Entertainment

Johnny Depp V Amber Heard

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Johnny Depp has filed a libel suit against his ex-wife Amber Heard in the US state of Virginia, based on an article she wrote for the Washington Post in 2018. During the six-week hearing, the court will also hear from friends, family members, and employees who worked with and spent time with the former couple.

 

But what was the case before it? Depp and Heard’s relationship dates back more than a decade and appears to have devolved into a toxic marriage. The couple divorced in 2016, but have fought in court over an op-ed Heard wrote for The Washington Post in 2018 in which she described surviving domestic violence without naming Depp. Depp is suing for $50 million in damages and claims that he was never physically violent with Heard. Heard is countersuing for $100 million, claiming that she was only ever violent with Depp in self-defense or in the defense of her younger sister. As the case progresses, social media has gone into overdrive, devouring sound bites, evidence, and courtroom clips. Depp testified for four days, and many celebrities, including James Franco and Paul Bettany, are listed in court documents as potential witnesses who could be called. The trial, set to begin on April 11, 2022 in Fairfax County, Virginia, is expected to last several weeks.

 

Both verbal and physical assault accusations have been leveled at each other. Mr. Depp and Ms. Heard have both denied any wrongdoing. However, according to Ryan Baker, a Los Angeles attorney who has represented clients in defamation cases, one party – Mr Depp – has been more forceful so far. This is on purpose, he explained. “Depp is up first, so it’s not surprising that things are tipping in his favor right now,” he said. When Ms Heard’s team takes over, jurors will almost certainly hear a new story. “At the end of the day,” Mr Baker said, “it’s a pretty big advantage for her side – they’re going to have the last word.”

 

Christi Dembrowski, Depp’s sister and personal manager, was the first witness to testify for him. She testified that Depp had sworn never to perpetuate domestic violence after being abused as a child by their mother. Dembrowski testified that Depp had to hide from his mother in the past, as well as from Heard during the relationship, with Dembrowski claiming she had to book an extra hotel room for Depp whenever Heard initiated fights.

 

The jury was also shown a pre-recorded deposition of Heard’s former personal assistant, Kate James, in which she described Heard as “belligerent and abusive,” saying Heard frequently spat and screamed at her and sent abusive and “incoherent” text messages. Heard, she testified, was addicted to psychedelic mushrooms, ecstasy, and cocaine “manic episodes… similar to someone on amphetamines. Moving at a breakneck pace and making little sense. Hyper-organising.” She went on to say that Heard had an oppressive relationship with her sister.

 

Depp also testified that Heard had been physically abusive at times, as well as about specific incidents in which Heard claimed he was violent. He denied becoming violent in response to a remark Heard made about one of his tattoos in 2013, and he claimed Heard withheld his medication to help treat the withdrawal symptoms of his prescription painkiller addiction while he was detoxing in the Bahamas in 2014. During the incident on a private plane flight from Boston in 2014, he testified that Heard tried to start a fight but ended up locking himself in a bathroom to avoid her and eventually falling asleep in there after taking two painkillers. For the jury, audio recordings were played. Heard tells Depp in one recording:”I did not punch you … I did not ******* deck you. I ******* was hitting you. … You’re a ******* baby … Grow the **** p, Johnny. I did start a physical fight.” The court then heard pre-recorded testimony from officers Melissa Saenz and Tyler Hadden of the Los Angeles Police Department, who responded to an incident between the couple in May 2016. Despite the fact that she appeared “red with emotion” and was “uncooperative,” both officers stated that they saw no visible signs of injury when they saw Heard. They left after determining that no crime had been committed.

 

Heard’s legal team presented graphic and violent text messages Depp had sent to Heard, as well as video and audio recordings of angry outbursts and threats of violence, during cross examination. In one of them, Heard is heard saying she ended their relationship “a week prior after you beat the shit out of me” and telling Depp to “light up on someone else” after accusing him of throwing a lit cigarette at her. Depp was shown in text messages to Heard and others using derogatory terms about her and claiming that one of their fights had gone “too far.” Depp texted actor Paul Bettany, saying, “Let’s burn Amber… Let’s drown her instead of burning her! This was in reference to Monty Python, according to Depp. In another July 2016 recording, Depp asks Heard, “Where do you want the scar?” “Don’t cut your skin,” Heard responds. Please don’t sever your skin. Why would I do such a thing? Please don’t do it. Please do not injure yourself.” Aside from violence, Depp was questioned about several text and email messages in which he appears to discuss using drugs and alcohol excessively and referring to his substance abuse as “the monster.” Depp denied that the messages accurately reflected his drug use. Depp was also shown several negative articles about him from 2014 to 2018, which Heard’s lawyers claim show that Depp’s reputation had already been harmed prior to Heard’s op-ed. He called the articles “hit pieces” and denied knowing that the Daily Mail had reported that he had been fired from the Pirates franchise in October 2018, more than a month before Heard’s op-ed was published.

 

The trial has piqued the interest of fans of both Depp and Heard, as well as the general public. The trial was live streamed, with multiple users in the stream chat expressing their thoughts on the case or rallying against others doing the same. Multiple trial clips have been used to create compilations or reaction videos, with several videos going viral. A supercut of Heard’s lawyer’s repeated objections to Depp’s testimony has received 30 million views on TikTok and 15 million views on YouTube. During opening statements, one of Heard’s lawyers held up a compact concealer makeup palette and said, “This is what Amber carried in her purse for the duration of her relationship with Johnny Depp… She became very good at it “, holding what appeared to be Milani Cosmetics’ Conceal + Perfect All-in-One Correcting Kit palette, though the wording was unclear as to whether it meant that specific branded item or a generic example of a compact in general. Following that, the company released a TikTok video claiming that Heard couldn’t have used the product to cover any alleged bruises during the relationship because it wasn’t released until December 2017. As of April 29, videos tagged with #JusticeForAmberHeard had over 21 million total views on TikTok, while videos tagged with #JusticeForJohnnyDepp had over 5 billion total views. This trial is a rollercoaster of emotions for both sides, one can only be hopeful that justice is properly served.

 

Written by: Relaks Radio

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