Johnny Depp Takes the Stand This Afternoon

Actor Johnny Depp will be taking the witness stand in his defamation suit against his ex-wife Amber Heard in about 15 minutes. You can watch live for free here or here. They are on lunch now and replaying earlier testimony.

So far it seems to me the witnesses are saying Amber instigated and perpetrated the violence, but I'm not there. NPR has this description of the case so far.

Depp says, his own career was severely damaged by the essay. Days after Heard's op-ed was published, his complaint says, Disney announced it would remove Depp "from his leading role as Captain Jack Sparrow — a role that he created — in the multi-billion-dollar-earning Pirates of the Caribbean franchise."

Depp accused Heard of making false claims against him, motivated by malice. His complaint also says Heard is not a victim of abuse, but a perpetrator, accusing her of physically abusing him during their relationship."

Court TV has commentators during it, I'm not sure if anyone is just airing the proceeding by itself.

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    I didn't think I'd follow this as much (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by McBain on Wed Apr 20, 2022 at 10:19:08 AM EST
    as I have but it's somewhat refreshing to follow a trial that isn't about a death. I mostly watch on the Legal Bytes YouTube Channel.

    My understanding is the burden to prove slander is high and I'm not sure how Depp is going to prove Heard lied enough to win.   He does appear to be winning in the court of public opinion which could help revive his career.

    TBH (none / 0) (#2)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Apr 25, 2022 at 08:10:06 AM EST
    I think this was really more about his reputation & career than actually winning the case.

    Could be, his career is worth a lot (none / 0) (#3)
    by McBain on Mon Apr 25, 2022 at 10:01:44 AM EST
    I'm surprised more people aren't talking about this here.  Lots of interesting issues about abuse, physical and emotional.  What if it's mutual?

    Here's the WaPo OpED that Heard wrote.  She never mentions Depp by name and it's kinda vague.  Here's the opening...

    I was exposed to abuse at a very young age. I knew certain things early on, without ever having to be told. I knew that men have the power -- physically, socially and financially -- and that a lot of institutions support that arrangement. I knew this long before I had the words to articulate it, and I bet you learned it young, too.

    Like many women, I had been harassed and sexually assaulted by the time I was of college age. But I kept quiet -- I did not expect filing complaints to bring justice. And I didn't see myself as a victim.

    Then two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture's wrath for women who speak out.

    I don't see how you get slander out of that but if she's equally or more abusive she'll be seen as phony.


    I think your opinion may be (none / 0) (#4)
    by ladybug on Mon Apr 25, 2022 at 10:40:29 AM EST
    the opinion of many and there may not be much more to say: there may not be slander but there is abuse and self-absorption on both sides. It is hard to take one side. It looks like both will lose.

    Depp has already lost quite a bit (none / 0) (#5)
    by McBain on Tue Apr 26, 2022 at 10:43:00 AM EST
    so his risk isn't that great with this trial.  He lost his career and lost his previous lawsuit against the Sun newspaper for calling him a "wife beater".   Heard's team is claiming his career problems have more to do with his drug use.

    The question some have right now is if a woman is physically and emotionally abusive to her husband/boyfriend can she still call herself a victim?  I think it depends on the severity and frequency.  


    The testimony by the forensic (none / 0) (#6)
    by ladybug on Tue Apr 26, 2022 at 02:19:41 PM EST
    psychologist was damaging for Amber. She testified that Amber did not have PTSD but did have strong symptoms of BPD which fit the details in Depp's testimony.

    She'll probably have an expert to (none / 0) (#7)
    by McBain on Tue Apr 26, 2022 at 06:25:31 PM EST
    counter some of that.  Assuming Heard testifies, I think that will be the most interesting part of the trial.  

    Ben Smith's testimony gave a fascinating (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by ladybug on Wed Apr 27, 2022 at 08:57:35 AM EST
    glimpse into the lives of the fabulously wealthy. The police officer added support to the allegation of "hoax." Johnny Depp appears to be very sympathetic to me. I wonder how much of that is "acting."

    The court ruled against a forensic evaluation of Johnny and I believe all Amber has is her therapists, which ethically have to believe their clients. We shall see.

    There are certainly larger issues at play, but watching the trial is interesting.


    This is one of the few cases where I (none / 0) (#9)
    by MO Blue on Sat Apr 30, 2022 at 02:55:07 PM EST
    question whether Heard actually was physically abused.

    Depp has abused various substances throughout his entire adult life. He has during that time been in numerous relationships. To the best of my knowledge, his past female companions are on record stating he was never violent with them. All things are possible, but he doesn't have a history of abusing women or being physically violent.

    Based on the testimony so far, there is a good chance that Heard was violent. The accusations definitely exist. Depp lost his movie opportunities based on unproven accusations. Maybe Heard's  upcoming parts in Aquaman need to be re-examined by the studio.

    Interesting verdict (none / 0) (#12)
    by McBain on Thu Jun 02, 2022 at 09:49:23 AM EST

    The jury found that Heard defamed Depp in three separate statements in The Washington Post piece, and that Depp defamed Heard with one statement his attorney made.

    The jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million dollars in punitive damages. The jury awarded Heard $2 million in compensatory damages and no money for punitive damages.

    Maybe it was a compromise verdict.  Also interesting was Amber Heard's post verdict statement.
    "The disappointment I feel today is beyond words. I'm heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still was not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence, and sway of my ex-husband.
    I'm even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. It is a setback. It sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated. It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously.

    I believe Johnny's attorneys succeeded in getting the jury to overlook the key issue of Freedom of Speech and ignore evidence that was so conclusive that we won in the UK.
    I'm sad I lost this case. But I am sadder still that I seem to have lost a right I thought I had as an American -- to speak freely and openly."

    The part about "violence against women" sounds similar to Op Ed article she was just found libel for.