Amber Heard set to defend Johnny Depp in defamation lawsuit

(The Hill) – Amber Heard is set to speak this week in the defamation lawsuit brought by her ex-husband Johnny Depp.

The lawsuit involving the two actors, who wed between 2015 and 2017, has shifted Hollywood’s attention from California to Fairfax, Va., where the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star and his witnesses have drawn huge attention. media attention.

The Law & Crime Network reported that it had reached 330 million viewers since the start of the trial, which is expected to last around six weeks.

Heard’s testimony, which sources say could begin this week after a Virginia judge denied his motion to dismiss the case on Tuesday, will likely be one of the most dramatic and pivotal points in the drama. from the courtroom.

The case hinges on Heard’s 2018 op-ed exposing sexual violence, which Depp says damaged his reputation. Witnesses have detailed how he was shunned by major production companies and film franchises that revolved around his characters.

Much of Depp’s testimony focused on the fact that he was the victim of Heard’s physical and mental abuse despite Depp losing his libel case against the publisher of the Sun Newspaper, who called him of “woman beater”.

Dawn Hughes, a forensic psychologist, spoke on Tuesday as Heard’s first witness. She diagnosed Heard as having post-traumatic stress disorder due to Depp’s abuse.

The testimony appeared to be a stark contradiction to Heard’s assessment by Depp-hired psychologist Shannon Curry. Curry had testified that Heard did not suffer from PTSD but instead had two personality disorders.

Focusing on Heard’s allegation of sexual abuse, Hughes – who spent a total of 29 hours assessing Heard – described patterns of domestic violence, power dynamics and manipulative behaviors of men in the wake of abuse episodes.

“Love and normalcy are almost always present in these relationships,” Hughes said. “When you’re in a lull and the violence doesn’t happen, you’re back with the man you fell in love with.”

Hughes also testified that Depp performed a cavity search on Heard, manually searching her private parts with his fingers, in addition to penetrating her with a bottle.

Having to do damage control from Depp’s testimony about Heard’s physical abuse, Hughes said women can become violent when defending themselves and pointed out that Heard may have yelled at Depp out of anger after being abused. .

Heard’s ex-nurse Erin Falati also testified that she suffered from anxiety, insecurity and substance abuse and had a history of bipolar disorder and ADHD.

The core of Heard’s defense hinges on her allegation that Depp physically and emotionally abused her throughout the relationship.

“You’re going to see who the real Johnny Depp is, behind the fame, behind the pirate costumes,” Rottenborn said at the start of the trial. “I’m sorry Amber has to relive it, but that’s the case Depp chose to bring, and we’re not going to sit back and let them throw mud and make inflated misrepresentations.”

Depp in his testimony denied ever hitting a woman. Heard previously accused Depp of assaulting her in Los Angeles on May 21, 2016, which led to her filing for divorce two days later and getting a restraining order, according to documents obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.

A photograph of Heard – six days after the alleged assault – showed her with a black eye, prompting questions about Depp’s abuse. Heard’s attorney, Elaine Bredehoft, said in her opening statement that she used makeup to cover her bruises throughout their relationship.

Depp testified that he was abused. Supporting his claims are audio clips of Heard admitting to punching him and eyewitness accounts of fights that damaged the interior of their home in Australia, including one that also resulted in a serious finger injury to Depp.

“You didn’t get punched, you were hit. I’m sorry to hit you like that, but I didn’t hit you. I didn’t f—ing you deck. I f—ing was hitting you,” Heard says in an audio clip presented by Depp’s team, detailing just one of multiple alleged explosive fights.

At the trial in London, Heard admitted to hitting Depp, but said she acted “instinctively” to stop him from pushing her sister down a flight of stairs, according to The Guardian.

Heard never named Depp in his op-ed, which was titled “I spoke out against sexual violence — and faced the wrath of our culture. That needs to change. But he says it hurt his reputation.

Depp’s attorneys say the 2018 article clearly references Depp when she said ‘two years ago I became a public figure representing domestic violence’ since raising abuse allegations against Depp in 2016.

But in a preview of what Heard will argue, her attorney Ben Rottenborn said during opening statements that it’s her First Amendment right to comment on a matter of public interest: “This article is about social change that she advocates and that the First Amendment protects.

Judge Penney Azcarate ruled in March that Heard could use an anti-SLAPP provision in her defense, the Associated Press reported, meaning she will argue she should be protected from a defamation suit, because preventing domestic violence is in the public interest.


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