Legal professionals for Johnny Depp ended their defamation situation versus his ex-wife, Amber Listened to, on Friday by contacting her a habitual liar who ruined their client’s everyday living with vocation-destroying claims of physical violence.
Inspite of audio and eyewitness testimony pointing to Depp acquiring a penchant for just that, they even doubled down on the allegation at the heart of Heard’s counterclaim: that the actress perpetrated an elaborate “hoax” in which the defamation demo was the last act.
In closing arguments, Depp’s attorney, Camille Vasquez, reported Listened to arrived to court with “extravagant, in excess of-the-leading allegations of abuse” in buy to claim that she, not Depp, experienced been defamed.
“Make no slip-up, though, they are a hoax,” Vasquez, instructed jurors. “Ms. Read manufactured up claims of abuse and then she gave a spectacular functionality where by she passionately repeated those people produced-up statements on the stand in front of every single of you.”
Heard’s attorneys formerly applied their possess closing arguments to paint Depp as a serial actual physical, sexual, and psychological abuser. And they proposed that by savagely assailing her character, he and his camp ended up correctly likely after all victims of domestic violence.
“Think about the concept Mr. Depp and his attorneys are sending to Amber and by extension to just about every sufferer of domestic abuse in all places,” Heard’s lawyer, Benjamin Rottenborn, claimed. “If you didn’t acquire pictures, it did not happen. If you did get photos, they are pretend. If you didn’t inform your close friends, you’re lying. If you did tell your close friends, they are element of the hoax.”
Rottenborn instructed jurors not to purchase the canard of Depp victimhood. Addressing the main problem of the case, he explained that Depp experienced no grounds to declare his ex-wife defamed him in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed where by she recognized herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse” but did not get in touch with Depp out by title. (Her promises versus him—in courtroom and in other publications—were previously broadly recognised.)
“If Amber was abused by Mr. Depp, even one particular time, then she wins,” Rottenborn mentioned. “One time. And we’re not just talking about bodily abuse. We’re conversing about emotional abuse, psychological abuse, financial abuse, sexual abuse.”
“If he fails to verify he never abused her one particular time,” Rottenborn mentioned, “she wins.”
By mid-afternoon, the jury was deliberating.
Before, Depp lawyer Vasquez told jurors that a Listened to marketing campaign of character assassination from Depp started two years just before the op-ed.
“Exactly six many years back right now, on May well 27, 2016, Ms. Heard walked into court docket and submitted a wrong report of domestic abuse from her partner of 15 months, Johnny Depp,” she stated.
“The scene was a set up,” Vasquez included, recounting the working day that Read sought a restraining get in opposition to Depp in Los Angeles. “She tipped off the paparazzi so they would be waiting around. They understood specifically the place she would pause, which side of her facial area to photograph. And the shots captured what she desired them to see: the image of a battered lady.”
After seven months, dozens of witnesses, and hundreds of spectators lining up everyday in hopes of finding a seat in the courtroom, legal professionals for the divorced pair sent the case to jurors. Whilst the 2016 break up was the initial emphasis of Depp attorneys’ closing broadside, the case facilities on the op-ed.
The obvious challenge dealing with Depp and his lawyers: a overall body of evidence pointing to Depp abusing Listened to that a British decide known as too much to handle when he reviewed it in a failed 2020 libel scenario by the actor in the U.K.
“While Mr. Depp’s identify will be for good tarnished by these horrendous and fake allegations,” Depp lawyer Benjamin Chew included, “this circumstance is about telling you his tale and the real truth about what truly took place, which you have now listened to. It is about restoring his lost name.”
Chew and Vasquez did all they could to recast the history as a tale of a popular guy remaining specific.
Invoking Mr. Depp’s family, Chew mentioned, “It’s about exhibiting Mr. Depp’s children, Lily Rose and Jack, that the truth is well worth preventing for. It is. And it is about restoring Mr. Depp’s title and standing in the community to the fullest extent that you can.”
“And you can do anything,” he reported, “and only you, ladies and gentlemen, can do that for him.”
Depp is suing Listened to for $50 million, declaring she defamed him with the op-ed. Heard’s $100 million counter-match promises that Depp, via a lawyer, Adam Waldman, defamed her with an orchestrated “smear campaign” contacting Heard’s allegations a “hoax.”
Depp has testified that he, not Heard, was the victim of domestic violence—and that he has hardly ever struck a lady in his everyday living.
The trial in Northern Virginia pitting the divorced actors in opposition to one particular yet another presented jurors and the general public with a guiding-the-scenes glimpse into the tumultuous short-lived movie star union that formally dissolved in 2017.
Jurors were instructed that verbal and bodily abuse began not extended just after the pair fulfilled on the set of the 2011 movie The Rum Diary. In accordance to Depp, he was the goal of it. “These things could materialize pretty immediately,” he testified, outlining a black eye visible in a photograph of him and Heard from their honeymoon.
Heard statements that Depp was a verbal, bodily, and even sexual abuser who experienced drug and alcoholic beverages abuse difficulties.
Depp’s lawyers on Friday claimed that she was the only physical batterer in their home, and they performed back recordings of Read admitting to having hit Depp and contacting him a “baby” for objecting.
Vasquez claimed there were no recordings of Depp admitting to abuse, and no healthcare documents or corroborating testimony in aid of the graphic testimony that Read gave describing beatings, choking, and, in a single occasion, currently being sexually assaulted with a liquor bottle.
In simple fact, audio has captured Depp admitting to head-butting her, and multiple witnesses backed up components of her account, together with an eyewitness account of violence by Depp available by Heard’s sister.
“Either she’s a target of certainly horrific abuse,” Vasquez stated, “or she is a girl who is inclined to say absolutely everything.”
Even though both of those sides have presented a slew of witnesses to bolster their statements, jurors at the conclude of the working day need to figure out whether or not Heard acted with “actual malice” when she wrote the op-ed—meaning that the actress realized what she experienced written was false—or that she revealed the piece with “reckless disregard” for the truth.
“The only factor you’re staying asked to decide is, are the words of the op-ed defamatory,” Depp attorney Rottenborn informed jurors.
The crux of Depp’s argument is that he never abused Heard, but she effectively branded him as an abuser, sabotaging his profession. To prove his case, Depp’s legal workforce offered various witnesses, which include customers of his have entourage, to testify to Heard’s erratic actions through their romance.
“I would not say nightly [fights], but every other night, many times a 7 days,” Travis McGivern, just one of Depp’s bodyguards, testified previously this thirty day period about a 2015 trip to Australia, introducing that there was “lots of identify-calling, plenty of f-bombs”—generally from “Miss Read directing her inner thoughts toward Mr. Depp.”
Depp reported that in the course of that excursion, Heard severed his fingertip immediately after throwing a vodka bottle at him throughout a battle. Heard, nonetheless, states that Depp sexually assaulted her with a liquor bottle all through a combat though Depp was on a 3-day bender. And audio performed at the demo appeared to seize Depp admitting to inflicting the finger personal injury on himself.
Jack Whigham, Depp’s talent agent, also testified in a video deposition that Heard’s op-ed devastated his client’s profession. He said that just before the op-ed, he experienced wrapped up negotiations for Depp to star in the sixth set up of Pirates of the Caribbean for $22.5 million. Right after it was published, he claimed, Disney abruptly ditched Depp from Pirates, a rivalry produced by at least a single Depp witness beforehand, and a critical claim in the greater scenario.
“With regard to Johnny, it was catastrophic,” Whigham mentioned. “After the op-ed it was unattainable to get him a studio film, which is what we usually would have been concentrated on.”
But Tina Newman, a creation government at Walt Disney Studios, reported through online video deposition that she hardly ever saw any files within the business that referred to Heard’s op-ed—and that it hardly ever performed a job in their selections around Depp.
Depp himself also took the stand, stating “the only man or woman that I have ever abused in my everyday living is myself,” and that he introduced the lawsuit simply because he is “obsessed with the truth.”
“About 6 several years in the past, Ms. Read manufactured some really heinous and disturbing [allegations of] felony acts from me that had been not centered in any species of truth of the matter. It was a comprehensive shock,” Depp said. “It just didn’t need to have to go in that direction, as nothing at all of that sort experienced ever took place.”
Heard’s lawful crew have told jurors a quite diverse story: it was Depp who was the abuser in the romance, and he and Waldman released a “smear campaign” in opposition to the actress immediately after their divorce and her op-ed that destroyed her very own vocation.
On the stand, Heard claimed her relationship to Depp was “almost like a by no means-ending fight” that she reported she endured for the reason that she was deeply in adore with the actor and generally considered his assurances he would get sober. She said, on the other hand, that for the duration of their marriage she was subjected to systematic violence, together with a “cavity search” for cocaine, and that Depp threatened to kill her.
Various witnesses confirmed that Heard had been hurt for the duration of her connection with Depp, and the actress’ sister, Whitney Henriquez, testified that Depp strike both equally of them in a struggle in their Los Angeles penthouse.
Heard’s witnesses also disputed that the op-ed tarnished Depp’s career, pointing instead to his own self-damaging conduct.
“I am in this article mainly because my ex-spouse is suing me for an op-ed I wrote,” Heard stated on the stand before this thirty day period. “I battle to locate the terms to describe how distressing this is.”
“This is terrible for me to sit here for weeks and relive anything,” she mentioned quickly just after, right before introducing: “This is the most painful and tricky matter I have at any time absent via, for guaranteed.”
—with reporting by Pilar Melendez