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Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard: Defamation trial will get ugly, quick – Nationwide


Warning: This story comprises particulars some could discover disturbing. Please learn at your individual discretion.

Johnny Depp and ex-wife Amber Heard arrived individually on the Fairfax County Circuit Court docket in Virginia on Tuesday morning for Day 1 of their much-anticipated US$50-million defamation trial.

Although the actors and former spouses each wore fits, the vitality across the courthouse was something however subdued, because the totally televised courtroom proceedings shortly grew to become a media spectacle.

U.S. actor Johnny Depp leaves the Fairfax County Circuit Court docket after the primary day within the lawsuit between him and his former spouse, U.S. actress Amber Heard, in Fairfax, Va., on April 12, 2022.


U.S. actress Amber Heard leaves the Fairfax County Circuit Court docket in Fairfax, Va., on April 12, 2022.


The courtroom listening to is the most recent in a really public authorized battle of the divorced couple, with each Heard, 35, and Depp, 58, claiming to be victims of home violence. The preliminary courtroom case started when Depp filed a $50-million defamation lawsuit over a Washington Submit op-ed penned by Heard in late 2018 about home abuse.

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Heard didn't point out Depp by identify within the article, although in courtroom paperwork he alleges his repute and profession have been nonetheless “devastated” in consequence.

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Court docket proceedings started with opening statements from each actors’ attorneys, with Depp’s lawyer Benjamin Chew talking first.

Chew instructed Choose Penney S. Azcarate and the seven-member jury (plus 4 alternates) that Heard’s claims of graphic home violence have painted the Pirates of the Caribbean actor as a “villain.”

Click to play video: 'Johnny Depp, Amber Heard defamation trial: Heard claims Depp sexually assaulted her'

Johnny Depp, Amber Heard defamation trial: Heard claims Depp sexually assaulted her

Johnny Depp, Amber Heard defamation trial: Heard claims Depp sexually assaulted her

“For practically 30 years, Mr. Depp constructed a repute as one of the crucial proficient actors in Hollywood, a revered artist whose identify was related to success on the field workplace,” Chew instructed the courtroom. “At present, his identify is related to a lie, a false assertion uttered by his former spouse.”

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“Phrases matter. They paint an image in our thoughts,” he instructed the courtroom. “Phrases can evoke robust feelings and trigger irreparable hurt.”

Chew argued although Heard by no means named Depp within the Washington Submit op-ed, she didn't need to, because the article was printed two years after she had already accused Depp of abuse. Depp’s lawyer additionally claimed nobody “in 5 many years” had beforehand accused the actor of violence or “being abusive of any variety with a girl.”

Chew instructed the courtroom that any proof Heard was a sufferer of home violence perpetrated by Depp shall be proved “a lie.”

Camille Vasquez, additionally a lawyer for Depp, claimed “Ms. Heard took on the position of a lifetime, she couldn’t again down.”

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“She has been dwelling and respiratory this lie for years now,” Vasquez mentioned. “She is making ready to present the efficiency of a lifetime on this trial.”

After a quick break, Heard’s lawyer J. Ben Rottenborn delivered the defence’s opening statements.

Rottenborn learn your entire Washington Submit op-ed – headlined “I spoke up in opposition to sexual violence — and confronted our tradition’s wrath. That has to alter” – to the jury.

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“Amber’s phrases on this article that wasn’t about Depp, wasn’t about her marriage, wasn’t about her relationship — was about life after that,” he mentioned. “It’s concerning the freedom of speech. It’s not concerning the cleaning soap opera that Depp will flip this case into. It’s not about who you want higher. It’s not even about whether or not you agree with the phrases that she wrote. It’s about her proper to talk them.”

“Amber did accuse Johnny of abuse,” Rottenborn mentioned. “That assertion is true. You don’t must relive each intimate element of their marriage.”

“You don’t must determine what occurred on any particular person day of their marriage to find out that the First Modification protects that assertion as a result of it's true,” he mentioned. “He desires you to overlook that. Don’t take the bait.”

Rottenborn instructed the courtroom it was Depp’s “personal dangerous behaviour” that brought about his repute to endure.

One other lawyer for Heard, Elaine Bredehoft, additionally instructed the courtroom a few journey to Australia she claimed was a “three-day hostage scenario.” Bredehoft claimed Depp took eight to 10 ecstasy tablets in Australia earlier than he sexually assaulted Heard and “penetrates her with a liquor bottle.”

After a break for lunch, the primary witness took the stand – Depp’s sister, Christi Dembrowski.

She spoke about Depp’s childhood and claimed abuse from their mother and father. She additionally instructed the courtroom she carried out duties as a “private supervisor” for Depp, and mentioned she nonetheless works along with her brother.

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Because the trial continues, jurors will hear from a number of potential witnesses, together with Tesla CEO Elon Musk, actor James Franco and Marvel WandaVision star Paul Bettany.

Franco and Musk have been introduced into the case when Depp accused each of getting an affair with Heard. Each Franco and Musk are on Heard’s witness record. Bettany, who had a number of personal and disturbing textual content messages with Depp learn in courtroom in 2020, will testify as a part of Depp’s workforce.

Each Depp and Heard are additionally planning to take the stand in individual on the trial.

Court docket proceedings are anticipated to final about six weeks with a jury verdict figuring out if Heard defamed Depp on the trial’s finish.

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