Johnny Depp takes the stand in his own defense on Day 1 of his testimony in the defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard. YouTube Tips ⓘ
The $50 million defamation trial of Depp v. Heard began on April 11, 2022 with jury selection in Fairfax County, Virginia. Actors Paul Bettany, James Franco and Ellen Barkin, and Tesla CEO and Heard’s former boyfriend Elon Musk are expected to testify during the trial. In February 2019, Johnny Depp filed suit against Amber Heard after an op-ed she wrote about her experience of being a public victim of domestic violence was published by The Washington Post in December 2018. She did not mention Johnny Depp’s name in the op-ed. Depp alleged that Heard had been the abuser, as he had alleged previously. In August 2020, Heard filed a countersuit against Depp, alleging that he had coordinated a harassment campaign via Twitter and by orchestrating online petitions in an effort to get her fired from cinema films Aquaman and L’Oréal.
In the opening statement, Depp’s lawyers Ben Chew and Camille Vasquez alleged that Amber Heard first began to falsely accuse him of domestic abuse because he had asked for divorce. They argued that while Heard’s 2018 op-ed in the Washington Post did not mention Depp, he was implicated and that by continuing her domestic abuse ‘hoax’, she ruined Depp’s reputation and career. Depp’s attorneys further argued that Heard, not Depp, had been the abusive party in the relationship, using violence such as throwing things “to prevent him from leaving.”
Amber Heard’s lawyers, Elaine Bredehoft and J. Benjamin Rottenborn, countered that Depp had physically and sexually abused Heard on multiple occasions during their relationship, usually triggered by his addiction to alcohol and drugs. Amber Heard’s attorneys argued that she had the right to express her views in the op-ed as protected by the First Amendment, since her discussion of domestic abuse was a matter of public interest in broad terms. Heard’s attorney’s also argued that Depp’s reputation was public knowledge prior to the op-ed, and that his decline in job performance related to drugs and alcohol abuse had already ruined his career prior to the op-ed.
Depp’s first day of testimony was Tuesday, April 19, 2022, and his second day of testimony was scheduled for Wednesday, April 20, 2022.
Johnny Depp back on the stand for Day 2 of his testimony in his own defense in the defamation trial against his ex-wife (CourtTV). YouTube Tips ⓘ