ACLU goes to Hollywood

Apologies for the intrusion of some tedious Hollywood gossip here but it has to do with the ACLU so I wanna talk about it.

Actor Amber Heard hasn’t fulfilled her pledge to donate $3.5 million to the American Civil Liberties Union, according to testimony in the defamation case filed by Heard’s ex-husband, actor Johnny Depp.

The pledge agreement calls for Heard to donate the money over the course of 10 years, starting in August 2016. But she hasn’t made a payment since December 2018, ACLU Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel Terence Dougherty said in recorded video testimony.

Why did she make the pledge? It’s not clear, but it’s hinted.

Dougherty supervises the ACLU finance, legal and other units. In his testimony, he was also asked about the ACLU’s role in the opinion piece that prompted Depp to sue Heard: a 2018 op-ed published by The Washington Post in which Heard called for change in how the U.S. treats abuse survivors and urged support for the Violence Against Women Act.

The ACLU’s role in what that what? Did the ACLU ghost-write an opinion piece for the Washington Post in exchange for a pledge of $3.5 million bucks?

Dougherty described the process that went into crafting the op-ed, which he said was reviewed by lawyers from both the ACLU and Heard’s own legal team. He described email discussions about how closely the piece should mention Depp — with Heard’s attorneys saying that naming him would violate the terms of a non-disclosure agreement in her divorce settlement, and the ACLU’s lawyers saying the piece wouldn’t have as much impact if Depp weren’t mentioned.

Is it just me or does all this sound quite…sleazy?

The Post piece went through numerous rounds of edits by Heard’s team and the ACLU. In his testimony, Dougherty stated, “Based on my review of prior drafts of the op-ed, I knew that she was referring to Johnny Depp and her marriage.”

Dougherty also said Heard wanted the article to come out around the same time as her 2018 action film Aquaman, to give a publicity boost to the cause for which she was advocating.

Or perhaps to give a publicity post to her new movie.

Tacky? Just me?

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