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Amber Heard says first new film since Johnny Depp trial is ‘about love’

Televised defamation lawsuit took place last year

Louis Chilton
Sunday 25 June 2023 10:11 BST
Johnny Depp wins defamation case against Amber Heard

Amber Heard has said that her new film In the Fire, which premieres today (25 June) at a festival, is “about love”.

In the Fire is Heard’s first new film release since the high-profile legal battle between the actor and her ex-husband, Pirates of the Carribean star Johnny Depp.

Depp sued Heard over allegations she had defamed him in a Washington Post op-ed by implying he had physically abused her while they were married, during a defamation trial that took place over six weeks last April and May. At the time, Heard had filed a countersuit, claiming that by branding her claims fraudulent, Depp had defamed her.

After a lengthy and highly public, televised trial, the jury ultimately ruled in favour of Depp, awarding him $10m (£8m) in compensatory damages and $5m (£4m) in punitive damages. The latter sum was later reduced to $350,000 (£287,000) in compliance with a statutory cap However, Heard was also awarded $2m (£1.6m) in compensatory damages for her countersuit, but no punitive damages.

In the new thriller In the Fire, Heard plays a “pioneering psychiatrist who sets out to treat a desperate child at a time when psychiatry is not yet a respected science”, according to the movie’s press materials.

Speaking ahead of the film’s Saturday premiere at the Taormina Film Festival in Italy, Heard said: “It’s a beautiful movie about the almost supernatural effect and force of love. It is about the boundaries that love can cross and its creation, and really about the overwhelming power that love has.

“I don’t want to sound cheesy about it, but it’s a movie about love,” she told People magazine.

A synopsis for the film reads: “Set in 1899, the film follows a 38-year-old American psychiatrist as she arrives on a rich farm in Colombia after being called to solve the case of a disturbed child following increasingly insistent accusations that the child is the devil.

Amber Heard during her civil defamation trial in Virginia in June 2022 (Getty Images)

“While the woman tries to psychoanalyse the child, the nefarious events intensify and her ‘cure’ becomes a race to save the little boy from the fury of his fellow citizens, and perhaps, even from himself.”

Heard is best known for her roles in films such as Aquaman and The Rum Diary.

She is also set to appear in the forthcoming DC Comics sequel Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.

Depp, meanwhile, appeared at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year for the premiere of his first film since the trial, the French-language movie Jeanne du Barry.

The film received a seven-minute standing ovation at the festival, causing Depp to tear up.

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