A defamation hearing is underway in a Virginia state court. The plaintiffs are Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, his ex-wife. We tell why the couple continues to publicly analyze each other’s grievances.
Ahead of the trial on Monday, April 11, Amber Heard’s team said: “The jury’s verdict against Johnny will be a signal to the millions of women who suffer daily domestic violence, a signal that they can move on with their lives. This will allow Amber to move on.”
About how women have to endure social stigma if they dare to speak out about violence, Amber Heard wrote in a 2018 column for The Washington Post. “Like many women, I was harassed and sexually assaulted during my college days. But I kept silent – I did not expect that filing an application would lead to justice. And I didn’t consider myself a victim. Two years ago, I became a public figure on the issue of domestic violence and felt the full force of our culture’s anger at women who dare to speak out,” Hurd wrote, calling for a change in the system where women risk their reputations, families, and careers in an attempt to protect themselves. . “I had a rare opportunity to observe in real-time how institutions protect men accused of violence,” she emphasized.
Lawyers for Johnny Depp said that an article published ahead of the release of Heard’s Aquaman “falsely and unfairly portrayed Mr. Depp as a villain.” The actor, according to his lawyer Camilla Vasquez, “will go to his grave knowing that no matter what he does, there will always be people who believe that he has abused a woman.”
The column came at a time of active support and development for the MeToo movement, and Heard recounted the story of her divorce proceedings, with tabloids ridiculing photos of the actress’s battered face. When she reported the assault to the police, Depp, through his lawyer, accused her of “reporting violence in order to temporarily secure her financial well-being.” Both denied all accusations, and then even released a joint statement: “Our relationship was very passionate and at times fickle, but always connected by love. Neither side made false accusations of financial gain. There was never any intention to cause physical or emotional harm.”
In the divorce, Hurd received $7 million, which she promised to donate to Los Angeles Children’s Hospital and the American Civil Liberties Union. It would seem that the issue is settled.
However, in 2020, another trial took place in London: Johnny Depp tried to clear his good name by filing a lawsuit against The Sun and its publisher News Group Newspapers Ltd, who published an article with the headline that the actor “beat his wife Amber Heard.” He lost the court, and in March 2021 he was defeated on appeal. But in early August, Depp was lucky: he proved that Heard did not fulfill his promise to transfer $ 7 million in compensation to charity. True, this small victory did not help the actor’s reputation: Hollywood producers and agents “canceled” him. He publicly complained about “canceling” while the film industry tacitly avoided contact with the “toxic” Depp. He lost his contract with Warner Bros. on Fantastic Beasts, which was supposed to play Grindelwald in five films of the franchise (Depp replaced Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen).
Depp’s next film, the biopic The Great, missed the wide release, partly because of the pandemic, partly because of the nasty court situation. Some of them, who did not deal with the ex-wife, by the way, revealed to the world the actor’s passion for waste. TMG claimed that he spent $3 million (or, as Depp himself later claimed, $5 million) on Hunter Thompson’s memorial service when his ashes were fired from a cannon. In addition, Depp was paying $30,000 a month for wine, which is a fraction of his estimated monthly spending of $2 million.
Depp’s lawyers filed a $50 million lawsuit over Hurd’s Washington Post article in 2019, but the process was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now it’s his turn, two years later. The actor’s team expressed their full confidence in the need for new hearings: “To refuse the opportunity to clear one’s name and allow someone who used the system to get away without consequences would be wrong and would set a dangerous precedent for similar situations in the future.”
On Wednesday, April 13, Depp’s older sister and part-time personal manager Christy Dembrowski tearfully assured the jury that Depp vowed: “never to commit domestic violence after he himself became a victim of it.” She denied Hurd’s words that Depp was “a cruel, irresponsible and infantile drug addict,” but made a reservation that she was worried about the painkillers that the actor constantly took.
Heard’s lawyers argued that Depp was regularly late for filming: once because of him, the production process of the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean film in Australia was delayed for seven hours. Dombrowski retorted that he was forced to do a certain number of films a year in order to keep his former agent Tracy Jacobs on the payroll and keep his crew on the payroll.
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Isaac Baruch, former manager of Depp’s Viper Room club, testified that his boss never fought with his wife, and Heard “destroyed his family with all these things, and this is wrong,” in addition to bruises, cuts and swelling on Heard’s face in 2016 Baruch did not notice – the actress came to him and said that Depp launched a phone at her. Baruch’s testimony was intended to illustrate Depp’s peaceful attitude towards Heard.
Her team hopes to get twice as much from opponents – $ 100 million. To do this, they will have to prove that Depp physically and sexually abused Amber while intoxicated and intoxicated. One of Hurd’s lawyers, Elaine Charleson Bredehoft, promised to show the jury photos of the beatings. “He is incredibly furious. During fits of rage, Mr. Depp indulged in verbal, emotional, physical and sexual abuse against Amber, ”the lawyer emphasized. Heard, according to lawyers, always carried a cosmetic bag with her to mask bruises.
On Thursday, April 14, Depp and Heard’s family psychoanalyst, Dr. Laurel Anderson, attended the hearing. She described the couple’s relationship as “mutually violent” and it was Amber who initiated the incidents and manipulated her husband out of fear of rejection.She confirmed that she had seen photos of Heard with bruises. “It was a matter of pride for Hurd to start a fight if she felt disrespected,” Anderson said. “If he was going to leave her to soften the situation, she would rush at him and beat him to keep him.”
Another witness, former assistant to actress Kate James, said that Hurd often has manic episodes, in part because of the stimulants she takes. The actress often took out her anger on her assistant, and also discussed drug use with her, constantly disappeared at parties because she did not like her husband’s friends – “old people who play guitars.” After a quarrel with her husband, when the police arrived at their house, Heard called James to the Chateau Marmont hotel. She caught the actress with four girlfriends who drank alcohol by the pool all day. “I thought it was some kind of conspiracy theory. Something like a strategic meeting. She (Heard) told everyone it was an emergency. But it was like a pool party,” said James. James really liked Johnny Depp: “peaceful, calm,
The testimony of the former assistant Heard proved to be a turning point four days after the start of the sessions. Depp’s lawyers continue to accuse Heard of lying: “She has been living and breathing these lies for many years. Getting ready to play the role of a lifetime in this trial,” says lawyer Camila Vazquez.
Attorney Hurd argues: “Mr. Depp’s team will try to turn this case into a soap opera. Why i do not know. Maybe the evidence isn’t very strong for Mr. Depp.”
Pouring mud at each other in public, which is likely to last for more than one week, is unlikely to benefit the defendants’ careers. The actress’s lawyers hope to take advantage of the symbolism of the situation: Hurd, as a public figure, faced with an unfair attitude from a man, can become a new icon of feminism, which endures all the “charms” of public morality, chauvinism and misogyny. In this context, Hurd’s article published in 2018 titled “I spoke out against sexual violence and faced rage. This needs to change,” as relevant as ever.