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Depp v Heard: What exactly is Hicksville Trailer Palace and what exactly happened there? 


By Sarah Finnan
25th May 2022

Hicksville Trailer Palace

Depp v Heard: What exactly is Hicksville Trailer Palace and what exactly happened there? 

The Johnny Depp v Amber Heard defamation case continued in Fairfax County, Virginia yesterday where the court heard from witness Morgan Night, the former owner of Hicksville Trailer Palace.

Now in its sixth and final week, there have been many standout moments from the Depp v Heard case so far – severed fingers, human faeces, Kate Moss. Yesterday, another one was added to the mix, when former Hicksville Trailer Palace owner, Morgan Night, took to the stand. 

Called in as a rebuttal witness by Depp’s legal team, he was there to discuss an incident that happened on his property when Depp and Heard stayed at the California trailer park in June 2013. In a previous testimony, Heard told the court that she and Depp were on holiday at the trailer park in May 2013 where Depp allegedly performed a “cavity search” on her, looking for a missing bag of cocaine and accused her of flirting with another woman. 

“I just stood there staring at the stupid light, I didn’t know what to do… while he did that. He twisted his fingers around… I didn’t [say] like ‘stop’ or anything,” Heard told the court of the alleged attack. Night’s testimony went against Heard’s version of events. 

Working on the campsite when the couple allegedly had a dispute by the firepit, Night explained that he was often the live-in manager and would stay in a house on the site when he was at the park. Asked what happened on the evening in question, he says that he did not see Depp yelling at Heard, claiming that it was actually the other way around. 

“I was speaking with Mr Depp, just one-on-one, and Ms Heard came over and she said, ‘I want to talk to you,’ and seemed really upset about something,” Night said. “So I went back in the house, and they went back off on their own.

“She started yelling at him, and I didn’t want to hear it. Honestly, it was really triggering because I’ve been in an emotionally abusive relationship before.”

“He was kind of cowering and seemed almost afraid. And it was really odd to see, because he was older than her, obviously,” he told the court. 

Night said that Depp became quieter and quieter as the evening went on. “At the end of the night, I heard a commotion. I was inside the house and came out. I couldn’t tell what was going on. Mr Depp and Ms Heard were having a discussion about I’m not sure what.”

The next day, he was alerted that there had been some damage to the 1950s trailer Depp and Heard were staying in and went to inspect. A sconce (light fixture) had been broken but nothing else was damaged and he just bought a new one on eBay using Depp’s agents credit card, which he billed for $62. 

Earlier in her testimony, Heard alleged that Depp had “trashed” the trailer while screaming at her. During cross-examination, Heard’s team brought up an old tweet of Night’s in which he had replied to a Depp fan Twitter account, commenting that Heard’s testimony “never happened”. “I was with him all night. Amber was the one acting all jealous and crazy,” he tweeted at the time.

Heard’s lawyer Elaine Bredehoft, said that the tweet indicated that he had seen previous trial testimony and therefore shouldn’t have been allowed to take the stand. However, Judge Penney Azcarate allowed him to testify after he said that he had come across the tweet only after a former employee told him that Hicksville Trailer Palace had been mentioned. 

Night was also asked his feelings about participating in the trial, with the implication being that he was only there to get on TV.  “I’m happy to tell what I saw and that’s the extent of it,” he said. “I really don’t care outside of that.”

What is Hicksville Trailer Palace? 

Dubbed “a trailer park motel fit for a king” by CNN, Hicksville Trailer Palace initially started out as an artists’ retreat before expanding into a motel as well. Kitted out with 13 different vintage trailers, each modelled around its own unique theme, one even has its own private poolside access. Starting at just $100 a night, guests get relatively good bang for their buck… though weekend stays at some of the more luxurious trailers are usually more expensive. 

There’s even a Lana Del Rey connection too. Avid fans will probably already know this, but the singer partially shot the music video for her song “White Dress” at the trailer park. Featuring several shots of the surrounding sun-scorched landscape, the video opens with a clip of Lana rollerskating down a deserted road as she makes her way to the park. 

Many of the Hicksville trailers make an appearance throughout, including The Skipper, The Fifi, The Lux and The New World, a 1950s trailer named after Roger Corman’s studio. 

Proceedings in the Depp v Heard case continue today in Fairfax County, Virginia where Kate Moss testified via video link. Closing arguments are due to take place on May 27, after which the jury will be left to deliberate a verdict.