Testimony Ends In Johnny Depp-Amber Heard Defamation Trial, Closing Arguments Set For Friday
Both sides in the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation case have now rested their case, with the jury scheduled to hear closing arguments on Friday morning.
Judge Penney Azcarate indicated that the jury may begin deliberations on Friday afternoon, but would not return until Tuesday after the holiday weekend.
Heard was the final witness to testify in the six-week trial, and she delivered an emotional message to jurors.
“Johnny promised me … he would ruin me, that he would ruin my career,” Heard said, as she looked toward the panel. “He promised global humiliation, you saw those texts.”
She denied faking her bruises and fabricating photos, as she sought to remind the jury that there were “so many pictures, so much evidence” that is unusual for a case of domestic violence abuse.
Earlier, Heard faced contentious cross-examination from one of Depp’s attorneys, Camille Vasquez, who ran through a list of witnesses who have countered her claims.
At one point, Vasquez asked Heard to stop looking at the jury in her answers. At another she claimed that Heard had tipped off TMZ to show up at the courthouse as she obtained a restraining order against Depp in May, 2016.
Heard denied it.
“What actual survivor of domestic violence wants that?” Heard said.
Vasquez also brought up Wednesday’s testimony from Kate Moss, who denied that Depp had pushed her down a flight of stairs when they dated in the 1990s. Heard had referenced a rumor of the incident in earlier testimony, as she was describing what was going through her mind during an argument with Depp. Her sister, Whitney, was nearby and close to a flight of stairs, Heard said, and she feared what Depp would do.
Heard said that she heard the rumor about Moss “from multiple people,” and the fact that she denied it didn’t matter. “It is what I believed at the time.”
Vasquez also asked Heard whether she thought a number of witnesses who countered her claims were lying.
“I know how many people will come out and say whatever for him,” Heard said.
“That is his power. That is why I wrote the op ed. I was speaking to that phenomenon.”
Amber Heard described the threats she has received and the emotional trauma she has experienced as she countered Johnny Depp’s $50 million lawsuit with her own $100 million counter claim.
In tearful testimony as she returned to the witness stand on Thursday, Heard said, “I just want Johnny to leave me alone.”
Asked by her attorney what what has been the impact of claims that she fabricated her allegations of abuse, Heard said, “I am harassed, humiliated, threatened every single day. Even just walking into this courtroom. sitting here in front of the world, having the worst parts of my life, things I lived through, used to humiliate me.”
She recounted receiving threats from “people [who] want to kill me, and they tell me so every single day.”
“People want to put my baby in the microwave, and they tell me that,” she said.
“Johnny threatened, promised, promised me that if I ever left him, that he would make me think of him every single day that I lived,” she said.
Depp filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against Heard after she published a Washington Post op ed when she wrote that she “became a public figure representing domestic abuse.” Heard filed a $100 million counter suit after Depp’s attorney, Adam Waldman. claimed that she had make up her allegations.
“I would not wish this situation on my worst enemy,” Heard told the jury.
The judge has scheduled closing arguments for Friday. The trial has stretched out for 23 days, or six weeks, and has drawn record-breaking viewership for one of the sites streaming it, Law & Crime.
Depp returned to the stand on Wednesday, when he again denied Heard’s allegations and called her claims “unimaginably brutal, cruel and all false.”
Much of each side’s rebuttal has been via dueling expert witnesses, including orthopedic surgeons who offered different takes on how Depp’s finger was severed during an argument with Heard in March, 2016. Depp’s injury, which forced a delay in a Pirates of the Caribbean sequel, has been repeatedly cited during the trial. He claimed that the tip of his finger was cut off when Heard threw a vodka bottle at him. She has contended that Depp injured himself.
In questioning Heard on rebuttal, her attorney Benjamin Rottenborn focused his queries on the impact that Waldman’s remarks — and by extension Depp’s — had on her life.
She described having to “live the trauma and the damage done to me,” and that there are a set of “unspoken rules about how to not touch me, not to surprise me” because of the risk that she will have a panic attack or some kind of triggering event. She said that has also impacted her career and during production on the Aquaman sequel.
She claimed that Depp and his team had orchestrated a campaign that has “enlisted millions of people’ on social media against her.
She also made a reference to Depp’s testimony, saying, “I am not sitting in this courtroom snickering … making snide jokes.” As he did during her initial testimony, Depp refrained from looking at his ex-wife.
“I am a human being … I don’t deserve this … I want to move on,” she said.
“I have a right to my voice and my name.”