Depp v. Heard: Johnny Depp Defamation Case

Posted at 7:15 AM, April 8, 2022 and last updated 7:17 AM, May 18, 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.

 

“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.

 

DAILY TRIAL HIGHLIGHTS

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

 

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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