The divorce drama between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard was some of the saddest news to come out of 2016. But Heard showed everyone the way to make lemonade out of proverbial lemons when she promised to donate any money from her divorce settlement to the American Civil Liberties Union and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. Now, it seems she’s made good on that promise. The Children’s Hospital released their 2017 annual report, which lists their “Honor Roll of Donors” and breaks the list down by the donated amount. In the report, a “Ms. Amber Heard” is listed in the column for gifts between $1 and $5 million dollars.
In a statement from the CHLA, Heard was included in those thanked for their donation. “We are honored to acknowledge our extraordinary donors for their generosity during the fiscal year 2017,” the report reads. “On behalf of all the children and families whose lives you have impacted, and everyone at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, we offer our sincere thanks.”
Heard’s divorce and subsequent $7 million settlement from Depp was one of the more shocking news stories in 2016, as it included allegations of domestic violence. Depp defended himself vigorously in the press, and in turn, called Heard’s settlement request “a blatant attempt to extend her 15 minutes of fame.” Critics instantly piled on, accusing Heard of gold-digging, which was something of an ad hominem attack Heard seemed intent on disproving. Shortly after this, she made a public promise to donate the settlement to charity.
The whole situation was terrible and surprising, but it was a reminder that no matter what someone’s public face is like, we never know what happens behind closed doors. Depp was one of the world’s most popular actors at the time he met Heard on the set of The Rum Diary. Heard was an actor with a solid résumé but without a real breakout hit to make her a household name. Her decision to take on one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, which ultimately came at a great financial loss for her, was a real precursor of the Time’s Up movement. Heard’s willingness to take on to Depp and his attorneys was the kind of example victims everywhere look to for courage and inspiration.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men face intimate-partner domestic violence. On average, there are more than 20,000 phone calls to domestic violence hotlines across the nation. The prevalence of this issue led Heard to not only promise to donate her divorce settlement but to create a PSA of her own about the very troublesome issue, drawing from her own experience despite not naming Depp.
There’s no word yet on whether Heard has yet or will donate to the ACLU as she also promised, but based on her donations to CHLA, it’s a good bet she’ll make good on her promise.