Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation case update


Trigger Warning: This article contains allegations of physical and sexual violence that some may find distressing. For the past 3 weeks, Fairfax County Circuit Judge Penney Azcarate has been hearing testimony regarding alleged abuse at the hands of both Depp and Heard against each other as Depp is suing her for $50 million over a December 2018 op-ed she published in the Washington Post (which is published in Fairfax County outside Washington) claiming to be a victim of domestic abuse, which he denies. 

After 13 days of testimony, the court has adjourned for a week so the judge can go to a legal conference. The testimony on both sides has been really difficult to hear or read about and could be triggering for domestic abuse survivors.

Last week Depp alleged he was the victim of domestic violence and detailed his account of the time when his fingertip was severed when Heard threw a bottle at him which smashed his phalange. He also talked about the time when Heard defecated on his bed and blamed it on the couple’s teacup Yorkies. Depp recalled a multitude of examples of physical and emotional abuse and even brought witnesses to corroborate his allegations. 

At the end of his testimony, he produced a particularly damning audio recording where Heard told him no one would believe him if he came forward as a domestic abuse survivor. 

“See what the jury and judge thinks — tell the world, Johnny, tell them, ‘I, Johnny Depp, a man, I’m a victim, too, of domestic violence,’ and see how many people believe or side with you.”

Amber Heard Takes Stand

This past week, Amber Heard took the stand and detailed an account of her alleged sexual assault with an alcohol bottle. Before the Aquaman star testified, her attorneys moved to have the case immediately dismissed, arguing that Depp did not meet the “burden of proof.”

Azcаrаte denied the request

Heard’s attorney Benjamin Rottenborn claimed in opening statements that the Pirates of the Caribbean star sexually assaulted the actress towards the end of their relationship, an allegation that had never been made public before.

Her attorneys described “a three-day blackout in which he abused and sexually assaulted Amber.” They added, “You will hear in the most graphic and horrifying terms about the [sexual] violence that she suffered. You’ll hear that straight from her.”

Heard alleged that she had nothing to do with Depp’s finger being severed and instead told a very graphic story about how she was repeatedly penetrated by a liquor bottle during that very same fight. 

She alleges that she was bleeding vaginally and assumed there was broken glass inside her vaginal canal. She also claims she never told anyone until now and that she did not seek medical attention to check for broken glass. 

“I wasn’t thinking about that [pain]. I was heartbroken. I realized eventually that I could be hurt, because I was bleeding. But I convinced myself it wasn’t broken or that the bottle wasn’t broken or it would be a lot worse, and the discomfort paled in comparison [to the heartbreak]. … I had just married this man,” Heard said. “I just married him.”

After Heard’s incredible testimony, both Heard’s representatives and Depp’s representatives released separate statements to People Magazine.

“As Mr. Depp’s counsel correctly predicted in their opening statements last month, Ms. Heard did indeed deliver ‘the performance of her life in her direct examination,” a spokesperson for Depp tells the publication. 

“While Ms. Heard’s stories have continued to grow new and convenient details, Mr. Depp’s recollections have remained exactly the same throughout the six painful years since her first allegations were made,” Depp’s spokesperson continues. “His truth — the truth — is the same no matter the environment in which it has been presented.”

The statement concludes, “The upcoming cross-examination from Mr. Depp’s team will be most telling, and will certainly highlight the many fallacies Ms. Heard has now attempted to pass off as fact throughout her convoluted testimony.”

The alleged rape had not been previously disclosed in their previous court proceedings in the UK.

In response, a spokesperson for Heard tells the same publication, “As evidenced by the statement just released, Mr. Depp’s defamation claim is falling apart so rapidly that his counsel are turning from prosecutor to persecutor.

They boast that Mr. Depp’s story has not changed. If so, since he lost the Domestic Violence Restraining Order and he resoundingly lost the libel case in the UK, perhaps he should consider a new strategy rather than the recycled approach of attacking the victim, and refusing to take responsibility for his own conduct.

“If Mr. Depp was truly innocent, why has he repeatedly apologized to Ms. Heard and promised to put the ‘monster away for good,’ ” Heard’s spokesperson says, adding that one of Heard’s “disappointments” is the Pirates of the Caribbean actor’s “inability to distinguish fact from fiction — a malady which appears to have spread to his legal team.” 

“That same team is so panicked they are fighting tooth and nail to prevent compelling evidence and photos from being introduced,” says Heard’s spokesperson. “Small wonder Mr. Depp does not have the fortitude or courage to even look at Ms. Heard at all throughout the proceedings — as he could not in the UK trial — and, instead he doodles and snickers.”

“Mr. Depp’s behavior in this trial has been as pitiful as it was in their marriage,” the spokesperson concludes. “Apparently, they feel they must double-down on their demonstrably losing two-part strategy: distract the jury and demonize the victim.”

REELated: Dave Chappelle releases statement on attack

Domestic violence survivors have been crucifying Heard on social media calling her a liar and a psychopath:

The court will resume at 9 am ET on May 16 and continue until closing arguments are scheduled for May 27.

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