘He’s just a jealous man, controlling, where are you going, who are you going with. What did you do last night. I had a scratch on my back once that got him very, very angry because he he insisted it came from having sex with a person who wasn’t him’
‘I was very honest with him and said, `You’ve got to stop doing this – this is hurting you,´’ Jacobs said. ‘And it did.’
Jacobs said Depp was an extraordinary talent but his behavior in the years before he fired her in 2016 became increasingly unprofessional, while his drug and alcohol use increased, Jacobs said.
‘And it also got around town,’ Jacobs said. ‘I mean, people talk, it´s a small community. And it made people reluctant to use him.’
Joel Mandel, Depp´s former business manager, testified in a previously recorded deposition that the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ films had ‘catapulted him into an entirely different level of success.’
‘It meant more employees,’ Mandel said. ‘It meant buying additional property. … It meant a bigger life and a more expensive one.’
Actor Johnny Depp arrives in the courtroom at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Va., Thursday, May 19, 2022
Actor Amber Heard arrives in the courtroom at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Va., Thursday, May 19, 2022
Things began to change around 2010, and it ‘became clear over time that there were issues with alcohol and drugs,’ Mandel said. ‘And that translated into more erratic behavior, more stressful behavior, more times when it was difficult to engage in the kinds of conversations I needed to do my job.’
At one point, Depp was spending around $100,000 a month for a doctor and staff to help him get sober, Mandel said.
At another, he was spending $300,000 a month on full-time staff, he said. And he said there also were times when Depp spent thousands of dollars a month on prescription drugs.
‘The spending levels had grown very, very, very large and required that level of incredibly high income to be maintained,’ Mandel said. ‘And when it dropped off, the disconnect became untenable.’
Mandel said he became extremely worried about Depp´s finances in 2015, but that Depp met those concerns with anger. He said the actor fired him in 2016.