On Friday, the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation jury will retire from their deliberations. Before that, they hear the latest testimonies. The "Aquaman" actress also gets emotional again.
On the penultimate day of the defamation trial, in which Johnny Depp and Amber Heard accuse each other of domestic violence, the ex-couple's last witnesses were questioned on Thursday to refute the allegations of the other side. Heard also testified in tears in the court in Fairfax County, Virginia, and repeated the allegations against her ex-husband.
While Depp pulled faces and joked during the trial, she was "harassed, humiliated and threatened every day," Heard said. "People make fun of my statements that I was abused." She received death threats every day, and she had also been threatened that her baby would be "put in the microwave". Her private life is also suffering from the violence that happened to her in her marriage to the Hollywood star. Accordingly, Heard sometimes wakes up screaming and begins to tremble. For her friends, intimate partners and doctors, certain "unspoken rules" apply when and how they are allowed to touch the actress so as not to frighten and trigger her.
The way the public treated her was "humiliating" and she didn't deserve it, the 36-year-old said through tears. "And maybe it's easy to forget, but I'm human." Depp has "taken enough of my voice" from her, but she has "the right to tell my story". Heard later reiterated her allegations of being verbally, physically and emotionally abused by her ex. "Johnny promised me he would ruin me, death was the only way out," she said.
Heard and Depp's attorney, Camille Vásquez, then engaged in heated cross-examination. With regard to a photographic evidence, the lawyer accused her of inconsistent statements about an alleged dispute between the ex-couple. When Heard said you just have to look at the metadata for the date, Vásquez countered, "If you were telling the truth, you would know." Heard also denied the allegation that she called paparazzi to the courthouse in May 2016 when she filed the restraining order against Depp. A former employee of the celebrity portal TMZ testified on Wednesday that he had received an indication that Heard would be there and that she had injuries to her face. He also said that most of the tips came from people close to the celebrities or from the celebrities themselves.
When asked that many witnesses couldn't confirm Heard's versions of various events, the Aquaman actress replied, "I've heard a lot of people say a lot of things to be involved with the Johnny Depp show." The witnesses simply did not see what they saw. When asked if she was surprised at how many people showed up to testify for Depp - including Kate Moss - she said a lot of people "crawl out of their holes" for attention.
Previously, the last witnesses of the two sides had testified. Depp's orthopedic surgeon Richard Gilbert confirmed with reference to medical records that Depp's severed fingertip could actually have been caused by a thrown vodka bottle. It was his professional opinion that the wound was caused by a "sharp cut". Depp blames his ex-wife for a dispute in 2015. Heard's description of the cause - Depp shattered his own finger by banging a phone against the wall several times - was "highly unlikely," said Gilbert. The orthopedist also contradicted conclusions drawn by Heard's surgical expert Richard Moore, who testified earlier in the week that it was "impossible" to pinpoint the direction in which the injury occurred.
Heard's first witness, forensic imagery expert Julian Ackert, was summoned to challenge the testimony of metadata expert Norbert Neumeister, who testified for Depp on Wednesday. Neumeister came to the conclusion that the color and sound of the photos of Heard's injuries had been edited afterwards. Ackert contradicted this report and claimed that for each of the photos that Depp's witness had testified about, he had found an equivalent photo that he could identify as the original. Under cross-examination, he was later accused of having worked with Heard's law firm for 20 years and not having looked at all of the evidence used in the trial.
Psychologist Dawn Hughes also took the stand again to discredit the testimony of Depp's legal psychologist Shannon Curry. According to Hughes, Heard suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, which is said to have been caused by the domestic violence in her marriage. Curry had challenged that diagnosis in court, arguing that Hughes' testimony was based on assessments "not fit for forensic purposes." In addition, she presented her own opinion and Heard's self-reports as facts. Explaining why Curry's analysis led to inaccurate conclusions, Hughes said: "Doctor Curry seems confused."
The collection of evidence in the defamation trial is now complete. After closing arguments tomorrow, Friday, the jury will begin its deliberations. With the US holiday Memorial Day next Monday, they have a long weekend off before deliberations resume on May 31.
Johnny Depp is suing Amber Heard for $50 million over an article she published in the Washington Post in 2018. In it, she claimed to be a victim of domestic violence. She didn't mention her ex-husband by name, but Depp claims the post ruined his career, damaged his reputation and cost him a lot of money. Heard filed a $100 million counterclaim against Depp. She accuses him and his divorce lawyer, Adam Waldman, of slandering her as a liar, thereby also damaging her career.
Depp and Heard began dating in late 2011 after meeting on the set of The Rum Diary. The Hollywood stars got married in 2015, but the marriage only lasted 15 months. The actor lost a defamation lawsuit against the newspaper "The Sun" in Great Britain in 2020. The newspaper had described Depp in an article as a "wife beater". Depp denies all allegations of domestic violence.