This is the end point of six weeks of debates and dozens of hours of testimony in this trial held in Fairfax, near Washington, and broadcast live on television. Lawyers for Amber Heard and Johnny Depp present their findings on Friday, their last chance to convince the jury of a highly publicized trial in the United States which revealed the most scandalous details of a “toxic” relationship between the two actors. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. (local time) and the seven jurors will retire in the afternoon to deliberate. If they do not agree on a verdict, they will return on Tuesday, Monday being a public holiday in the United States.
The star of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” saga is suing his ex-wife for defamation, who had estimated in a column published in the washington post in 2018 to have become “a public figure representing domestic violence”, without naming Johnny Depp. The 58-year-old actor denounces “staggering” accusations. He claims 50 million dollars in damages, believing that this platform has ruined his reputation and his career.
Amber Heard, who appeared in particular in “Justice League” and “Aquaman”, counterattacked and asked for the double. According to her, this “futile” complaint prolongs “the abuse and harassment” of her ex-husband and has put her own career on hold. Family, friends, collaborators, agents, studio executives, psychologists, surgeons, financial experts… Several dozen witnesses marched to the bar, painting a portrait of the couple far removed from Hollywood glamour.
In the great unpacking of their private life, we find audio and video recordings of arguments where insults fuse, text messages filled with insults, photos of Johnny Depp unconscious or bruises on the body and face of Amber Heard which she blames on her ex-husband.
The former couple also spent several days recounting an idyll born in 2009 and which quickly turned into an ordeal, until the divorce requested by the young woman for “domestic violence” in May 2016. The divorce was pronounced at the beginning of 2017. The 58-year-old actor assured that he had “never (…) committed sexual violence or physical violence”. He claims – and provides audio recordings supposed to prove it – that it was his wife who was violent.
The actress, she said that Johnny Depp became a “monster” under the influence of an explosive cocktail of drugs and alcohol, resisting all his pleas for treatment. Jonnhy Depp reportedly promised her ‘global humiliation’ if she left him and, when she did, she became the target of a social media smear campaign. “I am harassed, humiliated, threatened every day, just because I am in this courtroom,” she said Thursday, very moved, adding that she had received “thousands” of death threats “since the beginning of this trial”.
Johnny Depp can count on the support of hundreds of fans who cheer him every day since April 11 in court.
The 36-year-old actress assures that the violence she attributes to Johnny Depp began in 2012 before becoming more and more brutal and frequent. They would have reached their climax, a rape using a bottle of alcohol, in March 2015, a month after their marriage, when the actor was filming episode 5 of “Pirates” in Australia. During this dispute, Johnny Depp had the end of a severed finger and was hospitalized. He claims it was caused by a splinter from a bottle thrown by Amber Heard. She says he hurt himself.
Only two other celebrities testified: actress Ellen Barkin, ex-girlfriend of Johnny Depp in the late 1990s, described a man “drunk almost all the time”, jealous and possessive and who, in anger, had launched a bottle in his direction. British top model Kate Moss, another “ex” of the actor, has denied an old rumor that he would have one day pushed her down the stairs.
Johnny Depp had already lost a first defamation lawsuit in London in 2020, against the tabloid The Sun, who called him a “violent husband”. The two actors claimed to have lost between 40 and 50 million dollars in fees since the publication of the tribune of the washington post.