Johnny Depp and Amber Heard arrive at the High Court as libel hearing continues
The opening statements concluded on the first day of Johnny Depp’s multimillion-dollar libel trial against his estranged wife, Amber Heard, which began in Virginia on Monday (April 11) morning with jury selection.
Seven jurors and four alternates were chosen to hear the case. It claims a 2018 article written by Heard in The Washington Post – in which she spoke about domestic violence against women – implied that Depp, her former husband, was an abuser.
Although the 35-year-old didn’t name the actor, Depp’s lawyers say Heard’s allegations have made it difficult for the 58-year-old to land the roles he had before.
Depp is known for starring in films such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Sweeney Todd and Charlie and the chocolate factory. Heard has appeared in titles such as Aquaman and driving angry.
He is seeking $50m (£38.2m) in damages at the trial at Fairfax County Courthouse. Heard has meanwhile filed a libel counterclaim against Depp, whom she divorced in 2017, for nuisance.
Depp has already lost a UK libel case against a British newspaperThe sun regarding the claims in Heard’s 2018 article.
ICYMI: Bredehoft alleges that Depp wrote “terrible things” on lampshades, mirrors and counters and lists numerous allegations of physical abuse and drug use.
Marilyn Manson has been mentioned twice as a person associated with Depp.
In a particularly shocking moment, Bredehoft says Depp penetrated Heard with a bottle of liquor.
Behind her, Depp appears to be shaking his head as if to say “no.”
The graphic nature of the opening statement documenting several alleged incidents of abuse is allegedly supported by photographic and documentary evidence.
Graeme MassieApril 13, 2022 07:01
Heard said in 2020 that she wanted to be ‘left alone’
ICYMI: Appears as a witness in Depp’s trial against a British newspaper The sun in 2020, Heard said she wanted to be “left alone” and wanted her ex-husband to end the domestic violence lawsuit to “save her the embarrassment”.
“I didn’t want to do this, I didn’t want to expose the full extent of what really happened to me,” Heard told the Royal Courts of Justice in London. “I didn’t want to talk about everything that happened in our marriage and in our relationship.”
While Depp denies the allegations, Heard told the court of 14 allegations of “abuse” by Depp between 2013 and 2016, in places such as a rented house in Australia, his private island in the Bahamas and a private jet, such as The Associated Press reported two years ago.
The judge ruled against Depp, who accused the publisher of The Sun of defaming it with a headline including the words “battered woman”. His lawyers later called the judge’s decision “perverse.”
Graeme MassieApril 13, 2022 6:14 a.m.
ICYMI: Heard is characterized by the plaintiff’s legal team as a compulsive liar who covers up a lie with another and uses the allegations against Depp to advance her own career and portray herself as a heroic, innocent survivor of abuse.
Depp’s team acknowledges his drug and alcohol use, but that doesn’t make him an abuser.
Graeme MassieApril 13, 2022 05:04
Why is the trial taking place in Virginia?
Although the couple both live in California, Depp’s libel case against his ex-wife is set in Virginia, where the trial will take place in the Fairfax County Courthouse.
Online editions of The Washington Post are published through servers located in Fairfax County, which is believed to be one of the reasons Depp’s attorneys decided on the location.
Another is due to Virginia’s anti-Slapp law, which is not as broad as California’s. The provision allows a person to claim protection from legal action when talking about matters of public interest.
Lawyers for Heard, who filed a counter-libel suit, are expected to use the anti-Slapp law during the trial. He comes four years after her Washington Post article titled: I spoke out against sexual violence – and faced the wrath of our culture. This must change.
Additional reporting by The Associated Press
Graeme MassieApril 13, 2022 04:05
ICYMI: Johnny Depp will testify in the defamation lawsuit.
Graeme MassieApril 13, 2022 03:01
Franco and Musk will testify
ICYMI: James Franco and Elon Musk are among the personalities who will testify in the Depp and Heard case.
Paul Bethany, of Wanda Visionas well as representatives of the Walt Disney Company and Warner Bros. are also scheduled to appear in Fairfax County Court, reported Deadline.
The long-delayed trial is due to begin later today with the selection of a jury.
Graeme MassieApril 13, 2022 02:03
Depp arrives in court
Graeme MassieApril 13, 2022 01:35
Graeme MassieApril 13, 2022 01:01
ICYMI: Depp’s lawyers say there was no evidence of physical abuse and officers who responded to a call Heard made will testify to that.
Graeme MassieApril 13, 2022 12:31 a.m.
ICYMI: The jury is shown the opinion piece written by Heard and published in The Washington Post in 2018.
Three statements are highlighted in the article.
— “I spoke out against sexual violence — and faced the wrath of our culture. This must change.
— “Then, two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic violence, and I felt the full force of our culture’s anger towards women speaking out.”
— “I had the rare vantage point of seeing, in real time, how institutions protect men accused of abuse.”
Heard did not use Depp’s name in the article.
Graeme MassieApril 12, 2022 11:31 p.m.