‘Depp vs Heard’: New Channel 4 documentary to air this weekend

It will explore the impact social media had on the court case

A new documentary about Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s highly publicised court case will air on Channel 4 this weekend.

Depp vs Heard is a three-part series from BAFTA-nominated director Emma Cooper, and will offer an in-depth look at last year’s trial, which saw Johnny Depp sue his ex-wife for defamation.

The miniseries will explore the impact of social media on the infamous Hollywood court case, which was followed by millions of people around the world.


A synopsis for the series reads: “The trial of Depp v Heard, in which both parties accused each other of domestic abuse, was a global media event and dubbed ‘the first TikTok trial’. It raised huge questions about violence, gender and the memeifcation of justice in the era of post-truth.

“The series, made by Bitachon365 and co-producer Empress Films, places Depp and Heard’s testimonies side by side for the first time, bringing together courtroom footage, news sources, existing interview footage and User Generated Content from various social media platforms to explore some of the extraordinary moments of the trial and the impact this had on public opinion at the time.”

Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp. CREDIT: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Depp sued his ex-wife for defamation over a 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post, where she wrote about being a survivor of domestic violence.

Come the end of the trial, Heard was instructed to pay Depp $10million (£8.4m) in compensatory damages and $5million (£4.2m) in punitive damages. Heard was awarded $2million (£1.6m) after the jury found that Depp had defamed her through his attorney.

“The disappointment I feel today is beyond words,” Heard said in a statement delivered outside the courthouse. “I’m heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still was not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence, and sway of my ex-husband.


“I’m even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women.”

In his own statement, Depp said: “False, very serious and criminal allegations were levied at me via the media, which triggered an endless barrage of hateful content, although no charges were ever brought against me. It had already travelled around the world twice within a nanosecond and it had a seismic impact on my life and my career. And six years later, the jury gave me my life back.

“I am truly humbled. My decision to pursue this case, knowing very well the height of the legal hurdles that I would be facing and the inevitable, worldwide spectacle into my life, was only made after considerable thought.”

The first episode of Depp vs Heard will air on Channel 4 on Sunday, May 21 at 9pm. The following episodes will air on Monday, May 22 at 10pm, and Tuesday, May 23 at 10pm.

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