Depp v Heard: Testimony ends as Amber Heard says ‘people love currying favour for powerful men’
Testimony has ended in Depp v Heard, with closing arguments due to take place today.
The world has watched on with intense fascination as Johnny Depp and Amber Heard recounted intimate details of their relationship – often with vastly different versions of events. Witnesses were brought in, old video recordings were played as evidence, and the court of public opinion made snap judgements as to what team they were on.
Now in its sixth and final week, testimony has finally ended in the defamation case with Heard the last one to take to the stand yesterday. Delivering an emotional message to jurors, she told the court how her ex-husband had vowed to “ruin” her, denying claims that she had faked bruises or fabricated photos and reminding the jury that there were “so many pictures, so much evidence” to back up her allegations of domestic abuse.
“Johnny promised me… he would ruin me, that he would ruin my career,” she told the court. “He promised global humiliation. You saw those texts.”
Depp’s legal team, headed up by Camille Vasquez, countered Heard’s claims. They alleged that Heard had tipped off TMZ, an online tabloid owned by Fox Corporation, about her court appearance and plans to file for a restraining order against Mr Depp. Vasquez also referenced Kate Moss’s testimony in her cross-examination of Heard.
Asking Heard whether she thought the witnesses who countered her claims were lying, Heard responded by saying, “I know how many people will come out and say whatever for him. That is his power.
“That is why I wrote the op-ed. I was speaking to that phenomenon – how many people will come out in support of him and won’t fault his power,” she continued, mentioning the infamous Washington Post piece on which most of the case hinges. Depp is suing Heard for $50 million over the article, alleging that the op-ed defamed him even though he was never mentioned by name. Heard is countersuing Depp for $100 million over comments previously made by his lawyer Adam Waldman, who allegedly referred to Heard’s claims of abuse as “a hoax”.
“He is a very powerful man and people love currying favour for powerful men,” Heard noted. Returning to the witness stand again yesterday afternoon, Ms Heard was visibly emotional as she said, “I just want Johnny to leave me alone”.
“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.” The actor also recounted receiving threats from people who want to kill her. “They tell me so every single day,” she told the court. “People want to put my baby in the microwave, and they tell me that.
“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. “I would not wish this situation on my worst enemy.”
Meanwhile, Depp returned to the stand during Wednesday’s court proceedings, describing Heard’s allegations as “unimaginably brutal, cruel and all false”. “I have never in my life committed sexual battery, physical abuse, all these outlandish, outrageous stories of me committing these things,” he commented. “And living with it for six years and waiting to be able to bring the truth out.”
Closing arguments are scheduled to take place in Fairfax County, Virginia today. Each side will reportedly have two hours to summarise their case, with Judge Penney Azcarate indicating that the jury may begin deliberations this afternoon, but that they would not return until Tuesday after the long holiday weekend.
One of the most high-profile legal battles in modern history, interest in the case has skyrocketed in recent weeks and it will be interesting to see what the verdict will be… and whether the public accepts it.