Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Defamation Trial: What to Know
High-profile case involving Johnny Depp (58) and Amber Heard (36) began in Fairfax on April 12. Depp sued Amber Heard for defamation in 2019. The lawsuit was brought against Heard after she published an article on domestic abuse in 2018. Depp claims the article has irreparably damaged him.
This trial is expected to take place over six weeks and has generated headlines on everything, from Depp’s violent texts to their argument to the audio recordings. This is the second lawsuit involving abuse allegations connected to Depp and Heard’s relationship, following a trial in the U.K. in 2020.
As the trial enters its third week, here’s what we know so far.
Johnny Depp is suing Amber Heard for what?
In March 2019, Depp sued Heard for $50 million in defamation after Heard published an editorial in the Washington Post. Post Previous December. In the article, Heard discussed the treatment of women in sexual assault cases and referred to herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse” but did not mention Depp by name. Depp, who said he was dropped from his role in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean Just days after publication, franchise was announced,According to Depp, the article was damaging his career. Depp’s career was already on the rocks following the couple’s publicized breakup and the allegations of abuse that rocketed between them.
After Depp’s loss in a similar case against News Group Newspapers (the U.K publisher) of the tabloid the trial was delayed. The Sun2020: Libel
What is Amber Heard doing suing Johnny Depp for?
Heard’s lawyers tried to get Depp’s defamation lawsuit dismissed after he lost the U.K. case, but a judge refused, citing differences in U.K. and U.S. defamation laws and pointing out that Heard was not a defendant in the case against The Sun. Heard then filed a $100 million countersuit against Depp, claiming that he defamed her when his legal team referred to her claims as “fake” and a “sexual violence hoax.” Because Heard’s op-ed was published in the Washington PostFairfax, Va. where the newspaper is published, is hosting the trial.
Was Heard a writer in Washington? Post op-ed?
Heard published the Washington Monthly in December 2018. Post op-ed with the headline “I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.”
In the article, she discussed the public backlash she had received after she “became a public figure representing domestic abuse” in 2016, then advocated for more support for victims of domestic violence.
Though Heard didn’t mention Depp by name, the timeline she described in the piece matched up with the timeline of the couple’s divorce two years prior, in 2016.
Amber Heard (actress) listens as she is questioned in Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse, Fairfax, Virginia. April 25, 2022.
Steve Helber—Getty Images
How to find out more The SunForensic legal proceedings
The trial’s allegations have already been heard during an earlier 16-day trial held in the U.K., in summer 2020. Depp filed suit The Sun’s publisher for libel over a headline calling him a “wife-beater.” Heard testified in the trial, making 14 allegations of abuse against Depp. Depp denied all of them, but a judge ruled that 12 had been “proved to the civil standard and that The Sun’s headline was “substantially true.”
The timeline of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s relationship
Heard and Depp were reunited in 2009 on the set Rum Diary where Heard played the love interest to Depp’s character. Depp shared his first connection with Heard during Fairfax’s testimony. The scene required them to meet in the shower.
“That moment, was, it was, it felt like something, it felt like something I should not be feeling,” Depp said, adding that they were both in relationships at the time. “I think there was something in the kiss in the shower that was real.”
Two years later, they met for the second time to promote the film. However, Depp and Heard only began dating again after he split from Vanessa Paradis (with whom he has 2 children). Depp and Heard were married in 2015. Heard, who had filed for divorce fifteen months after the marriage, received a temporary order of protection against Depp. She claimed that Depp was cruel to her. Depp denied the allegations, with his legal team accusing Heard of “alleging abuse” to “secure a premature financial resolution.” After Heard rescinded a request for $50,000 a month in spousal support, they settled out of court, with Heard receiving $7 million. Heard claims she has donated the money for charity.
The pair released a joint statement when their divorce was finalized saying, “Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love.”
Johnny Depp’s testimony
Depp recounted his childhood of verbal abuse and physical abuse. Heard was also present at Depp’s initial encounters. Pirates of the Caribbean His life was transformed by franchise.
Both Heard and Depp have accused each other of physical violence, and both have denied the other’s claims. In his testimony, Depp said, “Never did I myself reach the point of striking Ms. Heard in any way nor have I ever struck any woman in my life.” He claimed that Heard was violent toward him, detailing one instance in which his finger was seriously injured after Heard allegedly threw a vodka bottle at him.
During a cross-examination by Heard’s team, Depp was asked about text messages he sent to friends detailing his drug and alcohol use and discussing potential acts of violence against Heard—in one, he referred to her as a “rotting corpse”,He claimed they were only a reflection of his dark humor. “If you’re writing, there is no set place that you have to stay in, you can travel.” he said. “And sometimes pain has to be dealt with with humor—and sometimes dark, very dark humor.”
Also, the actor discussed why he was removed from the sixth. Pirates of the Caribbean film after the publication of Heard’s op-ed. “I would be a real simpleton to not think that there was an effect on my career based on Ms. Heard’s words, whether they mentioned my name or not,” Depp said.
What has been the testimony of others?
The first witness was Christi Dembrowski, Depp’s older sister and personal manager, who spoke of the abuse they had faced as children. “I recognized what I felt to be a repeat pattern from his childhood,” Dembrowski said of his relationship with Heard.
The court also Heard from Isaac Baruch, Depp’s childhood friend, who said Depp allowed him to live rent-free in an L.A. penthouse as he focused on his art. He said that, though Depp and Heard lived nearby, he never witnessed any violence between the two, calling Heard’s claims a “malicious lie.”
Depp’s legal team has also called a doctor and nurse who treated him for substance abuse and claim that they witnessed arguments between the couple, but no physical abuse.
Heard is expected to take the stand in coming weeks; Other potential witnesses on Heard’s list include Elon Musk, whom she reportedly dated, and her former co-star James Franco, in whom she allegedly confided. Depp is likely to call Paul Bettany as a witness about their conversation over text messages in which he condoned violence against Heard.
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