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Jury Hears Opening Statements In Trial Between Johnny Depp And Amber Heard


Jury Hears Opening Statements In Trial Between Johnny Depp And Amber Heard

A civil jury in Virginia heard opening statements on Tuesday relating to a defamation lawsuit filed by Johnny Depp towards his ex-wife Amber Heard, who has accused the actor of domestic abuse.

The lawsuit is expounded to a 2018 op-ed Heard wrote for The Washington Post’s online edition, by which she referred to herself as a “public determine representing home abuse” who “felt the complete power of our tradition’s wrath for ladies who converse out.”

The op-ed doesn’t point out Depp by title, but the actor claims it is defamatory as a result of it refers to earlier accusations Heard made when she sought a restraining order towards him in 2016. Depp has denied the abuse allegations, as his attorneys acknowledged in courtroom on Tuesday.

“The proof will present that the clear implication in Ms. Heard’s op-ed that you’ve got in entrance of you was that she was the sufferer of home abuse perpetrated by Mr. Depp. The proof will present that that was a lie and it stays a lie when it was repeated and republished two years later,” Benjamin Chew, one in every of Depp’s attorneys, instructed the jury.

“Hollywood studios don’t wish to take care of the general public backlash from hiring somebody accused of abuse, even somebody with an unimaginable physique of labor that Mr. Depp will be pleased with. A false allegation can devastate a profession,” the lawyer continued, although many public figures have remained profitable after being accused of misconduct.

Heard accused Depp of domestic abuse in their 2016 divorce proceedings, and obtained a restraining order to final till the divorce was finalized the subsequent yr. Heard has gone into harrowing element about greater than a dozen incidents, together with instances she mentioned Depp’s substance abuse points would set off a violent persona they each known as “the Monster.” Depp would punch, slap, kick, spit on and choke her, according to Heard, who additionally claimed her then-husband would pull her hair so laborious that chunks of it got here out.

The “Aquaman” actor has additionally detailed an incident by which Depp allegedly took a number of ecstasy drugs over the course of three days in Australia, and severely abused her throughout that point. Based on Heard, Depp strangled her, threw bottles of alcohol at her and as soon as ripped off her nightgown.

Depp filed a libel go well with towards the writer of the British tabloid The Solar over an April 2018 article that labeled him a “spouse beater.” The Solar’s protection relied on allegations Heard product of Depp’s violence between 2013 and 2016. The British excessive courtroom rejected the lawsuit, ruling that Depp assaulted Heard and made her worry for her life thrice. A British appeals courtroom refused Depp’s enchantment in that case, saying his try had “no actual prospect of success.”

“Mr. Depp must show that the phrases Ms. Heard used [in the Post] had been about him and that they had been false. If he can’t do this, and if he can’t meet the opposite components of the declare, then he loses that declare,” Benjamin Rottenborn, Heard’s lawyer, instructed the jury Tuesday. “Mr. Depp’s crew goes to … attempt to distract you from that straightforward query. Mr. Depp’s crew goes to attempt to flip this case right into a cleaning soap opera. Why? I’m probably not certain, as a result of the proof isn’t fairly for Mr. Depp. It’s not.”

“You’re going to see who the true Johnny Depp is,” Rottenborn continued. ’Behind the crimson carpets, behind the celebrity, behind the cash, behind the pirate costumes, you’re going to see who that man actually is.”

Amber Heard is seen inside the courtroom during the defamation trial at the Fairfax County Circuit Court no April 12 in Fairfax, Virginia.
Amber Heard is seen contained in the courtroom through the defamation trial on the Fairfax County Circuit Court docket no April 12 in Fairfax, Virginia.

Brendan Smialowski/AFP through Getty Photographs

Seven folks had been chosen on Monday to serve on the jury and listen to the case, with 4 chosen as alternates. Based on Angenette Levy, a Law & Crime reporter who was within the courtroom, the jury appeared to encompass eight males and three ladies. Heard’s attorneys tried to have the case tried within the actors’ resident state of California, however a decide dominated that Depp was allowed to convey the case to trial in Virginia as a result of The Washington Submit’s laptop servers for its on-line version are in Fairfax County.

The trial is anticipated to final over a month, with an extended listing of witnesses that features actors Paul Bettany and James Franco, in addition to tech entrepreneur Elon Musk.

Need assistance? Within the U.S., name 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

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