After a six-week trial containing searing reciprocal charges of domestic abuse, a jury began deliberations in the defamation case between Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard on Friday.
After lawyers for both sides made closing arguments, the seven-person jury retired to consider a judgement in the high-profile case hearing in Fairfax, Virginia, near the US capital.
Elaine Bredehoft, an attorney for Heard, stated that Depp’s defamation suit against her and a campaign of “global humiliation” have made her life “absolute hell.”
“Her life has been ruined as a result of it. This has completely engulfed her. Death threats have been made against her “The jury was told by Bredehoft.
While the 58-year-old “Pirates of the Caribbean” star may not be a “saint” and has struggled with drugs and alcohol, “he is not a violent abuser,” according to Benjamin Chew, one of Depp’s lawyers.
Chew stated, “He did not and does not deserve to have his life and legacy destroyed by a terrible lie.” “Miss Heard’s portrayal of herself as a courageous survivor, an innocent survivor, and Mr Depp as a terrible abuser is completely wrong.
“We beg you, we urge you,” he told the jurors, “to restore his name, his character, and his career.”
Any damage to Depp’s career, according to Bredehoft, was self-inflicted.
She addressed the jurors, “Hold this man accountable.” “In his entire life, he has never accepted responsibility for anything.
“He’s blamed everyone in the world, including his agent, manager, lawyer, Amber, and pals.”
Meanwhile, Depp’s lawyer, Chew, alluded to the #Metoo movement, but clarified that “it’s for actual sufferers of abuse, not Miss Heard.”
“No one has come out of the woodwork to say, ‘I’m in the same boat.'” This is the one and only’me too’ situation in which there isn’t a single’me too.'”
Another of Depp’s lawyers, Camille Vasquez, told the jury that the evidence “showed that Miss Heard is the abuser.”
“She was a violent, abusive, and hateful person,” Vasquez claimed.
– ‘Monster’ – ‘Monster’ – ‘Monster’ – ‘
Depp sued Heard in December 2018 after she penned an op-ed for The Washington Post in which she identified herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.”
Depp sued Heard for insinuating he was a domestic abuser and is seeking $50 million in damages, according to the Texas-born Heard.
Heard, 36, countersued for $100 million, claiming that he subjected her to “rampant physical violence and abuse.”
During the trial, dozens of witnesses, including bodyguards, Hollywood executives, agents, entertainment business specialists, doctors, friends, and family, testified.
Hundreds of supporters of the “Pirates” actor attended the broadcast trial, which was supported by a #JusticeForJohnnyDepp social media campaign. Depp and Heard each spent days on the witness stand throughout the televised trial.
The jury was shown images of injuries purportedly sustained by Heard during their tumultuous relationship, as well as video and audio recordings of their intense, profanity-laced disputes.
A finger injury sustained by Depp while filming an instalment of “Pirates” in Australia in March 2015 was the subject of hours of evidence from medical specialists.
When Heard threw a vodka bottle at Depp, he claimed the tip of a finger was severed. Heard stated that she had no idea how the injury happened.
Both agreed that Depp used the bloodied digit to scrawl inscriptions on walls, lampshades, and mirrors.
Heard claimed Depp would turn into a physically and sexually abusive “monster” during booze and drug-fueled binges, and that he ignored her repeated attempts to stop him.
Depp said that Heard was the one who was frequently violent, and that listening to “outlandish” allegations of domestic abuse levelled against him was “brutal.”
“No human being is flawless, certainly none of us,” he stated, “but I have never committed sexual battery or physical assault in my life.”
– Careers in Hollywood have been harmed –
In May 2016, Heard, who was married to Depp from 2015 until 2017, got a restraining order against him, citing domestic violence.
Depp, a three-time Oscar nominee, sued the British tabloid The Sun for branding him a “wife-beater” in a libel suit filed in London. In November 2020, he was found guilty in that case.
Both sides have alleged that their Hollywood careers have been harmed.
Heard’s legal team produced an entertainment industry expert who believed Heard has lost $45-50 million in film and television roles and endorsements.
According to a source close to Depp’s camp, the actor has lost millions as a result of the allegations, including a potential $22.5 million paycheck for the sixth film of “Pirates of the Caribbean.”