Celebrity Star Depp’s Witnesses Testify at Defamation Trial Against Ex-Wife Amber Heard
Twelve jurors, a gallery of onlookers, and hundreds of online sleuths have been watching the $50 million defamation drama between celebrities Johnny Depp and Amber Heard in Virginia for three weeks.
The trial, which is based on charges of domestic violence, has been anything from ordinary. Despite the fact that a British judge had already ruled there was “overwhelming evidence” Depp mistreated Amber Heard and left her in dread for her life, Depp talked on the stand for four days about his wealthy, drug-fueled lifestyle, casting himself as a victim.
In court, he has also engaged in bizarre conduct, such as colouring in impressionist painting reproductions, eating gummy bears, and giggling. Depp aficionados have resorted to TikTok and Twitter to make scathing memes on Heard and her reaction to her testimony.
Jurors are meant to decide whether Heard wrote a 2018 Washington Post op-ed with “actual malice”—meaning she knew what she was writing was false—or whether she published it with “reckless disregard” for the truth. Heard stated in the story, which does not name Depp, that she had gone public two years prior as a survivor of domestic violence.
After showing up to court with a damaged face, Heard filed for divorce in May 2016 and was given a temporary restraining order against Depp. Heard claimed in her application that Depp hurled a phone at her, which he denied.
The heart of Depp’s case is that he never mistreated Heard, but she labelled him as an abuser, ultimately destroying his career.
Some of Depp’s witnesses might be up to the task of recasting him as the victim in the end. However, just as Depp’s eccentric behavior could backfire in the end, his slew of colorful witnesses could leave jurors confused.
One witness, Romero, a doorman for the Los Angeles apartment complex where Depp and Heard used to live, while testifying made it apparent that he had better things to do. In video evidence, he was seen driving about and vaping while arguing to counsel for both celebrities that he never observed any signs of abusive conduct or injuries on Heard’s face, eliciting laughter from the courtroom—including Depp himself.
Another witness, Christian Carino, a CAA agency and Lady Gaga’s former fiancé, gave jurors rare insight into Depp and Heard’s business and personal life, including how the actress became connected with billionaire Elon Musk after she and Depp parted up.
The former agent, whose behavior could have been taken as pretentious, said that he had never heard one of the celebrities accuse the other of abuse, while making it clear he did not want to be there and was clearly bothered.
Gina Deuters, the wife of Depp’s personal assistant, was ejected from the trial on April 14, shortly after she took the stand. Deuters was excused from the trial and her testimony was struck from the record as a result of her admission that she had been following the trial online, which witnesses are not supposed to.
Dr. Shannon Curry, a clinical and forensic psychologist testifying on behalf of Johnny Depp, sent shockwaves through the courtroom when she told jurors that she believed Amber Heard had a borderline personality disorder.
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