The crossed accusations of violence between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard were at the center of the defamation trial that restarted this Monday, in which a long list of witnesses called by the actors paraded. Here’s a rundown of what’s happened so far and what to expect in the coming weeks.
Depp, who met Heard in 2009 and was married to her from 2015 to 2016, filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit over a 2018 op-ed the actress wrote in which he described himself as a “public figure” that represents domestic abuse.
Although Depp was not named in the article, the actor claims it cost him lucrative roles.
The trial, which is taking place in Fairfax, Virginia, has been marked by mutual accusations between the protagonists of “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Aquaman”, with reference to the abusive consumption of alcohol and drugs by the actor, and where both deny having used physical violence, although they have acknowledged the arguments and the deterioration of their relationship.
The crossed accusations between Depp and Heard
Depp was the first of the ex-partner to take the stand, where he testified for four days.
One of his most relevant statements was after the recording of a conversation between the two was played in 2016. There Heard expressed concern about recovering his reputation, after press reports about abuse in their relationship, and at one point it was heard that he told Depp:
“Tell the world, Johnny, tell them: ‘I, Johnny Depp, a man, am also a victim of domestic violence'”. When the recording ended, Depp’s lawyer asked him what his answer was and he replied: “I say yes, I am.”
When asked about the consequences of his alcohol abuse, Depp claimed that the “only person” he had abused in his life was himself. “Sir, if anyone had a problem with my drinking, at some point in my life, it was me,” he said.
“I never got to the point of hitting Mrs. Heard in any way nor have I hit any woman in my life,” said Depp, who also addressed the impact the abuse allegations had on his career: “One day you’re Cinderella, for so to speak, and then in 0.6 seconds you’re Quasimodo.”
Heard later took the stand and gave testimony for two days.
“I find it hard to find the words to describe how painful this is. It is horrible for me to sit here for weeks and relive everything,” she said at the beginning of her statements on the 14th day of the trial, in which she recounted several occasions in which allegedly the actor beat her and even sexually abused her.
One of the incidents, according to the actress, was when she asked him about a tattoo that he had on his arm and he replied that it said “Wino”. “I laughed because I thought he was joking. And he slapped me,” she claimed.
After the alleged hit Heard is talking about, she said Depp got down on one knee, cried and apologized, saying, “I thought I pushed the monster away.”
“I knew it was wrong and I knew I had to leave him. And that’s what broke my heart. Because I didn’t want to leave him,” said Heard, who also stated during the first day: “He was the love of my life. But also he was also this other thing. And the other thing was something horrible.”
On her second day of testimony, Heard testified about other alleged acts of physical violence, stating:
“Nothing I did made him stop hitting me. Nothing. I tried for over a year, maybe two, just not to respond physically, not responding verbally, just staring at him, I tried to freeze, I tried to go to a different place. Then I tried to verbally assault him, I tried to threaten him that if he hit me again I would call the police.”
The accusations about the severed finger and the bloody writing
Depp testified that, in 2015, his finger was cut by broken glass after Heard allegedly threw a bottle of vodka at him. He sought medical attention, but told other people that he had been injured by hitting a door so as not to “get her into trouble,” according to his testimony.
The actress, for her part, alleged that Depp sexually assaulted her with a glass bottle, saying she didn’t know if the bottle he used was broken or not. Heard testified that Depp told her that he would “kill” her during the course of the attack and that she later felt pain in the area, she bled and that she also had cuts on the soles of her feet, among other injuries.
Heard testified that at some point shortly after the fight, she believes Depp used his bloody finger to write and draw all over the mansion they were staying at. “It was clear he was crazy. He wrote in blood on a pillow,” she claimed.
The “catastrophic” impact on Depp’s career
In the center of the trial, in addition, were the impacts on Depp’s career. Jack Whigham, the actor’s manager for film deals, testified that Depp started losing jobs after Heard’s op-ed.
Whigham testified that Depp had closed a $22.5 million deal for Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean 6,” but that after the article was published, Depp made “zero” studio movies.
“Regarding Johnny, (the op-ed) was catastrophic because it came from a first-person account, it wasn’t from a journalist or someone watching, it was from someone saying, ‘This happened to me,'” said Whigham.
Battle of experts
The trial also involved a “battle of the experts” called by both sides, as criminal lawyer Sara Azari explained to Citizen Free Press, “which is typical in a domestic violence case.”
On the one hand, Dr. Curry, hired by Depp’s team to psychologically evaluate Heard, stated that the actress did not suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder but rather a personality disorder. Later, Dr. Hughes, summoned by Heard’s defense, stated that she does suffer from PTSD related to the abuse she denounces.
“This ultimately becomes a question of credibility, the jury has to look at these two experts and decide who has the better science, who makes the most sense, who is credible on the totality of the evidence that they have heard,” explained Azari.
The list of witnesses included, in addition to health professionals, people who managed Depp’s properties, for example his private island in the Bahamas, several Los Angeles Police officers who responded to calls, personal security guards from the actor and the general counsel of the American Union for Civil Liberties, Terence Dougherty, among others.
How is the trial going?
Judge Penny Azcarate instructed the jury to return on May 16. Closing arguments are expected to take place on May 27 and then deliberations begin.
The jury is made up of seven people in total, four men and three women, and there are four alternates.
At this point, Heard is still in the testifying phase.
This week, in addition, the judge rejected a request made by the actress’s lawyers to annul the case.
Ashley Johnson is the lead reporter for Globe Live Media on things related to Entertainment, Lifestyle, and Music. Being a fitness enthusiast, her background involves growing up in Beverly Hills, where She often interacts with famous Artists and also talks about their ways for a Healthy Lifestyle. She is in fact a profound Yoga student. You can be well assured about the authenticity and quality of Lifestyle, Health, and Music reports published by her. She is a part-time gamer too, so she will also cover the gaming section of Globe Live Media every now then.