The Defamation Case Between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Has Gone to Trial

Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard Defamation Case Goes to Jury

A dynamic that will resolve the destiny of the defamation duel between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard emerged on Friday throughout closing arguments: Depp performed up proof that he argues vindicates him of abuse, whereas Heard performed up requirements of regulation that she argues should lead the jury to discover in her favor.

– Advertisement –

Over six weeks of trial, dozens of witnesses and reveals have been proven to the jury tasked with figuring out whether or not the actors defamed one another by over three years of public mudslinging within the press. They will navigate formulaic rules of defamation regulation to attain a verdict.

Depp’s attorneys throughout closing remarks, maintaining in keeping with their trial technique, portrayed Heard because the abuser within the former couple’s relationship and Depp as a pacifist who tried to disguise the signal of an argument.

“There is an abuser in this courtroom, but it is not Mr. Depp,” mentioned Camille Vasquez, representing the Pirates actor. “And there is a victim of domestic abuse in this courtroom, but it is not Ms. Heard.”

– Advertisement –

Ben Rottenborn, representing Heard, urged the jury to disregard what he characterized as a pink herring in Depp’s accusations. It doesn’t matter if Heard abused him, he argued.

“If Amber was abused by Mr. Depp even one time, then she wins,” Rottenborn mentioned. “We’re not just talking about physical abuse. We’re talking about emotional abuse, psychological abuse, financial abuse, sexual abuse.”

Eleven jurors, six males and three girls with two alternates thought of closing arguments within the trial in Fairfax County, Virginia, centering on a December 2018 op-ed Heard revealed in The Washington Post by which she knew as herself a home abuse survivor. Although the column didn’t point out him by title, Depp alleged she defamed him as a result of claims within the piece that corresponded with the time the pair have been married. After Depp sued for $50 million, Heard shot again with a $100 million counterclaim arguing her ex-husband had coordinated a marketing campaign aimed at smearing her.

While the central query within the trial is whether or not Depp abused Heard, the allegedly defamatory statements in Heard’s column are 1. “I spoke up against sexual violence—and faced our culture’s wrath.”; 2. “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.”; 3. “I had the rare vantage point of seeing, in real time, how institutions protect men accused of abuse.”

– More Articles from Around the Web –

Delivering closing remarks for Depp’s case, Vasquez performed audio recordings of Heard admitting to hitting her ex-husband and of her encouraging Depp to “tell the world” and “see what a jury and judge thinks” of his declaration that she abused him in addition to testimony from third-party witnesses undercutting her account of accidents that she allegedly sustained from Depp.

“Who’s the one alleging a hoax here?” Vasquez requested. “Who wants you to believe that everyone else is lying — committing perjury.”

Through the course of the trial, one story particularly has been a topic of intense scrutiny: combat in Australia in 2015 throughout which Depp’s finger was severed. In Depp’s model of occasions, his finger was injured when Heard threw a vodka bottle at him. In Heard’s telling, Depp smashed his finger in a drug-and-alcohol-fueled stupor earlier than he raped her with a bottle.

Vasquez seemed to undermine Heard’s account of the combat, emphasizing that she didn’t {photograph} any of her alleged accidents, however, took the time to doc Depp writing on the partitions of the home, which he mentioned he did amid a nervous breakdown. Even greater than that, Vasquez identified that not one of the witnesses who testified concerning the incident, together with Depp’s safety personnel and medical professionals, corroborated Heard’s declaration that she suffered quite a few accidents from the assault.

“Ms. Heard spun a story of horror: a three-day ordeal by a drug-fueled Mr. Depp violently assaulting her, cutting his finger off, dragging her through glass, and bending her back over a counter and raping her with a whiskey bottle,” Vasquez mentioned. “She claimed she had bruises on her face, cuts all over arms and feet, and was bleeding from vagina from the sexual assault. And what did Ms. Heard say she did? She said she went upstairs, took sleeping pills, and went to sleep. The next morning she took pictures of the mirrors her husband had written on in paint. She took no pictures of herself, her alleged injuries, or the property damage she testified to in this courtroom.”

On rebuttal, Rottenborn advised jurors that whether or not Heard minimized Depp’s finger off is “irrelevant to your deliberations here.”

“Amber could’ve chopped it off with an ax, and it has nothing to do with whether Mr. Depp abused her,” Rottenborn mentioned.

Rottenborn spent a lot of his closing remarks clarifying jury directions on the excessive normal for Depp to prevail on his defamation claims.

Heard has maintained that the op-ed was by no means about Depp and that she didn’t even write the piece. ACLU basic counsel Terence Dougherty, corroborating the declaration, testified that the group extensively reworked the column to keep away from defamation go well with and that Heard didn’t push to embody particulars of her marriage with Depp.

“Just because people might read the article and remember that Ms. Heard used to be married to Johnny Depp, and she accused him of abuse, that doesn’t mean she designed and intended any defamatory implications in writing about herself,” Rottenborn mentioned.

There was additionally in-depth dialogue on whether or not Heard meets the usual for republication below defamation regulation.

One of the authorized points the jury will resolve is whether or not Heard republished the op-ed by retweeting the piece. She will solely be discovered liable if it’s discovered that she sufficiently retransmitted or redistributed the content material to reach brand new viewers. Merely linking the hyperlink doesn’t quantity to republication.

Rottenborn argued that Heard didn’t republish the piece as a result of “there was no content added to the article” in her tweet. For her to be liable, she would have had to element the abuse she suffered at the hands of Depp, he mentioned.

The allegedly defamatory statements that makeup Heard’s counterclaims concern accusations from Adam Waldman — one among Depp’s attorneys, who was thrown off the case after leaking info lined by a protecting order to the press — that Heard’s abuse claims have been a hoax. In one assertion to The Daily Mail cited within the countersuit, Waldman mentioned, “We have reached the beginning of the end of Ms. Heard’s abuse hoax against Johnny Depp.” He mentioned in one other that Heard “set Mr. Depp up by calling the cops,” referencing a go to from regulation enforcement to the couple’s home, after which Heard refused to press expenses towards Depp for home abuse.

Elaine Bredehoft, additionally representing Heard, pointed to testimony from buddies of Heard who took the stand to problem Waldman’s account of the incident.

“They’re trying to suggest she’s manufacturing evidence with her friends to try to frame Mr. Depp,” Bredehoft mentioned. “Nothing can be farther from the truth on that one. She did not want the police to press charges.”

The jury will resolve whether or not Waldman was performing on Depp’s behalf when he made the allegedly defamatory statements. Depp has testified that he solely noticed Waldman’s feedback when Heard countersued him.

For both to prevail, they have to show that the opposite made the allegedly defamatory statements with precise malice or the data that they knew the claims have been lies or acted with reckless disregard for the reality.

Lawyers on each side additionally spoke to the bigger impression of the trial, which was put in motion on the top of the #MeToo motion. Depp argued that Heard, an envoy for the ACLU on girls’ rights, betrayed the trigger to enhance her profession.

“Nobody has come out of the woodwork to say MeToo,” mentioned Benjamin Chew, additionally representing Depp. “This is the unique and singular MeToo case where there’s not a single MeToo.”

Heard’s aspect, in the meantime, urged jurors to take into consideration the ramifications of siding with Depp within the case.

“Think about the message that Mr. Depp and his attorneys are sending to Amber, and by extension to every victim of domestic abuse everywhere,” Rottenborn mentioned. “If you didn’t take pictures it didn’t happen. If you did take pictures, they’re fake. If you didn’t tell your friends, they’re lying. And if you did tell your friends, they’re part of the hoax. If you didn’t seek medical attention, you weren’t injured. If you did seek medical attention, you’re crazy. If you do everything to help your spouse, the person that you love, to rid himself of the crushing drug and alcohol abuse that spins him into an abusive, rage-filled monster, you’re a nag. And if you finally decide that enough is enough — that you had enough of the fear, enough of the pain, and you have to leave to save yourself — you’re a gold digger. That’s the message Md is asking you to send.”