Gloves come off in defamation case between Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard as both sides get one last chance to influence a jury.
American actor Johnny Depp’s defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard is now before jurors who begin deliberations after hearing explosive closing arguments in court.
Lawyers for Depp, 58, and Heard, 36, were in Fairfax County Court after dozens of hours of testimony and six weeks of bitter mutual accusations about domestic violence between the celebrity couple. A final appeal to the jury on Friday, Virginia.
Depp’s lawyer Camille Vasquez claims Neptune The actress has no friends.
“As you may have noticed, no one was in this court except her sister,” Ms Vasquez said.
“The other witnesses who went to Virginia for her were paid experts.
“This is a woman who burned a bridge. Her close friends won’t be around her.”
Ms Vasquez then took another brutal jab at Hurd in response to her lawyer’s claim that all of Depp’s witnesses who testified in the case were “on his payroll” and were too afraid to turn against him.
“Kate Moss is definitely not on Mr Depp’s payroll,” Ms Vasquez said, referring to the British supermodel’s Explosive testimony this week dispels rumours Depp pushed her down stairs.
Stream more entertainment news live and on demand with Flash. 25+ news channels in one place. New to Flash? 1 month free trial. Offer ends October 31, 2022 >
Depp’s team has portrayed him as the victim of what they say is Heard’s false allegations of physical, sexual and psychological abuse that have destroyed his career and reputation.
They claim Heard was a “deeply troubled person” who sought revenge when Depp sparked her deepest “fear of abandonment” and “split” during the altercation.
In stark contrast, Hurd’s attorney, Benjamin Rottenborn, called Depp a “monster” who not only abused his ex-wife but continued his ongoing smear campaign after Hurd filed for divorce. “In Mr. Depp’s world, you don’t leave Mr. Depp,” he said. “If you do, he will launch a global campaign of shaming against you.”
Vasquez first delivered her closing statement, telling the jury that Hurd “made up a horror story” based on “wild, exaggerated and unbelievable” allegations of Depp’s physical and sexual abuse.
“You either believe it or you don’t,” Vasquez told the jury on Friday morning.
“Either Ms Heard was sexually assaulted with a bottle in Australia … or she was a woman who would say anything.
“Ms Heard testifying in this court is a story about too many women, but the weight of the evidence suggests that’s not Ms Heard’s story.”
Ms Vasquez described Hurd’s allegations as “false” and “defamatory”, adding that they had caused “irreparable harm” to Depp and “ruined his life”.
She slammed Heard’s “acting” in court, claiming the starlet used her acting experience to play “her role as a heroic survivor of cruel abuse throughout her life”.
Ms Vasquez told jurors that during the six-week trial they saw Hurd “cry” over the elaborate, exaggerated, ridiculous allegations of domestic abuse.
“It’s a show,” she added.
“She tells you what she thinks you need to hear to convict this man as a domestic abuser and rapist.”
Lawyers argue that evidence presented by Hurd’s legal team “cannot establish” that the actress had been abused “numerously”, including without medical records documenting her alleged injuries.
“Nothing,” Ms Vasquez said.
Why Depp lost the case
Heard’s attorney, Ben Rottenborn, closed the argument by reminding the jury that the burden of proof was on Depp and he needed to prove that every single incident of abuse that Heard accused him of was wrong. He noted that in order for Depp to win the civil suit, it would also have to prove that the allegations were brought in bad faith by Hurd.
“If Amber has been abused by Mr Depp once, she has won,” Mr Rottenborn said.
“We’re not just talking about physical abuse, we’re talking about emotional abuse, physical abuse, financial abuse, sexual abuse.”
While Depp appears to have overwhelming public support, the bar for his team to meet the requirements to prove defamation and win the case is high.
“It’s not about who is the better spouse,” Mr Rottenborn said.
“It has nothing to do with whether you think Ms Heard may have abused Mr Depp.
“If you think they’re all insulting each other…then Amber wins.”
“Into the Heart of America’s Favorite Pirate”
Mr Rottenborn pointed to text messages previously shown in court in which Depp had written that he wanted to “fuck and burn (Heard’s) body”, and one in which he claimed she was “begging for global humiliation”.
“Ladies and gentlemen, these words are a window into the heart and mind of America’s favourite pirate,” Mr Rottenborn said of Depp’s vulgar text messages about her.
“This is the real Johnny Depp.”
She was heard to appear to be holding back tears and could be seen breathing deeply as her lawyer took the jury through the many situations in which she was allegedly abused.
“The Amber decision here sends the message that whatever you do as a victim of abuse, you always need to do more,” Mr Rottenborn said.
“No matter what you document, you always need to document more. No matter who you tell, you always need to tell more people. No matter how honest you are about your imperfections and your shortcomings in a relationship, you need to Perfection is what makes people believe in you. Don’t send that message.”
“The real Amber Heard is scary”
Depp’s other attorney, Benjamin Chew, concluded his team’s closing arguments.
“You know the real Amber Heard now: it’s scary,” he begins.
“Before Amber Heard, no woman claimed Mr Depp raised his hand to her when he was 58… (also) no woman has come since.
“This is ‘MeToo’ without ‘MeToo’.”
Chow went on to list several of Depp’s past girlfriends, including British supermodel Kate Moss, American actor Winona Ryder and the mother of his children, Vanessa Paradis, with whom he has been for 14 years Relationship.
He said none of the women had publicly accused Depp of violence against them, further highlighting Ms Moss’ testimony in Depp’s defense.
Mr Zhou insisted his client had “stoically” brought serious charges against him for six years and filed a lawsuit to tell the truth and clear his name, even though he knew the process would be embarrassing.
Judge Penney Azcarate transferred the case to a seven-member jury on Friday afternoon.
“You must never make a verdict based on sympathy, biased guesswork or guesswork in any way,” Judge Azkarat said Friday morning when he gave jurors deliberation instructions.
“Your judgment must be based solely on the court’s evidence and directions. Your judgment must be based on the facts you find and the law you find in all these instructions.”
The panel will be closed on weekends and Mondays, a U.S. public holiday, and resume deliberations on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, a source close to Heard accused the Depp team of “trying to divert the jury’s attention to something sensational and pornographic — anything but the content of this case: free speech.”
“We hope the jury will not be distracted by noise and nonsense,” the source said, according to a statement provided to news.com.au by Hurd’s representatives on Friday.
Depp sues Heard over an op-ed she wrote for Heard Washington post In December 2018, she described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse”.
Depp, 36, denied physically attacking Heard during her four days on the witness stand, claiming she was a frequent violent person.
Heard, who starred in Aquaman, did not mention Depp in the article, but he sued her for suggesting he was a domestic abuser and is seeking $50 million (A$72 million) in damages.
Texas-born Hurd countersued for $100 million (A$144 million), accusing him of orchestrating a “defamation campaign” against her, describing his lawsuit as “abuse and harassment” continue.
The countersuit alleges that Depp’s attorney at the time, Adam Waldman, defamed Hurd by calling her abuse allegations a hoax.
Depp has filed a defamation suit in the US after losing another defamation case in London in November 2020, suing The Sun for calling him a “wife beater”.
Three-time Oscar nominees Depp and Heard met on set in 2009. Rum Diary And got married in February 2015. Their divorce was finalized two years later.