Johnny Depp’s counsel today rested its case in the ongoing defamation suit the actor brought against his ex-wife Amber Heard in March 2019. Following a U.K. trial in 2020, the lawsuit is now the second arising from Depp’s former relationship with Heard.
Depp’s legal team spent the last 13 days attempting to prove to a jury that Depp was defamed by an op-ed Heard published in the Washington Post2018 In it, Heard discussed the treatment of women in sexual assault cases and referred to herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.”
Although Heard didn’t mention Depp in his op ed, Depp claims that it not only insulted him but also cost him his job. Yesterday, Depp’s agent, Jack Whigham, testified that the op-ed was “catastrophic” for Depp’s career. Whigham also claimed that a reported “$22.5 million verbal deal” that Depp had secured with Disney for a sixth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise was scuttled after Heard’s op-ed was published.
Forensic Accountant Mike Spindler’s Testimony
On Tuesday, forensic accountant Mike Spindler testified that he had analyzed Depp’s earnings following the 2018 op-ed. “I concluded that Mr. Depp suffered lost earnings of approximately $40 million,” Spindler said.
Continue reading: Why You’re Seeing So Many Johnny Depp Defenders on TikTok
The Next Step
Over the last two weeks, Depp’s legal team called more than two dozen witnesses, including Depp himself. Many witnesses, including Depp’s bodyguard, attested to witnessing volatile behavior from both Heard and Depp.
Now, as Depp’s case wrapped, Heard’s legal team moved to dismiss the entire case, arguing that Depp’s team did not prove their case. If Heard loses the case, it was an obvious legal maneuver.
Presiding judge Penny Azcarate partially denied the motion based on two arguments, per CNN, saying that Depp’s team had shown sufficient evidence of defamation to allow the case to continue. As Deadline noted, Azcarate said that “if there is a scintilla of evidence that a reasonable juror could weigh, then the matter survives a motion to strike.” However, the judge left the door open to one other argument for dismissal, if Heard’s team presents sufficient evidence while making its case.
Heard’s case is expected to kick off with psychologist Dawn Hughes, an expert in abusive relationships, as her first witness.
It is expected that the trial will last for six weeks.
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