Messages presented in court have confirmed a previously rumored back and forth between the Aquaman actress and American Civil Liberties Union's (ACLU) communications strategist Robin Shulman seemingly admitting the piece was about her former marriage to the Pirates of the Caribbean star.
Shulman, who wrote the first draft of the op-ed that later described Heard as "public figure representing domestic abuse", told the actress in a message from November 2018 that she tried to gather Heard's "fire and rage" in the article. In another, Shulman added, "Our lawyers should review this for the way I skirted around your marriage."
However, when asked if the "fire and rage" referenced in the communications meant specifically "rage" towards Depp, the ACLU's Chief Operating Officer Terence Dougherty told the court the piece was about "gender-based violence issues."
Another message presented to the jury included a communication from Jessica Weitz — who also works for the ACLU — telling Heard, "I want to make sure nothing was said in here that puts you in jeopardy with your NDA" referencing documents signed in her high profile divorce with the Black Mass actor.
It was also stated to the court that Shulman and Heard had met in person in regards to the op-ed, and that Heard's lawyers were involved in editing the controversial piece.
One of Depp's attorneys then asked Dougherty if it was true that "some at the ACLU expressed belief that excising references to the marriage and divorce from Johnny Depp made the op-ed less impactful?" to which he replied, "That is correct."
The All the Boys Love Mandy Lane star initially promised to give $7 million from her divorce settlement to charity back in 2016, but according to Dougherty, they have not received any payments from her since 2018 due to the actress suffering "financial difficulties."