Johnny Depp, Amber Heard finalize divorce

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard
Updated 14 January 2017

Johnny Depp, Amber Heard finalize divorce

LOS ANGELES: Film star Johnny Depp’s tumultuous divorce from actress Amber Heard was finalized, ending the couple’s marriage after months of highly publicized claims by Heard of domestic violence and counterclaims from Depp of financial blackmail.
Court papers filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Friday detailed a splitting of marital assets and an agreement by Depp, 53, to pay a previously announced sum of $7 million to Heard, 30, that she said will be donated to charity.
Heard filed for divorce in May after 15 months of marriage, and days later obtained a temporary restraining order against Depp.
She said in court filings that Depp was abusive to her throughout their marriage, culminating in an argument in May in which he hurled a cell phone into her face and shattered various objects in her apartment.
A lawyer for Depp denied allegations of abuse and argued that Heard was “attempting to secure a premature financial resolution by alleging abuse.”
“We are all pleased to put this unpleasant chapter in Mr.Depp and his family’s lives behind them,” said Laura Wasser, a lawyer for Depp.
“Having his request for entry of the dissolution judgment granted today made it a particularly lucky Friday the 13th.”
As part of the divorce settlement, Heard dismissed her request for a continued restraining order against Depp.
Meanwhile, Depp sued his former business managers on Friday alleging they mismanaged his earnings throughout a lucrative period of his career, although the company says the actor’s spending is to blame.
Depp’s lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court against The Management Group seeks more than $25 million, alleging its owners failed to properly pay his taxes, made unauthorized loans and overpaid for security and other services.


Irish locals show their colors in Biden’s ancestral home

Updated 23 October 2020

Irish locals show their colors in Biden’s ancestral home

  • Biden’s family roots run deep in Ireland, with a heritage described as “roughly five-eighths Irish” by genealogist Megan Smolenyak
  • Ten percent of Americans claim Irish heritage — a 31-million-strong bloc vastly larger than the five-million population of Ireland itself

BALLINA, Ireland: Thousands of miles east of the White House in Ireland, a pop-art portrait of US presidential candidate Joe Biden towers over his ancestral hometown of Ballina, County Mayo.
In the town on Ireland’s rugged Atlantic coast, the Democrat’s distant relatives are thrilled to have one of their own bidding for America’s highest office.
“Obviously we’re 100 percent behind Joe Biden,” Laurita Blewitt, the former vice president’s third cousin, told AFP.
“We’ve got that family connection and we’ve got that friendship and relationship with him,” the 37-year-old said.
Biden’s family roots run deep in Ireland, with a heritage described as “roughly five-eighths Irish” by genealogist Megan Smolenyak.
She has traced his lineage to east-coast County Louth and Ballina — a town of 10,000 people, which is dotted with brightly colored shopfronts and bisected by the River Moy.
In 1851, Biden’s great-great-great-grandfather Edward Blewitt joined the legions of Irish fleeing famine and poverty for a fresh start in New York.
The mural was raised by a band of locals last month, and Ballina is twinned with Scranton, Pennsylvania, where Biden was born in 1942.
The 77-year-old politician has visited twice — first in 2016 when crowds turned out to see president Barack Obama’s deputy.
In 2017 he came back and turned the first sod for a new regional hospice — a cause near to his heart after his son Beau’s death from cancer two years earlier.
Biden wrote that when he dies, “northeast Pennsylvania will be written on my heart.”
“But Ireland will be written on my soul.”
He is mining a rich tradition of American statesmen touting Irish heritage.
In the 20th century, John F. Kennedy was most closely tied to the “Emerald Isle,” and had to overcome anti-Irish, anti-Catholic prejudice to win the White House.
But others including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama have all claimed ancestral links to Ireland.
Ten percent of Americans claim Irish heritage — a 31-million-strong bloc vastly larger than the five-million population of Ireland itself.
Those links helped give Washington an intermediary role in resolving the 30-year “Troubles” in Northern Ireland, a sectarian conflict that killed 3,500 in Ireland and the British province itself, before it largely ended in 1998.
Lately, Britain’s Brexit withdrawal from the European Union has threatened the cohesion promised by Northern Ireland’s Good Friday Agreement.
US politicians have stepped in, warning London that a post-Brexit UK-US trade pact could be at risk if the peace is undermined.
Their alarm has reportedly been stoked by energetic briefing by the Irish embassy in Washington.
“The connections between Ireland and the US are incredibly strong,” said Ballina local councillor Mark Duffy.
“It is that soft power,” he added. “Ireland does definitely punch above its weight on the international stage.”