Amber Heard’s defamation fight against ex-husband Johnny Depp has suffered a blow following top lawyer Roberta Kaplan’s decision to step down.
The high-profile attorney, who co-founded the Time’s Up movement, has filed to withdraw from the case, alongside Heard’s lawyers John Quinn, Julie Fink, and Davida Brook.
Heard will now be represented by Virginia attorney Elaine Bredehoft.
In paperwork obtained by The Blast, Heard appears to have “endorsed” the decision of her lawyers to step down.
“Ms. Heard does not object to the withdrawal of withdrawing counsel and has endorsed the proposed order granting leave to withdraw,” the document states.
A spokesperson for the law firm Kaplan Hecker & Fink LL tells the outlet the lawyers’ decision to step down in no way reflects on Heard or the case.
“We believe Amber and we believe in Amber,” a statement reads. “We have been proud to serve as Amber’s counsel.
“In the strange and unexpected circumstances of today’s world, as travel and logistics have become more costly in light of the pandemic, we understand the decision to move the case to local, Virginia-based trial counsel.”
Depp’s attorney, Adam Waldman, insists the move is a much bigger deal, telling The Blast, “For years, #TimesUp and others inexplicably hitched their wagons to Amber Heard’s abuse hoax. Ms. Heard’s lawyers, one of whom co-founded the #TimesUp Legal Defense Fund, have now apparently unhitched from Ms. Heard’s long-disproven frauds. We intend to discover why.”
The Pirates of the Caribbean star has long maintained his innocence amid Heard’s claims he was an abusive husband throughout their short marriage. He sued for defamation last year after the Aquaman star referred to herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse” in an article she wrote for The Washington Post.