Johnny Depp Takes The Stand in $50 Million Defamation Civil Case Against Amber Heard

Johnny Depp was again in entrance of the cameras on Tuesday, however not for a film mission. Instead, he was testifying in the latest and maybe most dramatic second but of a years-long saga involving competing allegations of abuse and defamation along with his ex-wife, the actress Amber Heard.

“About six years in the past, Ms. Heard made some fairly heinous and disturbing [allegations of] felony acts towards me that weren’t based mostly in any species of fact. It was an entire shock,” the 58-year-old actor mentioned in Fairfax County, Virginia, Court as a part of a $50 million defamation lawsuit he filed towards Heard. “It simply didn’t must go in that course, as nothing of that sort had ever occurred.”

The testimony got here on the seventh day of a civil trial in which Depp has alleged Heard “devastated” his profession after she penned a 2018 Washington Post op-ed calling herself a home violence survivor. Heard denies the allegations and insists that the editorial, which doesn’t title her ex-husband of 1 12 months, was merely about her expertise extra usually.

“Truth is the one factor I’m in,” the actor added on the stand. “I’m obsessive about the reality. So at this time…. is the primary alternative I’ve been in a position to communicate about this case in full.”

On Tuesday, Depp denied all allegations of abuse, stating that he has “by no means struck any girl” in his life and that he felt the necessity to get up for himself after his ex-wife’s feedback got here out. Throughout the connection, in line with Depp, it was 35-year-old Heard who was abusive.

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Heard has repeatedly shot down these claims, saying she solely ever acted in self-defense, and has since counter-sued Depp for defamation.

“Since I knew there was no fact to it by any means, I felt it my accountability to face up, not just for myself… however get up for my kids,” he added. “My objective is the reality, as a result of it killed me that folks that I had spoken with, that I had met with through the years… would suppose that I used to be a fraud.”

As Depp—carrying a grey swimsuit and inexperienced swimsuit along with his hair pulled again—spoke slowly on the stand, denying all allegations of wrongdoing, Heard stared proper at her ex-husband throughout the courtroom.

Jurors shall be tasked with deciding whether or not Heard acted with “precise malice” when she wrote the Post editorial—that means that the actress knew what she had written in the piece was false—or that she revealed the piece with “reckless disregard” for the reality. The jury will even be requested to overview some points raised in Heard’s 2020 countersuit towards Depp as effectively.

So far, witnesses in the civil trial have centered on one essential query underlying the dual defamation claims: whether or not Depp abused Heard throughout their relationship. Depp’s witnesses have claimed that whereas the actor did have a drug drawback, each he and Heard engaged in verbal or bodily violence all through the connection.

The duo met on the set of the 2011 film The Rum Diaries, have been married in 2015, and divorced by August 2016.

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“They engaged in, what I noticed as, mutual abuse,” Dr. Laurel Anderson, the couple’s former marriage counselor, testified on Depp’s behalf final week. “I do know she led on multiple event and started it….Abandonment and having him depart was her worst nightmare. And I feel he could have initiated it on events—however that I’m much less positive of.”

At the crux of the Virginia case is the actress’ December 2018 op-ed, titled: “Amber Heard: I spoke up towards sexual violence —and confronted our tradition’s wrath. That has to vary.” Heard urges victims in the piece to talk out towards their abusers, noting she “grew to become a public determine representing home abuse” in 2016 after she sought a home violence restraining order towards her ex-husband.

“I felt the complete drive of our tradition’s wrath for girls who communicate out,” Heard wrote in the piece. “I had the uncommon vantage level of seeing, in real-time, how establishments shield males accused of abuse.”

Three months after the editorial was revealed, Depp filed the $50 million lawsuit towards Heard, asserting that not solely have been his ex-wife’s allegations of abuse an “elaborate hoax” meant to harm his profession however that these claims have been self-serving, turning her right into a “darling of the #MeToo motion.”

The lawsuit additionally states that Depp’s “fame and profession have been devastated” by Heard’s first allegation of home abuse in 2016, particularly noting that Disney dropped the actor from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise 4 days after the article was revealed.

In a movement to dismiss the fees a month later, Heard detailed years of alleged abuse she endured, referring to Depp as “the Monster.” Eventually, Heard countersued Depp for $100 million in August 2020 for defamation over the lawsuit’s claims. While a decide finally dropped a few of Heard’s countersuit claims, the Virginia jury will hear Depp and Heard’s variations of how a celeb romance descended into chaos.

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“Johnny Depp frequently abused Amber Heard—each bodily and emotionally—by a lot of their relationship,” Heard’s movement to dismiss the lawsuit said. “After the following media frenzy—in which Mr. Depp distorted the reality for public consumption—Ms. Heard resolved to battle for the victims of home violence, and to do all the things in her energy to battle again towards the silencing of abuse victims.”

While Depp’s testimony on Tuesday could shed some gentle on the well-known couple’s relationship, legal precedent shouldn’t be on the Pirates of the Caribbean actor’s aspect. Depp filed the same libel case in London towards The Sun after the British tabloid referred to as him a “spouse beater.”

Judge Penney S. Azcarate has not determined whether or not any side of the London trial shall be allowed as proof in Virginia. But in November 2020, a London decide discovered that there was “overwhelming proof” that Depp had assaulted Heard repeatedly all through their marriage, and she or he was “in worry of her life.”

Defamation instances are historically tougher to make in the United States than in the U.Okay., suggesting Depp faces an uphill battle.

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