Jury begins deliberations after hearing Depp and Hurd want their lives

Warning: This story contains details of intimate partner violence.

After Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s six-week trial as they recount nasty details of their short-lived marriage, both sides told the jury the same on Friday — they Hope your life can come back.

Depp lawyer Camille Vasquez told jury in defamation trial against ex-wife that Heard “ruined his life by falsely telling the world she was a survivor of domestic abuse by Mr. Depp” .

Meanwhile, Heard’s lawyers say Depp ruined Heard’s life by launching a smear campaign against her in 2016 when she divorced and publicly accused him of assault.

“In Mr. Depp’s world, you don’t leave Mr. Depp,” said Hurd’s attorney, J. Benjamin Rottenborn. “If you do, he will launch a global campaign of shaming against you.”

Depp hopes the trial will help restore his reputation even as it has turned into the spectacle of a vicious marriage, with broadcast cameras in the courtroom capturing every turn of an increasingly rabid audience as fans take to social media voiced their opinions and queued overnight for seats in court.

“Mr. Depp’s case was never about money,” said Depp’s lawyer, Benjamin Chow. “It’s about Mr Depp’s reputation and getting him out of the prison he’s been living in for the past six years.”

Depp is suing Hurd for $50 million in Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia over a December 2018 Washington Post op-ed that she was “representing the family”. abusive public figures”. While the article did not mention Depp by name, his lawyers said he was defamed because of Hurd’s earlier public allegations against him.

Hurd filed a $100 million countersuit with the United States after Depp’s lawyers called her allegations a scam.

Although the counterclaims received less attention at the trial, Heard’s lawyer Elaine Breidhooft said it provided a way for the jury to compensate Depp for his mistreatment of Heard, even if they were convicted of conspiring slander campaign split.

“We ask that you ultimately hold this person accountable,” she told the jury. “He never took responsibility for anything in his life.”

Jury deliberations to begin Friday

The seven-member civil jury began its deliberations Friday at 3 p.m. local time and concluded the day about two hours later. They will resume on Tuesday.

Depp said he never hit Heard and she made up the abuse allegations to gain an advantage in divorce proceedings. He said he was regularly physically attacked by Heard.

“There is an abuser in this court, but not Mr. Depp,” Vasquez said.

During the trial, Heard testified about more than a dozen instances of physical and sexual assault she said Depp inflicted on her. On Thursday, Heard told jurors that Depp’s campaign of harassment against her had left her humiliated and terrified by repeated death threats, and said she just wanted “Johnny to leave me alone.”

Actor Amber Heard testifies in Fairfax County Circuit Court on May 26, 2022. Heard testified about the more than a dozen physical and sexual assaults Depp committed against her. (Michael Reynolds/The Associated Press)

Vasquez ended by noting that Heard had to revise her testimony the first time she said she was shot. It is heard that Depp hit her after she inadvertently mocked one of his tattoos. Hurd initially said it happened in 2013 — after a year of fairytale courtship and romance — but later corrected himself to say it happened in 2012, when their relationship was very early.

“Now in this courtroom, she’s suddenly wiped away a whole year of magic,” Vasquez said.

Jurors have seen multiple photos of Hurd showing marks and bruises on her face, but some showed only mild redness while others showed more severe bruising.

Vasquez accused Hurd of doctoring the photos and said evidence that Hurd groomed some of her wounds proved all her abuse allegations were baseless.

“You either believe it all or you don’t,” she said. “She was either the victim of ugly, horrific abuse, or a woman who would say anything.”

In Hurd’s closing remarks, Rottenborn said that nitpicking on evidence of Hurd’s abuse ignores the overwhelming evidence on her behalf and sends a dangerous message to victims of domestic violence.

“If you don’t take pictures, it doesn’t happen,” Rottenborn said. “If you take pictures, they’re fake. If you don’t tell your friends, they’re lying. If you tell your friends, they’re part of a scam.”

He rejected Vasquez’s suggestion that if the jury thought Heard might be glorifying a single act of abuse, they must ignore everything she said. He said that even if Heard suffered an incident of abuse, Depp’s defamation suit would certainly fail.

“They’re trying to trick you into thinking that Amber has to be perfect to win,” Rottenborn said.

Amber Heard speaks with her legal team as Johnny Depp returns to the stands after a lunch break at Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Virginia, on Thursday, April 21, 2022. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool Photo/AP)

The jury’s deliberations will not only focus on whether there is abuse, but also on whether Hurd’s op-ed can be considered legally defamatory. The article itself primarily focuses on domestic violence policy issues, but Depp’s lawyers pointed to two passages in the article, as well as an online headline that they say defames Depp.

In the first paragraph, Hurd wrote: “Two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our cultural anger.” Depp’s lawyers called it a clear reference to Depp. And because Hurd publicly accused Depp of domestic violence in 2016 — two years before she wrote this.

In the second paragraph, she said, “I have a rare vantage point to see in real time how agencies are protecting men accused of abuse.”

The online headline was “Amber Heard: I stand against sexual violence — and confront the wrath of our culture.”

“She didn’t mention his name. She didn’t have to,” Zhou said. “Everyone knew exactly who and what Ms Heard was talking about.”

Hurd’s lawyer said Hurd could not be held responsible for the headline because she did not write it, and the two paragraphs in the article were not about the abuse allegations themselves, but how Hurd’s life changed after she made them.

Rottenborn told jurors that even if they were inclined to believe Depp’s claim that he never abused Heard, he still couldn’t win his case because Heard has a First Amendment right to speak on issues of public debate.


Support is available to anyone who has been abused or beaten.You can access crisis lines and local support services by Canadian Society to End Violence Database. Canadian Women’s Foundation S.O.S is a silent one-handed gesture used during a video call to indicate that you are at risk of violence at home. ​​If you are in immediate danger or concerned for your safety or the safety of others around you, call 911.