Johnny Depp sues ex-wife Amber Heard, claiming her allegations of abuse were false

PHOTO: Amber Heard and Johnny Depp attend the Art of Elysium 2016 HEAVEN Gala in this Jan. 9, 2016 file photo in Culver City, Calif.PlayC Flanigan/Getty Images
WATCH Johnny Depp sues ex-wife Amber Heard, claiming her allegations of abuse were false

They were once one of Hollywood's hottest couples, but the 15-month marriage between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard has since been marred by allegations of domestic abuse.

Now, almost three years since their bitter divorce was settled, the "Pirates of the Caribbean" star is taking legal action against his ex-wife, claiming in a new lawsuit that Heard defamed him and that her false allegations of abuse cost him coveted roles and damaged his career.

The lawsuit, filed Friday, comes in response to a December Washington Post op-ed written by Heard titled "I spoke up against sexual violence -- and faced our culture's wrath. That has to change."

While Heard never identifies Depp by name in the op-ed, she refers to herself as "a public figure representing domestic abuse."

PHOTO: Amber Heard and Johnny Depp attend the Art of Elysium 2016 HEAVEN Gala in this Jan. 9, 2016 file photo in Culver City, Calif. C Flanigan/Getty Images
Amber Heard and Johnny Depp attend the Art of Elysium 2016 HEAVEN Gala in this Jan. 9, 2016 file photo in Culver City, Calif.

Four days after the op-ed was published, Depp was dropped from his "Pirates" role as Captain Jack Sparrow, a franchise he's led for 15 years, the lawsuit stated.

Legal analyst Areva Martin told ABC News that even if Heard didn't name Depp, "If there are enough indicators that the person she was making reference to is Johnny Depp, that would be sufficient for his lawsuit to move forward."

In 2016, photos of Heard with a bruised face emerged in People magazine.

In court documents, lawyers for Depp write that the implication that Depp is a domestic abuser is "categorically and demonstrably false."

"Mr. Depp never abused Ms. Heard. Her allegations against him were false when they were made in 2016," the suit stated. "They were part of an elaborate hoax to generate positive publicity for Ms. Heard and advance her career."

Depp's suit seeks compensatory damages of $50 million.

Heard's attorney, Eric M. George, told ABC News in a statement that, "This frivolous action is just the latest of Johnny Depp’s repeated efforts to silence Amber Heard, She will not be silenced.”

The statement continued: "Mr. Depp’s actions prove he is unable to accept the truth of his ongoing abusive behavior. But while he appears hell-bent on achieving self-destruction, we will prevail in defeating this groundless lawsuit and ending the continued vile harassment of my client by Mr. Depp and his legal team."

Depp's attorney fired back, claiming in a statement to ABC News Heard has "admitted under oath to violently assaulting Mr. Depp," and that she's "used her hoax" about domestic violence to to become a "leader of the Me Too movement"

Adam Waldman, Depp's attorney, said if the Depp's complaint is "'frivolous,'" when will they present any evidence to contradict 87 newly discovered surveillance videos, 17 sworn eyewitness statements, audio tape, photographs, and other evidence? We look forward to seeing Ms Heard's evidence presented transparently in at least two court cases."