Trial of Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard starts Monday
Johnny Depp is suing his ex-wife Amber Heard for $50 million, saying she defamed him in a 2018 op-ed.
The jury for the Fairfax County trial comprises Elon Musk, James Franco, and the bickering ex-couple.
Heard, 35, submitted an article for the Washington Post in which she claimed to be a victim of “sexual violence.”
Even though Depp isn’t mentioned in the op-ed, the actor claims it harmed his image and career since it was generally thought Heard was writing about their five-year romance.
These high-profile defamation lawsuits are generally tried in private, but a jury of 12 Virginians will determine if Heard’s claims are believable.
Disney dismissed Depp from its $4.5 billion “Pirates of the Caribbean” series only days after Heard’s op-ed was published. Depp resigned from his position in the Harry Potter spin-off “Fantastic Beasts” after losing his 2020 court lawsuit in the UK against The Sun for calling him a “wife abuser.”
Depp allegedly physically attacked Heard in the UK, but the case in Virginia has a long witness list and is scheduled to take six weeks.
Jury selection begins Monday.
Heard said Depp was always the aggressor and any physical reaction from her was self-defense, while the star blamed his “sociopathic” ex-wife for the marital violence.
“I have always retained a love for Johnny and it caused me enormous agony to have to live out the specifics of our prior life together in front of the world,” Heard said on Instagram on Saturday.
Heard and Depp are scheduled to testify, however, it is unclear whether Depp will attend the trial.
Among those scheduled to testify are Heard’s former boyfriend Elon Musk, actor James Franco, “WandaVision” star Paul Bettany, actress Ellen Barkin, Disney and Warner Bros. reps, the ACLU, and the LAPD. Others may testify remotely.
Insiders say two LAPD officers who attended to the ex-home couple in May 2016 for a domestic disturbance would testify and present body-cam video from the incident.
According to a source acquainted with Heard’s case, there would be “more physicians and psychiatrists, images, audio, video, and documentation demonstrating abuse” than in the UK.
In a text message to Paul Bettany, Depp writes: “Let’s destroy Amber!!!… Dampen her before we burn her! I’ll f—k her burned body afterward to be sure she’s dead.” It was disclosed during the UK trial.
According to a person close with both Depp and Heard, they had “troubled, abusive childhoods”. “Amber had a difficult father, like Johnny, and Johnny’s mother was quite strict. Maybe that’s why they keep battling and not letting go.”
In his libel action against the London Sun, Mr. Depp was judged to have committed at least 12 acts of domestic violence against Amber, according to a spokesperson for Heard. That’s changed in his libel claim against Amber.”
Heard countersued Depp for $100 million after he sued him for $50 million.
This court fight, which will be aired and open to the public, is unprecedented, according to celebrity lawyer Claire Gill.
“It’s unusual to see someone take on this much danger. That shows he may be speaking the truth. ‘Why would somebody do this unless what is claimed about him is untrue?’ “Some would argue he’s desperate and has no option. It’s exceptional in any case.