Johnny Depp to take stand Tuesday in defamation trial against ex-wife Amber ...
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's defamation trial kicked off last week (April 11) in Virginia following Depp's arguments that his ex-wife defamed him in a feature for The Washington Post.
Heard titled the 2018 piece: “I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change”, writing that "like many women", she had been subject to sexual assault and harassment.
She wrote: "But I kept quiet — I did not expect filing complaints to bring justice. And I didn’t see myself as a victim."
“Then two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out,” she added in the op-ed.
Despite Depp's name not being mentioned in the piece, his legal team argued it contains a “clear implication that Mr Depp is a domestic abuser”, which they say is “categorically and demonstrably false."
The Pirates of the Caribbean actor seeks damages of "not less than $50m" (£38 million).
The couple married in 2015 but decided to end their relationship the following year.
Here is everything we know from the first week of the trial:
Allegations of sexual assault
On Tuesday (April 12), Heard’s attorney Elaine Bredehoft claimed Depp sexually assaulted Heard with an alcohol bottle. Depp reacted to the allegation by shaking his head. His attorney Camille Vasquez disputed the claims.
In a statement to The Independent, the claim was called “fictitious".
The following day (April 13), the court displayed texts reportedly sent by Depp regarding his ex-wife.
Depp's friend, Isaac Baruch, was asked by Heard's attorney whether he recalled Depp "ever telling you that he hoped that Amber Heard’s rotting corpse is decomposing in the f*****g trunk of a Honda Civic?”
Baruch pointed to the message on display and responded: “Yeah. Well, I say yeah – I’m seeing it here, so obviously, yeah, it was said. It was written.”
He was then asked whether Depp had called Heard a "c***" via text.
“Well, it’s written there, so yeah, I could see that,” Baruch reiterated, adding: “That’s not what he says – he says: ‘That c*** ruined such a f*****g cool life we had for a while.’”
More texts were unveiled on Thursday (April 14) after a video deposition of Heard's former assistant, Kate James, was played in court.
James was quizzed about a text allegedly sent by Depp in 2016: “Thank you, sweetheart... I’m disgusted that I ever f*****’ touched that scum... Back on Tuesday!!! And then... Court!!! Will hit you when I get back, doll... Come over for a spot of purple and we’ll fix her flabby a**, nice and good!!! Loveth... J.”
When James was asked whether the text was regarding Heard, she said it wasn't for her to speculate.
Her 2020 testimony was then brought to light between The Sun and Depp, where she confirmed the text was about Heard. James said she was “just trying to be agreeable in the court, having no clue what on earth is going on”.
Asked whether the answer she gave in the UK was truthful or whether she was just being agreeable, James said: “Just being agreeable.”
Depp's medical notes and text messages were also read aloud when his nurse Debbie Lloyd was questioned.
The text exchange contained an apology for not wanting to see her before he added at the end: “I’m truly sorry if I upset you. If you like you can give me some morphine to see if my tongue and penis touch. All my love, J.”
‘Both were victims of abuse in their homes’
On Thursday (April 14), Depp and Heard's marriage counsellor made an appearance via video deposition.
When asked whether Heard had reported any physical violence at the hands of Depp, Dr Laurel Anderson said: “Yes, you’re right.”
“He had been well controlled for, I don’t know – 20, 30 years, and both were victims of abuse in their homes, but I thought he had been well controlled for decades,” she added. “And then with Ms Heard he was triggered and they engaged in what I saw as mutual abuse.”
Depp’s friend was told to leave
A close friend of Depp's was excused after confirming she had watched clips of witness testimony.
On Thursday (April 14), Gina Deuters gave an in-person account where she answered questions about the actor's drug and alcohol use. She claimed she had seen Depp use weed and cocaine on occasion. She also said she had seen him drink alcohol – but claims he had never resorted to violence from substance use.
Heard's legal team approached Judge Penney Azcarate, who spoke with the attorneys.
Judge Azcarate asked Deuters: “Have you been watching the trial this past week?”
Deuters replied: “I’ve seen clips of it online, yes.”
Deuters then had to leave the court, and Judge Azcarate said she would instruct the jury to strike Deuters’s testimony.
Doctor recalls scrambling to find Depp's severed finger
Dr David Kipper testified about treating the actor's severed finger in March 2015 after an alleged fight broke out between the couple.
In a pre-recorded video, Dr Kipper said he cleaned Depp's wound after he alleged Heard threw a vodka bottle at him. He added that Depp was bleeding heavily and instructed the actor's security guards to retrieve the rest of the finger.
Dr Kipper said he spoke to Heard on that same day but didn’t see any injuries to her. She had said that Depp threw her into a table tennis table and pushed her into a fridge.
Heard's attorney said Depp had told emergency services that he had cut himself with a knife.
Depp has rejected those claims, previously saying that “after the incident where Ms Heard threw the vodka bottle, the second vodka bottle at me, which severed the top of my finger and crushed the bones, that’s when I began what I feel was probably some species of a breakdown, a nervous breakdown or something”.
The trial is expected to last around six weeks.
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