Johnny Depp trial – live: Amber Heard accuses actor of sex assault as he calls ex-wife ‘compulsive liar’

By | April 13, 2022

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard arrive at the High Court as libel hearing continues

Opening statements have concluded on day one of Johnny Depp’s multi-million defamation lawsuit against his former wife, Amber Heard, which began in Virginia on Monday (11 April) morning with jury selection.

Seven jurors and four alternates were picked to hear the case. He claims a 2018 article written by Heard in The Washington Post – in which she spoke about domestic violence towards women – implied Depp, her former husband, was an abuser.

Although the 35-year-old did not name the actor, lawyers for Depp say Heard’s have made it difficult for the 58-year-old to land roles he previously did.

Depp is known for starring in films such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Sweeney Todd and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Heard has appeared in titles including Aquaman and Drive Angry,

He is asking for $50m (£38.2m) in damages during the trial in Fairfax County’s district courthouse. Heard has meanwhile filed a counterclaim of defamation against Depp, who she divorced from in 2017, for nuisance.

Depp has previously lost a defamation case in the UK against British newspaperThe Sun regarding the claims in Heard’s 2018 article.

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Johnny Depp’s team react to explosive new sex assault made in court

ICYMI: Explosive new ones were made by Amber Heard about her ex-husband, Johnny Depp, during the opening arguments of his defamation trial.

Ms Heard’s attorney, Elaine Bredehoft, claimed that Depp sexually assaulted Ms Heard using a liquor bottle during a black-out drunk episode.

Depp was visibly skeptical as Ms Bredehoft made the claims, and shook his head “no” after her comments.

Now the actor’s team has issued a statement in response to the “erroneous” claims.

“These fictitious claims were never made at the onset of Amber’s in 2016, and only advantageously surfaced years later once she was sued for defamation after noting in her op-ed that she was a victim of ‘sexual violence.’ Words are key in a defamation case and conveniently, this allegation only came after that. This follows a pattern of her elaborate, erroneous claims which have continued to change and evolve over time for the purpose of Hollywood shock value of which Amber has mastered and used to exploit a serious social movement.” a spokesperson for Depp told The Independent,

Graeme Massie13 April 2022 11:05

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Heard says in statement: ‘I continue to pay the price’

ICYMI: In a statement on Saturday, Heard said she was continuing “to pay the price” for being a woman “speaking out against men in power” and that she was dissapointed her and Depp’s life would again play out in front of a court.

“I never named him,” said Heard on Saturday. “Rather, I wrote about the price women pay for speaking out against men in power.”

“I continue to pay the price, but hopefully when this case concludes, I can move on and so can Johnny,” she added of her former husband, who she said she has “always maintained a love for”.

Heard’s lawyers will likely argue that she is “immune” from liability during the trial because her opinion article in The Washington Post was a matter of public concern.

The article, which was published in 2018, was titled: I spoke up against sexual violence – and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change. It did not name her ex-husband.

Graeme Massie13 April 2022 10:11

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Johnny Depp’s sister says Amber Heard called him ‘old and fat’ and his family was ‘devastated’ with the marriage

ICYMI: Johnny Depp’s sister says Amber Heard called him “old and fat” and that the actor’s family was “devastated” at his marriage to her.

Christi Dembrowski made the claims as she took the stand as the first witness in the multi-million dollar defamation trial in Virginia, in which Depp claims that a 2018 article on domestic violence she wrote for The Washington Post implied he was an abuser.

Graeme Massie13 April 2022 09:01

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Legal dispute was focus of TV documentary last year

ICYMI: The high-profile legal disagreement between Depp and Heard was depicted in a TV documentary series last year on Discovery Plus, which sought to reveal the reasons behind the pair’s two “polarised perspectives”.

The programme – Johnny v Amber – was also billed as the story “of the breakdown” of Depp and Heard’s relationship, including “how it tipped into the celebrity court case of the decade”.

Graeme Massie13 April 2022 08:20

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ICYMI: Bredehoft alleges Depp wrote “terrible things” on lampshades, mirrors and countertops and lists extensive, physical abuse and drug-taking.

Marilyn Manson has been mentioned twice as someone Depp associated with.

In a particularly shocking moment, Bredehoft says that Depp penetrated Heard with a liquor bottle.

Behind her Depp appears to shake his head as if to say “no”.

The graphic nature of the opening statement documenting several alleged incidents of abuse is purportedly backed up with photographic and documentary evidence.

Graeme Massie13 April 2022 07:01

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Heard said in 2020 she wanted to be ‘left alone’

ICYMI: Appearing as a witness during Depp’s trial against British newspaper The Sun in 2020, Heard said she wanted to be “left alone” and wanted her former husband to end lawsuits over domestic abuse claims to “save him the embarrassment.”

“I didn’t want to do this, I did not want to expose this totality of what really happened to me,” Heard told London’s Royal Courts of Justice. “I didn’t want to talk about everything that happened in our marriage and happened in our relationship.”

While Depp denies the claims, Heard told the court of 14 of “violence” by Depp between 2013 and 2016, in locations such as a rented house in Australia, his private island in the Bahamas and a private jet, as The Associated Press reported two years ago.

The judge ruled against Depp, who accused the publisher of The Sun of defaming him with a headline including the words “wife beater”. His lawyers afterwards called the judge’s decision “perverse”.

Graeme Massie13 April 2022 06:14

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ICYMI: Heard is being characterized by the plaintiff’s legal team as a compulsive liar who covers up one lie with another and used the against Depp to advance her own career and portray herself as a heroic and innocent survivor of abuse.

Depp’s team acknowledge his use of drugs and alcohol but that does not make him an abuser.

Graeme Massie13 April 2022 05:04

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Why is the trial taking place in Virginia?

Although the couple both live in California, the defamation case brought by Depp against his former wife is in Virginia, where the trial will play out at Fairfax County’s district courthouse.

Online editions of The Washington Post are published through servers located in Fairfax County, which is thought to be one of the reasons behind Depp’s lawyers deciding on the location.

Another is because of Virginia’s anti-Slapp law, which is not as broad as the one in California. The provision allows a person to claim protection from a lawsuit when speaking about issues of public concern.

Lawyers for Heard, who have filed a counter defamation claim, are expected to use the anti-Slapp law during the trial. It comes four years after her Washington Post article titled: I spoke up against sexual violence – and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press

Graeme Massie13 April 2022 04:05

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ICYMI: Johnny Depp will testify in the defamation trial.

Graeme Massie13 April 2022 03:01

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Franco and Musk to provide testimony

ICYMI: James Franco and Elon Musk are among the high-profile names who will provide a testimony during the case between Depp and Heard.

Paul Bethany, of WandaVisionas well as representatives of the Walt Disney company and Warner Bros are also due to appear in the Fairfax County court, reported Deadline,

The long-delayed trial is due to begin later today with the selection of a jury.

Graeme Massie13 April 2022 02:03

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