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The significance of media-shy Kate Moss testifying in Depp v Heard 


By Sarah Finnan
24th May 2022

@kateandjohnny

The significance of media-shy Kate Moss testifying in Depp v Heard 

Moss is expected to take to the stand via video link tomorrow as a witness in the ongoing Johnny Depp v Amber Heard case. 

She may be one of the world’s most famous supermodels, but Kate Moss is actually surprisingly shy in real life. 

Under the radar

“I don’t really want anyone to know where I am,” she once told Interview Magazine. “I don’t want people to know what I’m doing. That’s the complete opposite of what I feel like.” That was way back in 2013 when she had only 25 Instagram followers… nine years later, The Kate Moss Agency account has over 1.3 million followers – much more than the model would like, I’m sure. 

In a 1993 cover profile with i-D, Kate admitted that she doesn’t like being photographed. A year prior, she did the infamous Calvin Klein shoot with Mark Wahlberg – later revealing that she was “really nervous” about the whole thing. “I had a nervous breakdown when I was 17 or 18, when I had to go and work with Marky Mark and Herb Ritts,” she told Vanity Fair of the experience. “Nobody takes care of you mentally. There’s a massive pressure to do what you have to do,” she continued. 

No press policy

In 2010, Moss told T Magazine that she simply hated doing interviews altogether. “When I used to do interviews a long time ago, I used to get very ill just worrying about them before they came out. I just didn’t like it. When I first started out, I did press because I wasn’t really aware that they would write something really horrible but then they did, and I was like, ‘Oh no, I don’t want to go back there. I don’t really want to open up myself to that kind of criticism.’

“And I think that a lot of the time you walk in a room, they already know what they want to write about you, so it doesn’t matter what you’re like,” she said rather matter-of-factly.

Shrinking violet

According to close friend and fashion photographer, Mario Testino, Kate is actually quite the shrinking violet. “Believe it or not, she is shy,” he revealed to the Daily Telegraph. “I go to events with her and I am, like, ‘What’s the matter with you?’ and she is, like, shaking, nervous. I’m, like: ‘You’re a freak’, because I am not shy at all.”

“Freak” may be a tad dramatic, but you get the idea; Moss would rather remain out of the spotlight (and the media) as much as necessary. Yes, her job revolves around standing in front of a camera, but her personal life does not. So, her stepping up on the virtual stand to testify in one of the most high-profile cases of modern times is quite a big deal, actually. 

As most people will already know, Johnny Depp and Kate Moss dated for four years from 1994 to 1997. Decades have passed, they each married other people, had children of their own and continued living their own separate lives… however, the couple’s former relationship has been called back into question as of late thanks to the ongoing defamation case between Depp and his ex-wife, Amber Heard. 

Depp is suing Heard for $50 million over an op-ed she wrote in the Washington Post, in which his lawyers say she falsely implies that he was physically and sexually abusive towards her during their relationship. His lawyers say the article defamed him even though he was never mentioned by name. Heard is countersuing Depp for $100 million. 

What we know

Scheduled to make an appearance via video link tomorrow, Wednesday, May 25, Moss is being called to the witness stand by Depp’s legal team… and it’s actually thanks to Heard herself that they can do so.

Discussing an incident between Depp and her sister, Whitney Henrique, Heard said that Henrique was near a staircase “in the line of fire”… which supposedly reminded her of another incident in which Depp allegedly pushed Moss down a flight of stairs.

“[Whitney’s] back was to the staircase, and Johnny swings at her. I don’t hesitate, I don’t wait – I just, in my head, instantly think of Kate Moss and stairs. And I swung at him,” Heard told the court. Depp’s legal team were visibly elated at the namedrop and could be seen fist-pumping and celebrating the moment during Heard’s testimony earlier this month – presumably because it gave them an opening to call the supermodel in as a witness to dispel the rumoured incident. 

According to The New York Post, Heard first made the Moss staircase allegation during her testimony at Depp’s previous defamation trial over in the UK two years ago. Describing the same fight involving her sister, Heard told the court, “I remembered information I had heard [that] he pushed a former girlfriend – I believe it was Kate Moss – down the stairs. I had heard this rumour from two people and it was fresh in my mind.”

Depp’s lawyers accused Heard of fabricating the Moss rumour and adding it in “out of spite”. Moss has never publicly addressed the rumour nor Heard’s claims that Depp pushed her down the stairs and as someone who tries to avoid public attention as much as possible, her involvement is a marked change in how she usually navigates such matters. 

Week six updates

The case headed into its sixth week on Monday with the seven-person jury hearing more about the infamous finger injury Depp allegedly sustained during a fight with Heard. According to Depp, the tip of his middle finger on his right hand was severed when Heard threw a bottle of vodka at him in Australia back in 2015.

However, Richard Moore, an orthopaedic surgeon, testified that it was unlikely the injury occurred in the manner in which Depp reported it did. After reviewing the medical records, Moore told the court that the wound was not consistent with Depp’s retelling of events – largely because Depp’s fingernail remained intact.

The jury also heard from David Spiegel, a psychiatrist who testified that Depp had “narcissistic traits” and behaviour that indicated he had a substance abuse disorder. Acknowledging that he did not personally examine Depp, Spiegel maintains that his opinions were valid as an expert witness. 

Proceedings continue in Fairfax County, Virginia this week with closing arguments due to take place on May 27, after which the jury will be left to deliberate a verdict.