Depp v. Heard: Johnny Depp Defamation Case

Posted at 7:15 AM, April 8, 2022 and last updated 11:41 PM, June 1, 2022

FAIRFAX, Va. (Court TV) — The trial is Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard. The once-married couple has been feuding since they split in 2016 and the drama has spilled into courts in the U.S. and overseas.

The two are squaring off at the Fairfax County Courthouse in Virginia. Depp is suing Heard for defamation. He claims she damaged his reputation when she wrote about domestic abuse in an op-ed that appeared in The Washington Post in December 2018. Depp wasn’t named in the article but he claims in his lawsuit that the article implied he abused her and, as a result, he has lost movie roles and faced public scorn.

 

DAILY TRIAL HIGHLIGHTS

DAY 26 – 6/1/22

After nearly 13 hours of deliberation over three days – a jury of 5 men and 2 women returned verdicts that mostly favored Johnny Depp, holding Amber Heard liable for three out of three statements Depp claimed were defamatory in the Washington Post opinion piece she wrote in December of 2018. 

  • It was not a total loss for Heard, the jury found one of the 3 statements Adam Waldman made as Depp’s lawyer defamatory
  • The judge had to send the verdicts back after an initial review of their decision found they had not completed the damages portion of the verdict forms
  • After a short recess the jury returned and awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages, and $5 million in punitive damages, though the punitive portion will be capped at $350K. The judge will make that correction before she enters the order on June 24
  • The jury awarded Amber Heard $2 million for one of the statements published in the Daily Mail defamatory. Whether that number was by design or coincidence, $2 million is what she was paid for “Aquaman 2”
  • Before the verdicts were read, several die-hard Depp fans were in the courtroom, while a contingent celebrated the verdict outside the courtroom
  • Depp was not present for the verdict, but his legal team were all in the courtroom, including lead attorney Benjamin Chew, and co-counsel Camille Vasquez
  • The team was elated, hugging and congratulating one another
  • Amber and her sister Whitney left the courthouse escorted by deputies. While on most days she left to the sound of boos and jeers, this time it was mostly silent except for a lone voice who cried out, “How do you feel, Amber?” She did not respond
  • Heard’s legal team — Elaine Bredehoft, Benjamin Rottenborn and Adam Nadelhaft — also left through the secured back entrance avoiding the gaggle of reporters at the front of the courthouse
  • Jurors were escorted out to a van and were transported out by deputies. The judge has ordered that their identities be sealed for one year

DAY 25 – 5/31/22

Jurors spent the whole day deliberating without reaching a verdict.

DAY 24 – 5/27/22

DAY 23 – 5/26/22

  • The trial of Depp v. Heard concluded its evidence Thursday with Amber Heard retaking the stand to tell the jury that she has received hundreds if not thousands of death threats since the trial started, she found the ordeal so punishing she wished it on no one
    • “I am harassed, humiliated, threatened, even just walking into this courtroom, sitting here, having the worst parts of my life used to humiliate me,” she said. “People want to kill me and they tell me. People want to put my baby in the microwave.”
      • Heard was responding to a question from her attorney about the impact of statements made by Adam Waldman to the Daily Mail in 2020, claiming her allegations of domestic abuse were a hoax
      • The statements are the basis of a defamation counterclaim against Depp by Heard seeking $100 million in damages. Heard’s team alleges Waldman was Depp’s proxy and his statements were part of a campaign that decimated her once budding career and made her the target of death threats and scorn
  • Heard’s appearance on the stand set the stage for another heated exchange with Depp attorney Camille Vasquez, who has been praised by Depp fans for her zealous advocacy of the actor
    • Vasquez accused her of lying about the Hicksville incident, confronting her with the testimony of Morgan Night, who disputed Heard’s testimony that Depp trashed in a jealous rage
      • Heard appeared to dismiss Night as just one of the many people “coming out of the woodwork” to help her ex-husband. She said that Night could not have known what happened behind closed doors
  •  Heard was one of three witnesses her team called in her rebuttal case. The jury heard from Amber’s digital forensic expert, Julian Ackert, who challenged the suggestion by Depp’s team that photos showing bruises on her face had meta data that suggested that the last software program they had run through was photos 3.0 and that the same photo in a side by side comparison reflected different data sets
    • Ackert testified that any differences in the photos could be explained by Apple’s shared device program which changes the data on the photos if different sizes of the same photo are shared across devices. He said he found the originals of the photos in question on Amber’s apple devices – and they had not been run through the photo software program
  • On cross, Depp’s attorney Wayne Dennison pointed to a side-by-side comparison of a photo of Amber’s bruised face where they looked different but had the same meta data, suggesting some of her photos had been digitally enhanced to make the bruising appear more prominent
  • Dr. Dawn Hughes, Heard’s forensic psychologist, was recalled to challenge Depp’s psychological expert. Hughes insisted that her methodology was sound despite Shannon Curry’s opinion that she had misapplied the testing to for PTSD
    • Hughes testified that Heard’s test results were consistent and not so over the top that it would raise a red flag that she was tailoring her answers to exaggerate her symptoms or that she was malingering

JOHNNY DEPP’S REBUTTAL WITNESS:

  • Dr. Richard Gilbert, Orthopedic Surgeon
    • Testified Johnny’s hand injury is consistent with having a vodka bottle thrown at it and the bottle shattering. Claimed Amber’s version of the incident less likely – that he severed the tip of his finger smashing a phone into the wall
    • Gilbert testified that had he been holding the phone and hitting it against the wall, there would be nail damage
    • On cross by Rottenborn:
      • Rottenborn suggested he was tailoring his testimony to the demands of Depp’s lawyers since the doctor was aware that Amber did not claim to know how Depp’s finger was injured

AMBER HEARD’S REBUTTAL WITNESSES: 

  • Julian Ackert, Computer Forensic Examiner
    • Suggests Depp’s Expert’s opinion on the pictures is flawed
    • Depp’s expert noted that some of the photos of Amber’s bruised face had exit meta data, that suggested the last software program the photos ran through was photo editor
    • If you send an email of the photo and choose different sizes of the photo to email, you will change the hash value because size of the photo has changed
  • Dr. Dawn Hughes – Forensic Psychologist with expertise in Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)
    • Disagrees with Depp’s expert that she misapplied the testing protocols
    • Different protocols for different situations. Research protocol is different from clinical She can supplement her testing with notes from Amber’s other doctors
    • Her scores did not reflect malingering
  • Amber Heard, Defendant and counter Plaintiff’
    • Has gotten thousands of death threats since the trial started
    • Harassed and humiliated – her testimony mocked
    • Accuses Johnny of enlisting millions of people to participate in a campaign to harass her to fulfill his promise that she would ‘suffer global humiliation’
    • She is impacted in her relationships with friends and intimate partners
    • Rules as to how to touch her so she does not have meltdown
    • Wants to move on but Johnny doesn’t want to let go keeps dragging her back to court
    • Wants to continue to advocate for others who do not have a voice
    • Wants to reclaim her voice
    • As an American she has the right to speak her truth
    • On cross
      • Witnesses do not corroborate the Hicksville incident
      • Can’t identify picture of spilled wine that she says was the result of a violent fight
      • She set up her ex-husband by tipping off TMZ to the Temporary Restraining Order and leaking the kitchen video (Amber denies the allegation)
  • WATCH: 5/26/22 Amber Heard Gets the Final Word
  • WATCH: 5/26/22 Amber Heard Gets the Final Word Pt2
  • WATCH: 5/26/22 Depp Rests Rebuttal Case
  • WATCH: 5/26/22 Depp V. Heard Day 23: Both Sides Rest
  • WATCH: 5/26/22 Depp V. Heard Closing Arguments: What to Expect
  • WATCH: 5/26/22 Tracing The Evolution Of Depp V. Heard In Fairfax Co., VA

DAY 22 – 5/25/22

  • Johnny Depp took the witness stand and once again denied assaulting Amber Heard or any other woman, reminded jurors that he had been the abused one in the relationship, and lamented how distressing it was to listen to his ex-wife’s testimony
    • “It’s insane to hear heinous accusations of sexual violence that she’s accused me of. I don’t think anyone enjoys splitting themselves open to tell the truth, but it simply has to happen because it’s gotten out of control…its ridiculous, painful, brutal, cruel and false,” he said
    • Depp is winding down his rebuttal, as the case moves into its final hours. Jurors saw a group picture taken during a train ride from Bangkok to Singapore, where Depp’s eye appeared to be bruised. Depp testified that it was their honeymoon and during the train ride Amber became angry and landed a punch giving him a shiner
    • On cross, defense attorney Benjamin Rottenborn noted that he had what appeared to be the same bruise under his eye in pictures taken before the train ride
    • Rottenborn also pointed to texts in which Depp allegedly made vile references to Amber, and in one text wrote, “I NEED, I WANT. I TAKE”
    • Depp denied writing the text, claiming it was “ludicrous” and suggested someone else could have typed those messages when he loaned his phone out
    • Saw Waldman’s statements after they were published
    • Helped Heard get the part in “Aquaman” by using his connections at Warner Brothers
    • Did not habitually take MDMA – and disagreed that he would have taken 8 to 10 pills, believing that a single dose of that size would have killed him
    • Disputed suggestions he is stingy. He is charitable but does not like to draw attention to himself
    • He’s the one abused – pictures of his black eye and scratches corroborate that Amber was the aggressor

OTHER WITNESSES

  • Kate Moss, Depp’s ex-girlfriend
  • Shannon Curry, Forensic Psychologist
    • Shannon Curry was recalled to challenge Heard’s diagnosis of PTSD
    • She testified that Dawn Hughes, the forensic psychiatrist who evaluated Heard, misused the psychological tests and relied on several checklists — which would not be appropriate in a forensic setting like this one
    • Curry testified that the checklists could be exploited to exaggerate or minimize symptoms, making any results misleading and unreliable
    • Curry was recalled to challenge the opinions of Dr. Hughes — Amber’s expert
    • Testified that Hughes misapplied psychological tests, claiming that Hughes administered checklists as part of her testing, which are not appropriate in a forensic setting as symptoms can be exaggerated or minimized for the purposes of enhancing their position in a claim
  • Morgan Tremaine, former employee of TMZ
    • Morgan Tremaine, a former employee at TMZ, testified someone had emailed them the kitchen clip of Depp smashing cabinets
    • He said the clip he viewed was different from the one presented at trial, it was longer and had Amber snickering at the end of the video
    • Tremaine said TMZ was also tipped off to when Heard would be at the courthouse filing a Temporary Restraining Order and when she would be giving her deposition
    • Tremaine alerted Depp’s lawyers about what he knew 6 days ago
    • A motion from attorneys for TMZ to keep him from testifying was shot down by the judge
  • Bryan Neumeister, meta data expert
    • Bryan Neumeister who billed himself as a digital forensic expert, was asked to evaluate the pictures of a bruised Amber
    • He testified the pictures could not be authenticated and he could not say if they had been altered in any way
    • Examined photos of Amber’s bruised face and arm
    • Concluded that they could not be evaluated forensically for authentication
    • On cross, Neumeister is not qualified to be a digital expert – his degree is in political science
    • Can’t say that the photos were altered
  • Beverly Leonard: retired officer
    • The former Seattle Airport employee reached out to Depp Attorney Camille Vasquez last night and was called to testify today that she met Heard in 2009
    • She noticed Heard acting aggressively toward her travel companion and observed her pull a necklace from her neck and intervened to de-escalate the situation
    • Beverly Leonard testified Amber’s eyes were watery and her breath smelled of alcohol
    • Heard was not steady on her feet
    • On cross, denies wanting to be on TV, wondered why she hadn’t been contacted sooner
  • WATCH: 5/25/22 Depp V. Heard Day 22: Biggest Moments of the Day
  • WATCH: 5/25/22 Depp V. Heard: Catching Up With the Courthouse Crowd

DAY 21 – 5/24/22

  • Johnny Depp started his rebuttal case Tuesday by calling nine witnesses to challenge Amber Heard’s case for abuse and defamation
  • Depp’s team recalled a number of experts to testify that Amber’s earning potential was exaggerated by her expert who testified that had it not been for the negative alleged defamatory comments made by Depp’s attorney Adam Waldman, she could have earned $45 to $50 million in movie and endorsement deals over a four to five year period
  • Depp’s experts claimed Heard’s Q scores, which reflected low likeability and high dislike did not merit that kind of pay
  • Amber Heard’s attorneys rested their case-in-chief, after fending off a motion to strike her $100 million counterclaim
  • Depp’s attorney Benjamin Chew moved to dismiss her case arguing that she had not proven that Adam Waldman’s alleged defamatory statements were made at the direction of Depp
    • Chew also moved to strike Heard’s anti-SLAPP immunity arguing she was not entitled to the defense because several plaintiff witnesses testified they observed no injuries on Heard shortly after she claimed she was assaulted by Depp
  • Virginia’s anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) statute allows immunity from civil liability for statements about matters of public concern that would be protected under the First Amendment
  • The law entitles Heard to recover attorneys’ fees if she prevails in this case
  • The judge denied the motion

WITNESSES 

Depp’s Rebuttal Witnesses:

  • Walter Hamada, President of DC Films
    • Walter Hamada testified that they had not released Amber Heard from her contract to do “Aquaman 2,” nor did they need to rehire her since they elected to exercise their option
    • The studio did not renegotiate because they wanted to hold the actor to what was originally negotiated for the option
    • WB did not reduce her role in the movie because of the publicity around the op-ed
    • There was a delay in exercising her option over concerns about chemistry between her and Jason Momoa who played “Aquaman”
  • Dr. David Kulber, Plastics and Hand Surgeon
    • Performed surgery on Johnny Depp’s injured finger which required a pin and skin graft
    • He had a plaster splint put on his hand after surgery
    • His 3rd and 4th finger were cast together – couldn’t move
    • His index finger and thumb were free
    • His finger became infected and he needed to be on antibiotics
    • On cross:
      • His other hand was not injured and he would have been able to use it to cause damage as reflected by pictures of Amber’s closet
  • Richard Marks, Entertainment Attorney
    • Disagrees with Heard’s entertainment expert assessment that Heard would have made $45 million over 4 to 5 years
    • Her break out moment was Christmas of 2018, after the release of Aqua man. From the period Christmas 2018 to Spring of 2020 – when the alleged defamatory statements were made – she should have had big deals come her way, and they did not materialize
    • In his opinion the statements had nothing to do with losing any work
    • Actors that Heard’s expert used as comparable had bigger followings, more experience, better Q stores — actors not comparable: Jason Momoa, Gal Gadot, Anna de Armas
  • Michael Spindler, Depp’s Forensic Accountant
    • Michael Spindler, Depp’s forensic accountant testified that a more accurate measure of Heard’s earning potential should be calculated based on what she earned in 2019, about $3 million Spindler suggested 2019 was a ‘clean’ year, following the release of “Aquaman” and before Waldman allegedly defamed her
    • Opines that Heard’s earning potential as predicted by Heard’s entertainment expert are not supported
    • He estimates that Heard made $10 million from 2013-2019 and best year to analyze her future earnings would be to look at 2019 – the year after “Aquaman” and before the Waldman statements
    • She made $2.6 to $3 million in that ‘clean year’
    • On cross:
      • Agrees that an actor past earnings are not reflective of future earnings
      • Future earnings can depend on better roles
      • In 2019 her career was on the upswing
  • Doug Bania, Social Media Expert
    • Testified Amber’s Q score is only 9 when the average actor’s Q score is 17
    • Her score based on how much she is disliked was 28 compared to 8 for Jason Momoa
    • Bania said her positive score is low and negative score is high — and based on these scores she is not comparable to actors that her expert used to predict how much she could make had it not been for the negativity of Waldman’s statements
  • Morgan Higby Night – Owned the Trailer Palace in Hicksville
    • Morgan Higby Night was discovered only last month when he responded to a tweet about Hicksville
    • Heard testified that while they were spending the weekend with friends at un upscale trailer retreat in California, Depp went into a jealous rage when he saw her and another woman together. She said Depp grabbed the woman’s wrist, threatened her and later trashed their trailer
    • Night owned the trailer park and testified it was Amber he heard yelling and saw Depp cowering in response
    • The next day he was informed of some damage to the trailer, but after inspecting found only a broken light fixture, which he considered minor
    • Night’s tweet said he was with the couple all night, but on the witness stand he testified he spent about 45 min to an hour with Depp
    • On cross, Amber’s attorney suggested he was a fan who was following the trial via a pro-Depp Twitter account
    • Night testified that he saw Amber yelling at Johnny and it was Depp that seemed to be cowed by Amber
    • He said the next day he checked out their trailer and observed a broken light –he considered it minor $62 and did not charge Depp an extra cleaning fee
    • On cross:
  • Dr. Richard Shaw, Forensic Psychiatrist
    • Testified that Heard’s psychiatrist Dr. Spiegel violated the Goldwater rule in psychiatry — by diagnosing Depp without an evaluation
    • Disagreed with Spiegel’s opinion that Depp’s cognitive functions were impaired by his drug use. Shaw said can’t give an opinion on cognitive functions without neurological testing
    • On cross – he agreed there were exceptions to the Goldwater Rule
    • Depp rejected two attempts to meet with Dr. Spiegel
    • The court denied Defense motions for a psychological evaluation
  • Jennifer Howell, employed Amber’s sister Whitney
    • Jennifer Howell, who once employed Whitney Henriquez, Amber’s sister, testified that she wrote a letter to Whitney after she testified in the UK trial, because she thought she was doing “something wrong,” suggesting she thought Whitney was lying to protect her sister. The letter was not read to jurors
    • Whitney Heard Henriquez worked for her until 2015
    • The inference from her testimony is that Whitney is lying to protect Amber
    • Letter she wrote was not read to the jury
  • Candie Davidson-Goldronn, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles
    • Heard donated 250k to the hospital as of 2016
    • She did not fulfill the $3.5 million donation that she pledged to the hospital
    • On cross:
      • The hospital will accept the pledge at any time

DAY 20 – 5/23/22

  • Amber Heard’s team is winding down its case and with only 4 hours left, questions continue to swirl as to who they will call before they rest. Heard’s media liaison told reporters their attorneys would call Johnny Depp in its case-in-chief, but then changed course Monday afternoon appearing to even ridicule the notion, “Calling Depp back to the stand would be as relevant  to us as a bicycle to a fish,” a source close to Amber Heard said in a statement. However at the end of the day lead attorney Elaine Bredehoft had not ruled out calling him telling the judge and opposing counsel, ‘they are still deciding.’
  • Notable celebrities James Franco and Elon Musk, remain on Heard’s list of potential witnesses – but a representative for Musk told Court TV, Musk would not be testifying and Franco’s attorney did not respond to queries.
  • Depp still has nearly 16 hours of presentation time left and his lawyers have disclosed they intend to finish its rebuttal with Depp on the stand.
  • Heard called several experts to the witness stand Monday. An orthopedic surgeon testified that Depp’s finger injury could not have occurred as he had described it – the result of a vodka bottle thrown at him.  Dr. Robert Moore testified that he would have expected to see bruising or injury to Depp’s fingernail. He opined that the tissue damage was more consistent with ‘crushing,’ that his finger had been caught between two hard surfaces, resulting in a pinching or pulling away of the tissue.
  • Dr. David Spiegel, a psychiatrist qualified as an expert in substance abuse disorder, and intimate partner violence testified that Depp’s abuse of alcohol and drugs along with character traits associated with narcissistic personality disorder put him at increased risk of perpetrating intimate partner violence.
  • Kathryn Arnold, an entertainment industry expert, testified that Depp’s reputation was more likely damaged by his excessive drinking and drug use and not the op-ed. She testified that he had become more challenging to work with because of his persistent tardiness. She testified he could not have lost millions for being dropped from “Pirates 6,” because no script was in existence. She said the op-ed was not known until  Depp filed the defamation claim.
  • WATCH: 5/24/22 Who Heard of Heard?
  • WATCH: 5/24/22 Chaos At The Courthouse: Fans Line-Up For Seats
  • WATCH: 5/24/22 Depp V. Heard: What to Expect When Kate Moss Testifies

DAY 19 – 5/19/22

  • Johnny Depp’s ex-lover Ellen Barkin took the witness stand to testify that Depp once threw a wine bottle across the room during a fight he was having with his assistant and friends. The bottle was thrown in her direction but did not hit her
    • Barkin, 68 said she had been friends with Depp for about 10 years in the 1990’s when they met making the film “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” The actress said their friendship became sexual after she moved to Hollywood in 1994. She testified that Depp was drunk and high “a lot”
    • He favored red wine, and used drugs including hallucinogens, cocaine and marijuana
    • While she did not say that he abused her, she claimed he was a jealous lover, and became angry once when he noticed a scratch on her back that he believed came from having sex with someone other than him
    • Barkin said Depp ended the relationship, and after a tearful goodbye she never heard from him again
  • Amber’s team also called several witnesses who were once part of his inner circle. Their testimony suggested that Depp’s increased use of alcohol and drugs coincided with a period when he was experiencing a financial crisis:
  • Bruce Witkin, Johnny Depp’s childhood friend
    • Johnny Depp married his sister-in-law (Lori Allison) in 1984
    • Has known Depp for 40 years, they were like brothers until 4 years ago when they grew apart
    • Witkin has been deposed for at least 2 lawsuits and Depp feels he (Witkin) stabbed him in the back – but Witkin said he wasn’t going to lie
    • Concerned about Depp’s health, believed Johnny’s drinking and drugging had increased and felt he needed help
    • Did not think Kipper was a good doctor – thought he was a scam “ripoff”
    • Testified Depp had a jealous streak and worked himself up – thought what Depp was thinking was ridiculous
    • Noticed a bruise on Amber’s arm – looked to him like someone grabbed her arm – had finger impressions
    • Recalls receiving a text summoning him to the couple’s home to help de-escalate a fight
    • Has seen Depp do coke with bandmates, started in 2014
    • Depp told him his business manager told him he had to slow down his spending or do more movies
    • Has not seen Depp or Heard physically abuse each other
  • Tracey Jacobs, Depp’s former talent agent
    • Represented Johnny Depp for 30 years
    • During her representation he became “the biggest star in the world”
    • Depp dropped her as his agent in October 2016
    • Jacobs testified she was still bringing in work but it was getting harder because he had a reputation for using drugs and being late to film sets
    • His tardiness kept crews waiting for hours, Jacobs felt compelled to make two trips out to Australia where he was filming “Pirates 5” to talk to him
    • In Jan. 2016 he demanded Jacobs’ agency give him $20 million
    • They helped him get a loan instead
    • Didn’t say why he needed the money
  • Joel Mandel, former business manager
    • Representing Depp in his financial affairs became more challenging when it appeared to him that he was abusing drugs and alcohol. His behavior was more erratic, he became more difficult to engage in discussions and it was challenging to get time with Depp when he was clear-headed
    • His relationship with Depp was impacted in 2015 and severed in in 2016
    • In 2015, he warned Depp that he was in dire financial straits and needed to reduce his spending because his income had dropped off
    • Some of his expenditures included:
      • He was spending $100K a month for Dr. Kipper
      • $10K a day to Judge (security chief)
      • $125K a year for his assistant
      • $125K a year for one of this bodyguards
      • $250K a year for estate manager Kevin Murphy
      • Conversations about his financial situation were taking place in Feb 2016 and they were becoming increasingly heated
      • Denied that he failed to file Depp’s taxes for 17 years
      • Denied that he stole from Depp
  • Marie Sadanaga, LAPD Domestic Violence Coordinator
    • LAPD policy would require the responding officers to file a report even if the victim is reluctant to cooperate
  • Ron Schnell, Statistical and Forensic Social Media Analyst
    • Expert on statistical and forensic social media analysis
    • Reviewed 1.2 million tweets with the hashtags #justiceforjohnny, #amberturd, #amberheardisanabuser and #wedontlikeyouamberheard. His analysis of these tweets was negative against Amber Heard, and 1 in 4 tweets contained a reference to “waldman” or “waldminion”
    • On cross, the expert agreed that the negative tweets could not be directly linked to Adam Waldman’s statements that Heard concocted the allegations of abuse
  • Michele Mulrooney, Attorney
    • Briefly represented Amber Heard for a post-nuptial agreement but stopped representing her after she received a call from Johnny Depp
    • During the call Depp called her a “bitch” and was very “mean” and fired her on behalf of Amber even though he didn’t have the authority to fire her
  • Tina Newman, Disney Production Executive
    • Does not know if Amber’s Washington Post op-ed had been read by Disney executives, and if it had been read played into any decision to drop Depp from the franchise
    • The executive had read a Rolling Stone article about Depp, and commented about it in an email calling it “depressing”
  • Dr. Allen Blaustein, Depp’s Former Psychiatrist
    • Depp never expressed having anger toward Amber
    • Depp expressed feelings of jealousy.
    • Expressed concern about Depp using Adderall
    • Stopped seeing Depp after he traveled to Australia for the filming of “Pirates 5” Depp needed help with rage and chaos about Amber and his sister
    • Has a high tolerance for marijuana
    • Depp was traumatized after an earlier break up when he was 22 — his girlfriend cheated with a leading man
  • Eric George, Amber’s Attorney with the Publication of the Op-Ed
    • Represented Amber with revise, edit op-ed
    • Minimize the potential for lawsuit
    • Heard did not disregard his recommendations
  • Jessica Kovacevic, Amber’s Talent Agent
    • Assisted Amber with Aquaman role
    • Helped to re-negotiated Amber’s role for “Aquaman 2”
    • Heard’s role diminished – no endorsements or other roles
    • After negative online comments and statements, Heard career took a turn for the worse
  • WATCH: 5/19/22 Depp V. Heard Day 19: Biggest Moments of The Day
  • WATCH: 5/19/22 What’s Behind the Alleged Changes In Johnny Depp’s Behavior?
  • WATCH: 5/19/22 Depp V. Heard: What the Jury Didn’t See Today

DAY 18 – 5/18/22

  • Amber Heard’s defense presented several witnesses including her sister who testified that there were two sides to Johnny Depp, one charming, and likeable when sober, the other belligerent and abusive when drunk or high. Jurors also heard from Amber’s friends Raquel Pennington and her husband Josh Drew who were present when police were called to the apartment after a May 21st fight that led to Heard’s restraining order against Depp
  • Raquel Pennington, Heard’s former best friend:
    • Observed deep cuts on the back of Amber’s forearms and smaller cuts on her feet upon her return from Australia
    • Attended Thanksgiving dinner 2015 at Depp’s penthouse. Noticed Depp missing from the table and Amber going to find him. She returned with a different set of clothes. (Amber testified they had a fight and ripped her blouse during an argument)
    • Pennington later went upstairs and observed broken glass and spilled wine on the bed
    • In the aftermath of the 12/15/15 fight, Pennington observed injuries on Heard, that included a bloody scalp from ripped out hair, a cut on her bottom lip, and a laceration to her forehead.
    • She was on the phone with Boreum to talk through symptoms of a concussion
    • Photos taken that day or sometime thereafter show Amber’s face with swelling and a bruise under her eye
    • Pennington photographed a broken bed frame, which according to Amber had been broken by the force of Depp’s knee to her back
    • Pennington said she went to the couple’s penthouse on May 21, after she received a text. Amber testified he threw a phone into her face
    • Pennington said Depp’s security guards came to retrieve Depp, but on his way out he knocked over some of her jewelry displays, glassware, pictures, etc.
    • Never saw Depp assault Amber
    • Pennington appeared pained and emotional at times, stating that she observed bruises and cuts on Heard at various times during the relationship
    • She testified that on May 21, 2016, after receiving a text, she went to Depp’s apartment to find the actor yelling and Heard crying for help. Pennington said that had not happened before, and she placed her hands on Depp’s chest to stop him from advancing on Heard, but he slapped her hands away. Pennington said she used her body to cover Heard and recalled thinking she would throw a nearby ashtray at Depp if he got any closer
    • Toward the end of the relationship, when Pennington said the alleged physical abuse became more evident, she feared for Amber’s safety, thinking that Depp’s unpredictability could lead to harming Heard in a way that he did not intend
    • Pennington said she accompanied Heard to court to obtain the restraining order against Depp and helped document the injuries she observed on Heard that day
  • Josh Drew, Pennington’s ex-husband:
    • Lived with Raquel in one of Depp’s penthouse apartments’
    • Cooked dinner for Amber’s 30th birthday
    • Took police around Depp’s penthouse to show them the damage in the aftermath of Depp’s fight with Heard
    • Cleaned up some of the broken glass and damaged items allegedly caused by Depp
    • Observed swelling and a bruise on Amber’s face
  • Whitney Henriquez, Amber Heard’s sister:
    • Early stages of relationship Depp was sober at the time, bright, lovely, we all feel in love with him at first
    • At first their relationship was wonderful, madly in love, they understood each other, pattern emerged, if Johnny was using there was almost always a fight
    • Present during the Hicksville incident, went to the trailer the couple spent the night in, and found it trashed
    • Testified that Depp arrived late and drunk to Amber’s 30th birthday party and told a story about Amber’s “perfect ass” that made everyone in attendance feel uncomfortable
    • The couple’s nickname for her was “marriage counselor”
    • Whitney Henriquez testified that Depp’s relationship with Amber was blissful at first, but a pattern would later emerge, that whenever Depp drank or used drugs, they fought
    • Henriquez said Depp grew more controlling and jealous and sought to dictate what her sister wore, what roles she could take
      She observed Depp’s alleged abusive behavior first hand during the so-called staircase incident in March 2015
    • The mother of two said she was witness to an argument between Depp and heard at the couple’s penthouse after Heard accused Depp of cheating. Henriquez said during the confrontation Depp came up the stairs to confront Amber, struck her in the back as she was positioned between them
    • She said after Amber “landed one,” he grabbed her sister with one hand and struck her repeatedly in the face with his other hand
      Henriquez said she moved her sister to the neighboring penthouse to separate the two but Depp went on a rampage and destroyed her closet
    • Henriquez testified that after the incident Depp asked her to sign a non-disclosure agreement
    • On cross, she agreed she supported her sister’s effort to reconcile with Depp, despite the violent encounter because she knew they were in love
    • Henriquez testified that the relationship took a toll on Heard’s health, she dropped a considerable amount of weight, and appeared emaciated by the end of her marriage to Depp
  • Elizabeth Marz, close to Raquel Pennington:
    • Was at the penthouse to help Raquel prepare for her jewelry show
    • Described Depp as “wasted” when he came bursting through the door flailing a wine bottle
    • She testified she felt frightened by his behavior
    • Observed Amber was very upset, hair a mess, disheveled, her face was red and swollen
    • Observed bruises developing around her eyes
  • Melissa Inglessis, makeup artist:
    • Called to Amber’s apartment on Dec. 16, 2015
    • Observed Amber had two light marks under yes, looked like someone head-butted her
    • Marks on the bridge of her nose, and a split lip
    • Covered her bruises with concealer, covered the split lip with red lipstick
    • Doesn’t recall exactly, but said Heard told her that she had a fight
    • Described Heard as being distraught and confused about whether to file for divorce
  • Kristina Sexton, Heard’s former acting coach:
    • Last worked with Amber in 2017 for the movie “Aquaman”
    • Johnny Depp allegedly disparaged Amber about particular roles she auditioned for
    • In the beginning, they were lovey dovie. Then I would see less of them together and muffled arguments through the walls
    • Amber was never late when we worked at the studio. Then she had to add extra cushion to the meeting because she was late — Heard had became more and more of a hermit
    • Sexton heard Depp different times saying I turned into a monster
    • Told Sexton about the sex assault after being contacted by Heard’s attorney and before her deposition
    • Said Amber claimed Depp sliced his finger shaking the broken liquor bottle
    • Said Depp was a happy drunk that then turned loud and angry
    • Never saw Depp hit, kick, or throw things at Amber
  •  WATCH: 5/18/22 Expert Analyzes Amber Heard’s Sister’s Body Language
  • WATCH: 5/18/22 Depp V. Heard Battle Of The Buddies: Raquel Pennington V. Isaac Baruch
  • WATCH: 5/18/22 Depp Attorneys Exit Courthouse to Fanfare (and Alpacas!)

DAY 17 – 5/17/22

  • Amber Heard cross-examination by Camille Vasquez
    • Amber Heard spent the better part of the day on the defensive as Johnny Depp’s attorney Camille Vasquez challenged her allegations of abuse with recordings that suggest Heard was the aggressor in the relationship and had physically abused Depp
    • Vasquez played one recording that captured Heard yelling insults at Depp, calling him, a sellout,” “a washed-up piece of shit,” mocking his masculinity for “running away at the first sign of trouble.” Heard conceded they called each other vile names during their fights
    • Another recording captured the couple arguing as Depp suggested she leave him alone so he could visit with his daughter, Heard cried and pleaded with Depp “to stop,” that it was killing her because Depp wanted to put some space between them. Heard claimed her pleas were to keep Depp from falling into the cycle of intoxication and violence
    • Recordings and texts presented by Depp’s team appear to reinforce Depp’s position that Heard had abandonment issues and could not deal with Depp’s efforts to isolate or separate from Heard during their arguments. Furthermore Depp’s team suggested she was the aggressor, harassing him relentlessly when he tried to de-escalate their arguments by getting away.
    • Amber Heard gave Depp a knife as a gift — suggesting she could not be as afraid of him as she claims
    • Depp attorney suggests the sexual assault with the bottle could not have happened the way Heard described if he was simultaneously holding Heard down by the neck and using his other hand to smash the phone. Heard says she does not recall the sequence of events
    • Recording of Depp telling Heard he tried to escape from their fights by seeking refuge in five bathrooms and 2 bedrooms. Heard said she knocked on one bathroom door
    • Vasquez suggests the pictures of Heard showing cuts from their Australia fight are actually scars from Heard self-cutting, which Heard denied
    • Recording of Depp trying to separate from Heard. She’s pleading and crying claiming he’s killing her while he wants some time apart to see his daughter. Heard claims she was stopping him from going on a bender
    • In some of the recordings Depp complained about being punched. Heard explained that she was only hit Depp in response to protecting herself. Vasquez also seemed to mock Heard’s concern for her husband’s drug use when Heard admitted to using illicit drugs and drinking frequently in front of her addict husband. She noted Heard provided drugs (weed) to her guests at their wedding
    • Vasquez suggested Heard wasn’t so concerned about her husband’s drug use that she stopped drinking and drugging to support her husband. She noted that Heard had drugs at their wedding
    • Heard said it was weed and it was meant for a separate party
    • She conceded she drank wine in front of Johnny and did drugs on at least 2 occasions with Johnny – which Heard said she regretted
    • A photo shoot in the Bahamas featuring Heard captured no visible injuries on her face after she claimed she and JD got into a fight a few days before that in which he allegedly assaulted her. Heard said makeup concealed any bruises
    • A photo taken of her at Coachella, where she went with friends after she claimed she had been beaten by JD after her birthday, showed no visible injuries
  • Amber Heard redirect by Elaine Bredehoft
    • On redirect, Elaine Bredehoft asked her client if she knew why Johnny Depp refused to look at her during her testimony. Heard responded, “Because he’s guilty, he knows he’s lying otherwise, why can’t he look at me? I survived that man, I’m here, and I’m able to look at him.”
    • Saw an ENT about her nose in 2017 has scar tissue that makes it difficult for her to breathe at night. Heard has put off surgery
    • Entitled to half of Depp’s $65 million dollar revenue — $32 million — but didn’t want his money
  • Defense witness IO Tillet Wright: Friend of Amber Heard (video deposition)
    • The jury also heard from IO Tillet Wright, who testified he had been friends with Heard for a longer period of time but had grown close to Depp during his friendship with her
    • He testified that Depp was mean and paranoid when he was intoxicated, and even became violent observing on two occasions, Depp throw dishware in anger
    • He testified that when Depp was drunk or high he came up with elaborate schemes that Heard was sleeping with his costars and would often disparage Heard
    • Tillet said Depp told him that he had blacked out on a number of occasions including not having any memory of what happened on the flight from Boston to Los Angeles
    • Tillet testified that he called police during the May incident after Depp became enraged when he and Heard laughed about the feces in the bed
    • He overheard Depp say “Oh you think I hit you,” and I will f—ing peel your hair back and heard the phone drop. He said he called 911 and Raquel Pennington, who he knew lived in the neighboring penthouse, for help
    • Lived in one of Depp’s houses rent free for a period of 9 months
    • Became close to Johnny Depp — they told each other “l love you”
    • Observed the couple have arguments, but did not see Depp every physically assault Heard
    • Observed Depp take drugs and hard liquor
    • Claims Depp told him about the monster in him and his addiction to opiates
    • Personally observed signs of alleged abuse on Heard including cuts on her arms and a clump of hair on the floor
  • Raquel Pennington: Friend of Heard (video deposition)
    • Pennington, who Amber has described as being her best friend, also testified via video deposition
    • Pennington says she’s neither a friend nor an enemy — they’ve grown apart, she prioritized other relationships in her life
    • Once had an argument with Heard in which she pushed Heard, Heard responded by hitting her in the cheek
    • She was on the Hicksville trip with Depp and Heard and testified that Depp became aggressive after seeing Heard and another woman become affectionate
    • Testified that she was at Hicksville with Depp and Heard and observed Heard and Kelly Sue hugging and Depp responding aggressively
  • WATCH: 5/17/22 Did Embrace Between Depp and Attorney Cross a Line?

DAY 16 – 5/16/22

  • Amber Heard testimony on direct
    • Heard testified that police were called on multiple occasions to their fights
    • Violence had become “normal” in their relationship
    • She and Johnny had a safe word — “couch” was the word she used when she wanted the fighting to stop
    • Heard showed the jury pictures taken after the Australia fight and while she was promoting Magic Mike, in which cuts were visible on her arms and wrists
    • On a train ride after the press tour, she said they had a fight in which he allegedly pushed her against a wall and squeezed her neck to the point where she felt he might kill her without realizing it
    • On her birthday — April 21, 2016 — he was late to her party. They had a fight after the guests left, they got into an argument that turned into a shoving match and a physical altercation that included Depp allegedly throwing her phone over their balcony
    • She denied she had defecated in their bed and denied ever telling Depp’s bodyguard that the feces were a practical joke that went awry
    • Heard suggested their dog Boo had bowel control problems
    • In May of 2016 – she had not seen Depp for a month. She said Depp wanted to see her but she thought he was delusional because he was talking about DNA and feces
    • She called IO Tillet in an attempt to help quell his suspicions about the feces — but during the exchange, which involved a lot of yelling, Heard testified that Tillet told Heard she wasn’t safe in the house which allegedly set off Depp into a jealous rage prompting him to throw a phone at her, hitting her in the eye
    • Heard presented pictures of her bruised face on May 21 after the incident and a few days later, when she sought the temporary restraining order
    • Heard testified she wore makeup to cover her bruises
    • She said she had moved on after the divorce, she was featured in a big movie, was hired as a spokeswoman for L’Oreal, and had shot a TV series. Her life was on a positive trajectory
      She said that changed after Depp’s lawyer Adam Waldman made statements calling her domestic abuse allegations a hoax
    • She said claims that the statements have destroyed her career and seeing them repeated on social media constantly causes her humiliation and pain
    • Heard wrapped up her direct testimony with an emotional plea to be left alone so she could move on with her life
      • She testified she protected Depp during their relationship by not cooperating with authorities over alleged acts of violence and begged him not to pursue litigation that would force her to prove that she was truthful about the domestic violence
      • She said she wanted their relationship to end amicably and wrote the Washington Post op-ed because she felt she could lend a voice to gender issues that had become part of the national conversation
        • “The op-ed is about me,” she said. “It was not about Johnny until he made it about him.”
  • On cross-examination by Camille Vasquez
    • Johnny Depp has kept his promise that you will never see his eyes again — attorney plays recording of Heard and Depp in San Francisco where Heard appears to be trying to reconcile with Depp. During their conversation Depp vows she will never see his eyes again
    • Amber Heard’s allegations of domestic violence were challenged by Depp’s attorney Camille Vasquez after Heard testified for hours that Johnny Depp allegedly choked, punched, kicked, slapped, and sexually assaulted her over the course of their nearly 5-year relationship
    • Depp attorney presents pictures of Heard appearing at an event with Depp one day after she thought he broke her nose. No visible signs of injury to nose. Heard says bruise is covered by makeup
    • Depp Attorney presents pictures of Heard in a backless dress, appearing to show no injuries to her back after she claimed Depp kneed her in the back
      • Vasquez presented photos of Amber Heard smiling and posing with Depp and comedian Don Rickles one day after Heard said she thought her nose was broken in a fight after the Met Gala
      • Vasquez questioned Heard’s accounts of domestic violence, suggesting in a number of instances — injuries did not appear in photos or video taken shortly after the alleged assaults and Heard sought no medical treatment for injuries she claimed she suffered at the hands of her ex-husband
    • Depp Attorney play Heard’s appearance on James Cordon after she claimed she was hit multiple times in the face
    • On cross, Heard admitted she did not seek medical treatment after Depp allegedly raped her with a liquor bottle nor did she seek treatment for a broken nose
    • Depp Attorney suggests Heard’s picture displaying Depp’s drugs (lines of cocaine) were staged before she sent them
    • Vasquez suggests Heard was lying when she made statements that she gave away her entire divorce settlement to the ACLU and the children’s hospital, when in reality she had not donated the entire $7 million settlement to charity. She had received the entirety of her divorce settlement 13 months before Depp sued her
      • Heard testified she had every intention of honoring her pledges but stopped after she had been sued by Depp. However Vasquez noted Heard had received her entire settlement 13 months before Depp sued her
  • WATCH: 5/16/22 What Does Amber Heard Really Want?
  • WATCH: 5/16/22 Direct Testimony of Amber Heard Concludes
  • WATCH: 5/16/22 Amber Heard on Post-Divorce Career: ‘I Had to Fight Really Hard’
  • WATCH: 5/16/22 Heard Testifies About Thanksgiving 2015, 30th Birthday
  • WATCH: 5/16/22 Heard Says Abuse Started Earlier Than Initially Stated

DAY 15 – 5/5/22

  • Amber Heard took jurors through her deeply troubled relationship with Johnny Depp, detailing several arguments that allegedly exploded into violence including the notorious Australia fight in which Depp suffered a severed finger
    • Their meeting in Australia was to be a reunion after being separated for a month immediately after they were married in February of 2015. Heard had returned to Australia after wrapping shooting on “The Danish Girl” in London to spend a three day weekend with Depp, who was in the midst of filming “Pirates 5”
    • Their weekend turned into a marathon of violent arguments that included Heard recounting what had become an all too familiar pattern: An intoxicated Depp questioning her fidelity, accusing her of having an affair with a co-star, their argument escalating to violence
    • This Australia trip seemed especially brutal with Heard telling jurors she had been punched, choked and sexually assaulted with a bottle in a night of frenzied fighting
    • She broke down sobbing, wept as she recounted the event, describing in graphic detail the assault, and recalled feeling pain in her pubic region. She said she felt particularly vulnerable because Depp had ripped off her nightgown, hit her, shoved her around the room and repeatedly threatened to kill her
    • She said she couldn’t recall how the night ended, but woke up at some point to find Depp sitting at a desk with his hand wrapped telling her: “Look what you’ve done to me”
    • She said he was bleeding, missing a part of his finger, and she was going to call 911
    • When security arrived, she said Depp pulled out his penis and urinated on the floor. She said a few days later she found pieces of steak wrapped in her cut up nightgown which had been a wedding gift. The discovery seemed as bizarre as the messages that Depp had left for her on a mirror and lamp shade written in blood and paint
  • Heard described other arguments that became violent:
    • An episode in 2014 following the Met Gala — Heard said when they got back to their hotel, Depp accused her of flirting with a woman at the Gala and he hit her in the face; she thought he had broken her nose
    • On a flight from Boston to Los Angeles, Depp taunted her about sex scenes with James Franco — her co-star in a movie. The fight escalated with him allegedly slapping her in the face and kicking her in the back in front of people in the plane. Heard said o one did anything about his abusive behavior
    • In December 2015, Heard discovered Depp texting an old flame. The discovery led to an all-out brawl, during which he allegedly beat her, dragged her by her hair, and kept his knee on her back while he punched her. She thought she suffered a concussion
  • Their violent fights were often followed by a period of sobriety when he was “sweet and kind.” He vowed after the Boston fight to get clean and sober, and brought in the team of Debbie Lloyd and Dr. David Kipper
    • The detoxification was troublesome according to Heard, because Depp took double the dose of medication he was prescribed to get high before detoxing
    • Depp had complained that she was not supportive during his attempt at detoxing, but Heard claimed she did her best to take care of him, and he had thanked her many times for helping him through his withdrawal from opiates
  • Heard also testified about how happy she was when Depp proposed, getting down on one knee
    • She thought marriage would bring a measure of stability to the relationship and that would help him change
    • She said she had brought up the subject of a prenup to assuage any suspicions about her motives, but Depp wouldn’t discuss it and accused her of wanting to get out of the marriage
  • Heard described their last big fight which took place a few weeks before Christmas 2015
  • When she resumes her testimony she will likely take jurors through events of 2016, including her 30th birthday party and May 21, a blow-up that summoned police to their apartment before their marriage ended
  • WATCH: 5/5/22 Depp V. Heard Day 15: Heard’s Second Day on The Stand
  • WATCH: 5/5/22 Depp V. Heard: A Different Type of Courtroom Drama

DAY 14 – 5/4/22

  • Clinical psychologist Dawn Hughes on cross-examination:
    • Depp’s lawyer challenged the psychologist’s conclusion that Heard was at risk of serious harm or danger in her allegedly abusive relationship with Depp
    • Depp’s lawyer noted that Heard gave Depp a large knife as a gift
    • Knife had a Spanish inscription “until death”
    • Depp’s lawyer suggested Hughes did not administer the test for PTSD accurately to explain why her diagnosis was different from Depp’s expert
    • Depp’s attorney challenged Hughes’ opinion that Heard’s abilities were impaired due to symptoms of PTSD considering that she was able to function at the highest level, filming “Aquaman 2,” cooking and raising a child
  • Direct examination of the defendant, Amber Heard:
    • Began by telling jurors that her testifying that this trial is the most difficult thing she has had to endure. She described it as painful
    • She helped her dad train horses and learned to be tough and not show fear
    • She met Depp after being cast in “The Rum Diary,” where they shared a kissing scene that was more than just professional
    • They meet 2 years later on the press tour for “The Rum Diary.” They were no longer with their respective partners
    • They fell in love and began dating in the fall of 2011
    • They kept their relationship a secret because Depp didn’t want her to be blamed for the breakup of his relationship with Vanessa Paradis — mother to his children
    • Heard began telling jurors about her relationship with Johnny Depp, which she said was marred by obsessive jealousy and bouts of violence fueled by drug and alcohol abuse
    • Heard described a blissful start to their Hollywood romance. Despite their age difference she said they had a connection that she said felt magical and was at times “pure joy.” She said she fell “head over heels” in love with him, and believed she had found her soulmate
    • She said he made her feel like the most beautiful person in the world, “a million dollars”
    • Their relationship would take on a pattern where he would disappear and she would not hear from him for days and he would appear again – she began to suspect it was his way of hiding his alcohol and drug abuse
    • Gifted a knife to Depp during his filming on “The Lone Ranger” because he like turquoise
    • She admitted she took Depp’s boots off because she thought it was loving gesture, but didn’t care if he wanted to take his own boots off
    • She testified Depp could be kind and generous and would often shower her and her family with extravagant gifts, but there was another side to him that subjected her to humiliation and horrific violence. Testifying before a spellbound audience, she described the first time the actor slapped her. He struck her 3 times in the face after she laughed at his “wino” tattoo
    • After the first slap, she giggled, thinking it was a joke, but he slapped her again and a third time. Once she realized it wasn’t a joke, she was “heartbroken”
    • Heard said she should have left him then, but he was very remorseful and promised it would never happen again – but there were more episodes of abuse, including the following incidents that she described in her testimony:
      • During a desert getaway to Hicksville with friends, Depp became infuriated when a woman on the trip leaned into Heard. He became angry and accused her of hitting on Amber
      • When the couple returned to their trailer Depp was enraged, trashed the trailer, and then performed a cavity search on Heard to determine if there were drugs hidden in her vagina
      • On a flight to Russia, Heard said Depp convinced the flight attendant to take MDMA (ecstasy), when he thought she got too friendly with Heard he threatened to break her wrist, the same kind of threat he had made against the woman in Hicksville
      • Heard said the flight attendant cried and she didn’t see her much for the remainder of the flight
      • When they got to their hotel, Depp shoved her and wacked her in the face causing her to bleed from her nose
      • On a trip to Depp’s private island in the Bahamas, Depp became angry with Heard for allegedly telling his daughter that he was drinking, when they were alone he grabbed her by the neck and slammed her against the wall
    • The relationship also took on a disturbing pattern when he drank. She said Depp would say disparaging things, call her insulting names, accuse her of infidelity. However when he was clean and sober, they would enjoy a period of peace and harmony that she would refer to as the “warm glow”
    • Frustrated that he would get so drunk and high he would lose control of his bowel movements. She had cleaned him up, his bodyguards cleaned him up
  • WATCH: 5/4/22 Depp V. Heard Day 14: Amber Heard Takes the Stand
  • WATCH: 5/4/22 Body Language Expert Analyzes Amber Heard’s Testimony

DAY 13 – 5/3/22

  • Johnny Depp rested his defamation case after calling 29 witnesses over 12 days. He testified for four of those days telling jurors that he had never struck or physically abused his ex-wife, Amber Heard, and that the domestic abuse she implied in an op-ed in the Washington Post simply did not happen
    • Instead he claims that she was the abusive one, belittling him, and physically assaulting him during heated arguments including one in which she allegedly threw a bottle at him that severed a part of his finger. He said she thwarted his attempts to de-escalate their confrontations by preventing him from leaving
    • His attorneys called a number of witnesses who claimed to have observed the couple’s arguments and testified that Heard was often the instigator
    • Depp rested after calling a forensic accountant to testify that he had lost $40 million dollars in the 2 years since the op-ed appeared
  • Heard began her case by calling a clinical psychologist who evaluated her and diagnosed her with PTSD
    • Dr. Dawn Hughes said she administered a series of tests that proved Heard was not feigning or exaggerating her symptoms and noted that none of the other two therapists who counseled her since 2012 diagnosed her with a personality disorder or saw any pattern of behavior that indicated a personality disorder — countering the opinion offered by Dr. Shannon Curry, the psychologist hired by Depp to examine Heard
    • Dr. Hughes, a clinical psychologist with a specialty in interpersonal violence and traumatic stress, evaluated Heard and determined she suffers from PTSD
    • She administered a number of tests that reveal that Heard was not malingering and her symptoms are consistent with PTSD
    • She did not find borderline personality disorder and noted that the other therapists who treated Heard also did not find a pattern of behavior that was consistent with borderline or histrionic personality disorder
    • Heard reported being slapped, pushed, kicked by Depp. Complained of bruises, cuts, vaginal pin from assaults and told her she had lost consciousness twice during fights with him
    • Dr. Hughes testified that Heard reported the assaults were fueled by drugs and alcohol. Heard reported sexual violence, during a drug-fueled assault he tore off her nightgown, threw her on the bed and tried to have sex with her and when he couldn’t perform he blamed her
    • Dr. Hughes testified that Amber told her Depp was prone to possessive jealousy he didn’t want her to wear revealing clothing and wanted her to stop working. He also stalked her on her film sets, calling her costars and directors
    • Dr. Hughes testified Depp didn’t like men and women hitting on Amber
    • Dr. Hughes said Depp called Heard horrible names: whore, c***, easy, did it to humiliate and intimidate her
    • Opined that from her review of the notes from other therapists, there was support for intimate partner violence that had been consistently reported over time
    • She noted there were 4 couples sessions, Depp stormed out of 2 of them
    • Dr. Hughes stated that Heard’s mental health deteriorated during this time requiring more medication to treat heightened anxiety and she suffered more rage outbursts
    • WATCH: 5/3/22 Psychologist Who Examined Amber Heard Testifies
    • WATCH: 5/3/22 Psychologist: Amber Heard Experienced PTSD And ‘Intimate Partner Violence’
    • WATCH: 5/3/22 Dueling Doctors: Comparing Testimony of Depp and Heard Psychologists 
  • WATCH: 5/3/22 Depp V. Heard: Johnny Depp Defamation Case Day 13
  • WATCH: 5/3/22 Depp V. Heard: What the Cameras Didn’t Show You Today

DAY 12 – 5/2/22

  • Travis McGivern, Depp’s bodyguard, testified he had to protect “his client” from Amber Heard after he saw her throw a can of Red Bull that hit his back, and in another argument saw her punch him in the face with a closed fist
    • McGivern Started working for Depp in 2013 and is currently still working for Depp
    • McGivern noticed Depp and Heard were more argumentative after returning from Australia
    • He picked up Heard at the airport – did not notice any injuries, Depp had his hand heavily wrapped
    • McGivern observed the couple arguing several times a week — lots of name-calling heard Amber using abusive language toward Depp
    • On March 23, the couple had an argument. He was summoned to the penthouse at 4am with a text to bring Debbie Lloyd, the addiction nurse. She was staying at a hotel about ½ block from the penthouse. When they arrived at the penthouse they went in and allowed Depp and Heard to talk
    • Their discussion was peaceful but at some point their argument got heated and McGivern saw Amber throw a can of Red Bull at Depp, hitting him in the back
    • The argument escalated with both of them yelling at each other, she allegedly threw a purse at him, which he knocked away, then spit at him
    • She allegedly called him, “f’ing c**t, deadbeat dad,” and told him he was “washed up”
    • Depp was very upset after Heard spit at him, he went into her closet and threw out her clothing racks
    • Later that evening the argument reignited with another fight, this time with Amber’s sister Whitney present. During the fight McGivern said he saw Amber punch Depp in the face
    • After the punch, McGivern said he wanted to take Depp out of the apartment and observed redness and swelling on his face; Heard and her sister left the apartment
    • He said during the fight Depp did not physically retaliate against Amber
    • McGivern said he was summoned to the penthouse again because of another verbal argument in April of 2016
    • He said he heard that some phones had been thrown over – he wanted to get Depp out of the apartment to de-escalate the situation
    • On cross, the defense attorney suggested that McGivern was not present during the times that Depp allegedly assaulted Heard, including on a flight from Boston to LA, in the Bahamas, or in Tokyo in 2015
    • WATCH: 5/2/22 Johnny Depp’s Bodyguard Testifies
  • Depp’s agent, Jack Whigham, testified that a $22.5 million deal for Depp to star in “Pirates of the Caribbean 6” fell apart after Heard’s op-ed had Disney wanting to go in a different direction
    • Whigham represented Depp starting around the fall of 2016
    • Going into 2017, Depp shot 2 films, “City of Lies” and “Murder on the Orient Express” and had pre-existing deals for “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” and “Pirates 6”
    • Whigham testified that Amber’s Op ed had catastrophic effect on Depp’s career because it was a first-person account
    • Whigham testified that it became clear that Disney was going in a different direction
    • Between the time the op-ed came out and October of 2020 – Depp was not hired to do any studio films
    • Testified he never saw Depp lose his temper
    • On cross-examination, Whigham stated there was no contract or anything in writing to suggest the Disney “Pirates 6” deal was in place
  • Entertainment dealmaker Richard Marks opined that Heard’s op ed’s and its domestic violence accusations sparked a cancel movement that doomed Depp’s reputation and career
    • Has 50 years of experience making deals in the entertainment business
    • Worked with businesses who hire actors to represent their product
    • Stated that companies don’t want to be associated with actors connected to scandal or negativity
    • Said the pinnacle of negativity is domestic and sex abuse
    • Opined that Depp’s career has been canceled due to the domestic abuse allegations
    • Testified that the #MeToo movement gives victims the benefit of the doubt
    • Explained how contracts have moral clauses, that allow companies to deal with negativity quickly
    • Gave the name Kevin Spacey as an example: after sex abuse allegations surfaced about Spacey, he was replaced, and if he could not be replaced his movies were shelved
    • WATCH: 5/2/22 Depp V. Heard: Hollywood Entertainment Lawyer Testifies
    • WATCH: 5/2/22 Depp V. Heard: Tumultuous Cross-Examination of Entertainment Lawyer
  • Douglas Bania, Internet and Social Media Analytic Expert, testified that Depp’s Q score, which measures an actor’s appeal, went down after 2016 allegations
    • Testified that prior to 2016, Depp was not portrayed in a negative manner
    • Before 2016 articles were mainly about Depp’s life and career
    • After 2016, articles were negative and focused on his drinking and accusations of abuse
    • After 2018 articles also included domestic abuse, and drug use
    • None of the articles dealt with Depp’s work ethic
    • Stated that negative stories after 2016, more so after 2018 op-ed
    • Analyzed the top 3 spikes in Google searches for Depp
    • Positive Q score went down from 31 to 29, dislike for Depp went up from 11 to 15
    • On cross-examination, Amber Heard’s attorney suggested the searches did not have anything to do with the op-ed
  • Amber Heard’s nurse, Erin Boerum Falati, testified that Heard left Australia in March 2015 – there was an incident where Depp and Heard had to be separated. Heard returned to Los Angeles. Depp stayed in Australia
    • Testified that on March 9, 2015 Heard was sad, ahe assumed they were related to relationship issues. Note said Amber wanted to discuss situation with nurse, but nurse can’t recall any specifics
    • Boerum Falati kept detailed notes regarding her interactions with Amber, who she was helping with her anxiety issues
    • In one note Falati wrote that client (Amber) reported familial history of substance abuse. She noted that Amber told her she had a history of anxiety, eating disorder, attention deficit disorder, bipolar disorder, codependence issues, and insomnia
    • Nurse also noted that Amber reported increased anxiety and agitation and has had several outbursts of rage
    • Her note also reports that Amber told her she was having feelings of insecurity and jealousy when not with Depp
    • Note dated 12/17/15 – Falati went to deliver medications to Depp’s home, and was greeted by Amber. Amber appeared disheveled, she observed a cut lip. She was informed that Amber sustained the injury after a fight with Depp. She noted that Amber said she lost clumps of hair and had a bruised head also from the fight. Falati did not see any bruises on her head
    • Boerum Falati stated that she received pictures of Amber Heard’s face appearing red and swollen
  • WATCH:  5/2/22 Amber Heard Fires PR Firm
  • WATCH: 5/2/22 Crisis Management Expert Talks Amber Heard PR Switch
  • WATCH: 5/2/22 How Does Amber Heard’s Demeanor Compare to Johnny Depp’s?
  • WATCH: 5/2/22 Depp V. Heard: What the Cameras Didn’t Show You Today
  • WATCH:  5/2/22 Depp V. Heard: Johnny Depp Defamation Case Day 12

DAY 11 – 4/28/22

DAY 10 – 4/27/22

  • Two more LAPD detectives and an employee at the front desk of the Eastern Columbia building where the couple lived testified that they observed no injuries on Heard’s face after she alleged Depp threw a phone at her, hitting her in the face at the Depp/Heard penthouse in May 2016
  • Christian Carino, Johnny Depp’s former talent agent testified that Amber Heard’s domestic violence accusations had a dramatic impact on his offscreen reputation and eventually led to being dropped from the 6th Pirates of the Caribbean movie
    • Carino said discussions he had with studio executives including series producer Jerry Bruckheimer, revealed the “studio was having difficulty employing him”
    • Carino’s testimony could go to support Depp’s contention that the domestic assault allegations caused him to lose “everything”
    • Carino suggested that Depp’s late arrivals were well-known and those in the industry simply learned to work around his tardiness
    • Despite their contention, Carino testified that Heard asked him to set up a meeting between the couple in an attempt to reconcile. Depp agreed to the meeting on the condition that Heard not accuse him of violating the restraining order
    • Their first meeting took place at a friend’s house and then later at a hotel in San Francisco, where things appeared to sour when Carino said the couple started arguing again
    • WATCH: 4/27/22 Johnny Depp’s Talent Agent Testifies
  • Depp’s divorce lawyer testified, via video deposition, that Heard gave them no notice before filing a temporary restraining order
    • Furthermore Heard’s attorney was not agreeable to keeping their discussions out of the public eye, which most famous clients prefer to do
    • The divorce was settled in August a few days before Heard was set to appear for a court date in connection with the Temporary Restraining Order
  • WATCH: 4/27/22 Depp V. Heard: Johnny Depp Defamation Case Day 10

DAY 9 – 4/26/22

  • Forensic psychologist Dr. Shannon Curry, working for Johnny Depp’s legal team, evaluated Amber Heard and concluded she suffered from borderline or histrionic personality disorder
    • Dr. Curry said she observed many characteristics consistent with borderline personality disorder in her examination of Heard, including externalization of blame, inner hostility, self-righteousness, passive aggressiveness, self-centeredness, neediness, and feigning
    • Dr. Curry’s testimony appeared to coincide with the descriptions that Depp gave about Heard’s behavior in his testimony. The psychologist said Heard was driven by a fear of abandonment and was prone to exaggeration and over talking
    • Dr. Curry said that borderline personalities like Heard are so fearful of abandonment that they resort to physically restraining someone from leaving, something Depp complained about when he tried to distance himself from Heard during a fight
    • Dr. Curry said Amber was typical of borderline personalities, she had a tendency to react angrily over any perceived slight, used the legal system such as obtaining a restraining order in their quest for attention
    • Dr. Curry opined that Heard grossly exaggerated symptoms of PTSD, and claimed to have 19 of the 20 symptoms associated with the condition in testing. The psychologist, who works extensively with military families, said even those who suffered severe cases of PTSD did not score that high on the scale of symptoms. She found three PTSD symptoms present in Heard, and suggested they predated her relationship with Depp and could have resulted from childhood trauma
    • On cross examination, Amber Heard’s attorney noted that Dr. Curry was not board-certified, did not have the experience of testifying about Intimate Partner Violence and that Heard had been evaluated by a more qualified mental health experts who had reached a different conclusion than Dr. Curry. (Heard’s expert is expected to testify that she suffered from PTSD as a result of domestic abuse)
  • Melissa Saenz, a police officer with the LAPD said she responded to a call about domestic violence at the Depp/Heard penthouse
    • Testifying via video deposition, Saenz said a friend had called to report domestic violence, but when she arrived she said that Heard was not cooperative and did not want to report the incident
    • Officer Saenz observed Heard’s face was flush, and that it looked like she had been crying, but did not observe any injuries consistent with domestic abuse and concluded that no crime had been committed
  • Tara Roberts, Depp’s house manager in the Bahamas, testified about an incident she observed in December 2015
    • She said she heard the couple argue and Depp leave his house. She observed Depp with an injury over the bridge of his nose, but no injuries on Heard
    • She said Amber was pleading with Depp to return to the house, and was grabbing at his clothes to try to pull him back
  • WATCH: 4/26/22 Expert Analyzes Amber Heard’s Body Language
  • WATCH: 4/26/22 Depp V. Heard: A Civil Lawsuit That’s Anything But Civil
  • WATCH: 4/26/22 Johnny Depp & Amber Heard: Special Hour Of Trial Highlights

DAY 8 – 4/25/22

  • Johnny Depp testified for a fourth straight day in his defamation case against his ex-wife. Jurors heard snippets of the couple’s arguments captured on audiotape that reflected painful moments in their toxic marriage. Reliving those arguments through the recordings seemed to cause both Depp and Heard discomfort. At some points Depp appeared pensive while he concentrated on listening to the recordings, while Heard appeared close to tears at some points
    • Amber Heard’s attorney played snippets of audio recordings from the couple’s arguments during which Depp appeared to be verbally and physically abusive toward Heard
    • In some recordings played by team Heard, she could be heard protesting, telling Depp to stop pushing her, hitting her, poking a stick at her, and putting out his cigarette on her
    • In one recording Heard pleaded with Depp to stay clean and sober, while he resisted, saying “I’ll never be clean and sober”
    • In recordings played by Depp’s attorney during redirect, Depp appeared to want to remove himself from their arguments but she protested his attempts to leave, insisting they try and work things out
    • In recordings played on cross-examination, Depp could be heard calling Amber, “A f—ing c—,” a “stupid f—” and a “fat a–”
    • In another argument, Heard said: “You (Depp) beat the s— out of me,” and in another recording she cried and pleaded with him about being clean and sober
  • Benjamin Rottenborn, Heard’s attorney, used Depp’s own words captured on audio recordings to persuade jurors that he physically and verbally abused Heard during their relationship. He concluded his cross examination of Depp by suggesting that negative stories about Depp’s personal struggles with drugs and alcohol were published in national newsmagazines long before Heard raised allegations of domestic abuse in 2016
  • On redirect Depp offered some context to some of their arguments, telling the jury that he wanted a peaceful resolution and tried to put some space between them during the arguments resorting at times to locking himself up in another room. But he said Heard was relentless and would ramp up arguments by antagonizing him
  • Asked to address a text exchange with Paul Bettany in which he wrote “Let’s burn Amber,” Depp said he wrote that after Heard belittled Bettany’s 18-year-old son to the point where he cried
    • Depp said Heard “always had to be right” and was confrontational with anyone who disagreed with her
  • In another text exchange, in which the couple discussed the “disco bloodbath,” Depp testified it was meant to be a lighthearted exchange about a book title and not any reference to violence
  • Asked about the writings he scrawled with his injured finger, Depp said they were reminders to Heard about moments in their past, when he said he had caught her lying and he said it was also his way of giving her advice, because he knew she did not want to be pigeonholed into one role
    • A message written in a mix of blood and paint on a lamp shade was “Good luck and be Careful at Top”
    • On a mirror he wrote: “Starring Billy Bob Thornton and Easy Amber”
  • WATCH: 4/25/22 Alpacas Show Their Support for Johnny Depp
  • WATCH: 4/25/22 Amber Heard Makeup Controversy Explained
  • WATCH: 4/25/22 Body Language Expert Analyzes Johnny Depp And Amber Heard
  • WATCH: 4/25/22 “21 Jump Street” Actor Talks To Court TV
  • WATCH: 4/25/22 Depp’s House Manager Testifies About Finding Fingertip
  • WATCH: 4/25/22 Johnny Depp’s Testimony Concludes After 4 Days On The Stand

DAY 7 – 4/21/22

  • Johnny Depp spent a third straight day on the stand, this time being grilled by Amber Heard’s attorney who confronted him with texts and emails that suggested his propensity for substance and alcohol abuse made him behave in a way that was far from being the genteel southern gentleman he claimed to be
  • A surreptitious video recording captured Johnny Depp yelling, kicking cabinets and slamming doors so violently that the glass panes broke. Amber Heard can be heard trying to placate him, but he appeared drunk and angry, pouring himself a large glass of wine before storming away
  • Throughout the day-long cross Rottenborn confronted Depp with a string of texts and behaviors to counter Depp’s insistence that his alcohol and substance abuse problems were overblown. He denied repeatedly that Heard’s concern was warranted and was reminded with his own words of how belligerent he appeared to get when she expressed her disapproval over his drug use. In one text to her Depp wrote, “Leave me f**g be Officer Square head”
  • Defense Attorney Benjamin Rottenborn challenged Depp’s claim of an 18-month sobriety as “nonsense,” suggesting Depp was drunk on the flight from Boston to Los Angeles
    • During the flight, Heard photographed him passed out with melting ice cream in his lap
    • Depp denied he was drunk and passed out, claiming he had taken 2 Roxicodone to numb the pain of his failing relationship
  • Heard accused him of kicking her in the back in a jealous rage over her scenes in a movie with James Franco
  • Heard’s attorney also accused him of being intoxicated during the fight in which Depp blamed Heard for severing his finger
    • Rottenborn noted Depp dipped his bloody injured finger in paint and scrawled an insulting message to Amber in the mirror, which read, “Starring Billy Bob Thornton and Easy Amber”
  • On his direct, Depp detailed an incident in which he described Heard’s refusal to give him meds during intense symptoms of withdrawal. On cross, Rottenborn noted an email he had written to Paige Heard, Amber’s mother, crediting her daughter for helping him detoxify
    • “Amber and only Amber got me through this,” he wrote
  • Depp appeared unfazed by the inconsistencies Heard’s attorney raised, and often responded with a glibness that delighted fans in the gallery
    • Confronted with a picture of whiskey and cocaine, Rottenborn said, “You drank whiskey in the morning?”
      “Isn’t happy hour anytime,?” said Depp
  • WATCH: 4/21/22 Tense Cross-Examination Of Johnny Depp Continues
  • WATCH: 4/21/22 Cross-Examination Of Johnny Depp Continues

DAY 6 – 4/20/22

DAY 5 – 4/19/22

  • Johnny Depp took the witness stand telling jurors that he wanted to clear his name after his ex-wife Amber Heard made ‘criminal’ accusations against him that became so widespread on social media people accepted it as fact.
  • “It’s not the truth whatsoever,” he said. “I felt I had to stand up for myself and my children, who at the time were 14 and 16. They were in high school. It’s diabolical that my children would have to go to school and be confronted by a People magazine cover with a dark bruise on her face…I pride myself on honesty and the truth.”
  • Depp said he wasn’t embarrassed that such personal details about his life would be disclosed, he brought the case to clear his name for himself and his children.
  • Speaking softly and uninterrupted for long stretches, the actor shared with the jury some of his most intimate memories of his childhood, recalling growing up with an abusive mother who was prone to ‘violence’ and cruelty. She teased him for having a lazy eye, calling him ‘cockeyed’ and ‘one-eye.’ He described his father as a ‘good man’ despite being beaten by him. Depp said his father was stoic in the face of his mother’s bullying but eventually he left the household, unable to tolerate the torment.
  • Depp was unflinching in his discussion of his alleged drug abuse. He said he was introduced to drugs, as a child, when his mother would ask him to bring her her ‘nerve pills.’ He grew to understand that they had a calming effect and one day he took one. While he conceded he had an addiction to opiates, he testified his problems with substance abuse were ‘grossly embellished.’
  • “I’m not some maniac who needs to be high and loaded all the time,” he said, claiming he abstained from alcohol for 18 months while in Australia.
  • Depp also described his journey from unknown musician to Hollywood mega star. He said he ‘had no great ambition to be an actor,’ and fell into acting by ‘accident.’ But after being cast in 21 Jump Street,  ‘there was no going back to music.’ Depp offered some insight into some of his career highs. For instance the part of Captain Jack Sparrow came at a time when he was watching a lot of cartoons with his daughter. It inspired his portrayal of Sparrow in a way that Disney had not anticipated and didn’t necessarily approve. But the character has become a mainstay and Depp went on to star in five installments of the billion dollar Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
  • Depp talked about falling for Amber Heard, his co-star in The Rum Diary, he recalls sharing a kiss during a shower scene with Heard and feeling something he should not have felt. He suggested he was uneasy because he was in a relationship with Vanessa Paradis, and Heard had a wife at the time. The couple met again during the press tour for their movie, by then they had broken up with their respective partners. He said he thought Heard was the ‘perfect partner’ despite the age difference, but things changed after the first year and half, when her rigid behavior raised some concern.
  • Depp will continue his testimony on Wednesday.

DAY 4 – 4/18/22

DAY 3 – 4/14/22

DAY 2 – 4/13/22

DAY 1 – 4/12/22

  • The jury hears opening statements:
    • Benjamin Chew opened by telling the jury that his client has been falsely characterized as a domestic abuser
      • He blamed Johnny Depp’s ex-wife Amber Heard for creating that false impression with 3 statements she made in a Washington Post op-ed, which he claims irreparably harmed Depp’s career
      • Chew suggested Heard’s allegedly false accusations stemmed from his desire to leave the marriage and her attempt to shake him down for a higher divorce settlement
      • Depp’s attorney told the jury to pay close attention to May 21, one day after Depp’s mother died.
        • Chew said Depp wanted to split from Heard and went home with the intention of packing some of his belongings before leaving to tour with his band
        • The couple got into a fight and Heard called police to report abuse. Chew claimed responding officers observed no injuries on Heard or any evidence of destroyed property
        • Instead Chew maintains that Heard’s injuries were faked by her sister throwing a punch, an exchange captured on surveillance video
      • Chew said Heard dropped a restraining order she sought after they settled their divorce
      • Depp’s defense stressed his history of non-violence in several long term relationships and called Amber Heard a troubled woman who concocted the accusations in an effort to seek favorable publicity for herself
      • WATCH: 4/12/22 Depp v. Heard: Attorneys for Johnny Depp Deliver Opening Statement
    • Amber Heard’s defense urged jurors to focus on the main issue at the center of the case – her protected right to free speech. Benjamin Rottenborn warned jurors not to be distracted by Depp’s effort to turn this case into a ‘soap opera’
      • Rottenborn read Heard’s op-ed to the jury, noting the article didn’t name Johnny Depp, and it wasn’t about him, but rather social change. He went on to say that the article didn’t damage Depp’s career, but it was his poor choices that doomed his career
      • He suggested Depp’s failure to take personal responsibility for his abuse of drugs and alcohol made him an unreliable actor and the reason behind Disney dropping him from the Pirates series
      • Rottenborn said it was not Amber Heard’s intention to expose Depp’s violent behavior but his obsession with wanting to hurt her would inevitably uncover the truth about Depp’s abusive behavior
      • Heard’s lawyers went on to describe numerous acts of physical abuse that Depp inflicted on Heard, while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. They said Heard’s attempts to confront him about his use of illicit drugs only provoked more violence, including sexual violence that on one occasion involved penetrating her with a liquor bottle
      • As Heard’s defense lawyer recounted horrific details about their client’s relationship with Depp, he frowned and shook his head in disbelief
      • Heard’s lead counsel Elaine Charlson Bredehoft said a campaign waged by Depp’s proxy Adam Waldman has destroyed her client’s career and she is seeking damages with her own counterclaim
      • WATCH: 4/12/22 Depp v. Heard: Attorneys for Amber Heard Deliver Opening Statement PT1
      • WATCH: 4/12/22 Depp v. Heard: Attorneys for Amber Heard Deliver Opening Statement PT2
    • The first witness called to the stand is Johnny Depp’s older sister, Christi Dembrowski
  • WATCH: 4/12/22 Depp v. Heard: Johnny Depp Defamation Case Day 1

 

  • CASE BACKGROUND:
  • Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are squaring off at the Fairfax County Courthouse in Virginia. Depp is suing Heard for defamation. He claims she damaged his reputation when she wrote about domestic abuse in an op-ed that appeared in The Washington Post in December 2018. Depp wasn’t named in the article but he claims in his lawsuit that the article implied he abused her and, as a result, he has lost movie roles and faced public scorn.
  • “Any defamation case has a difficult road to hoe,” George Freeman told Court TV, “but in this one I think it has a particularly difficult chance of success.”Freeman served as in-house counsel for The New York Times for more than 30 years and is now executive director of the Media Law Resource Center.”The first defense, really, is the most basic defense in libel law, which is truth,” said Freeman.In order for Depp to win, he not only has to prove that the allegations are false, but that Heard acted with malice or intentionally lied about the alleged abuse.

    In this combination photo, Johnny Depp and Amber Heard listen in court as Depp’s attorney delivers their opening statement in the Fairfax County Courthouse in Virginia, Tuesday, April 12, 2022. (Court TV)

    “He really has to prove that she made it up out of whole cloth,” continued Freeman, “and I think that’s a stretch to ask a jury with all the evidence that exists, to ask a jury to believe that she made it up and she wasn’t abused at all is a very, very hard burden to meet.”

    Depp has already lost a similar libel case in London. He sued The Sun for calling him a “wife beater.” A judge there found that the newspaper had proved the article was substantially true.

    Depp’s U.S. trial, however, will be different. A jury will decide the case, not a judge. And, Depp’s appeal among fans could be a factor.

    “He knows that he has a large fanbase,” said Wagmeister, “even throughout this entire legal battle, so Johnny Depp could also feel empowered by knowing that he does still have a fanbase behind him.”

    Depp’s case is unusual for another reason. According to Freeman, “Johnny Depp sued Amber Heard in this case but not The Washington Post. Generally speaking, in nine out of 10 cases, in a libel case you sue the media that publishes as well as the person who is making the accusation. Yet he never sued The Washington Post in this case, which leads to the conclusion that this is really, in the end, a marital fight that has now grown into the American court system.”

    Court TV crews are in that Fairfax County courtroom bringing you live, gavel-to-gavel coverage of the proceedings.

     

For Court TV’s full coverage of Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard, visit:

www.courttv.com/johnny-depp-defamation-case/

 

Court TV legal correspondent Chanley Painter and Senior Director of Courtroom Coverage Grace Wong contributed to this report.

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