Johnny Depp and Amber Heard arrive at the High Court as libel hearing continues
Johnny Depp’s multi-million defamation lawsuit against his former wife, Amber Heard, is continuing in Virginia with the cross-examination of the actor’s sister who also acted in part as his business manager.
He claims a 2018 article written by Heard in Washington Post – in which she spoke about domestic violence towards women – implied Depp, her former husband, was an abuser.
Although the 35-year-old did not name the actor, lawyers for Depp say Heard’s allegations have made it difficult for the 58-year-old to land roles he previously did.
Depp is known for starring in films such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Sweeney Todd and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Heard has appeared in titles including Aquaman and Drive Angry.
He is asking for $50m (£38.2m) in damages during the trial in Fairfax County’s district courthouse. Heard has meanwhile filed a counterclaim of defamation against Depp, who she divorced from in 2017, for nuisance.
Depp has previously lost a defamation case in the UK against British newspaperThe Sun regarding the claims in Heard’s 2018 article.
Depp and Heard arrive at courthouse
Oliver O’Connell13 April 2022 15:04
Depp’s sister to continue testimony
When court resumes this morning, the cross-examination of Christi Dembrowski, Depp’s sister, is set to continue.
Oliver O’Connell13 April 2022 14:57
Court resumes at 10am EST.
Stay tuned for rolling coverage throughout the day.
Oliver O’Connell13 April 2022 14:45
Depp ‘out to destroy’ Amber Heard, lawyer says
ICYMI: Amber Heard’s defense attorney claimed Johnny Depp would try to turn the defamation cause against his ex-wife into a “soap opera,” but warned that it was a distraction.
Ben Rottenborn, Ms Heard’s lawyer, said the case was about Ms Heard’s First Amendment rights to discuss her experiences, and argued that context matters and asked the jury to read the entire article by Ms Heard that she wrote for Washington Post – the article that resulted in the lawsuit – and not just the parts highlighted by Mr Depp.
He then read the article to the jury and asked why Mr Depp did not sue Washington Post as well as Ms Heard, claiming he wanted to “ruin her life, to destroy her”.
Graeme Massie13 April 2022 14:01
Johnny Depp’s sister says she knew actor was ‘drinking’ and using ‘pain medication’
ICYMI: Christi Dembrowski was then asked if she had ever reached “your own conclusion that your brother had a problem with drugs and alcohol?”
“I knew my brother was drinking,” she said. “But in terms of drugs, honestly, there was only one medication that I knew of that was an issue for him. I dont remember the name, it was a prescription pain medication that he had been taking for a long time,” she said.
Mr Rotternborn then said that February 2014 was not the first time she had contacted with Heard about Depp’s drug and alcohol use.
“Did you know that Mr Depp’s drug and alcohol problem was affecting his relationship with Ms Heard?” I have asked.
“I knew she would say that she had issues with him with drugs and alcohol,” she replied. “I knew she would write me about them, I knew she would try and talk about them, and say they were negatively impacting, I don’t know that it was the whole situation they had going on to be honest,” she replied.
The lawyer asked her if she had “never believed” Heard’s claims about Depp.
“I believe she exaggerated things quite a bit,” she said.
Heard’s lawyer then asked about a text message she had sent Heard in March 2013, in which she said she “was sad” about what they “were going through.”
Ms Dembrowski explained that in the message she had been trying to give her advice on how to speak to her brother,
“Amber, could be very, very vocal, and what I was trying to do, if they were having a conversation that as not going well, maybe if you have conversations when you are very loud it is confrontational and they should have an easy conversation ,” she said.
Her messaged read: “Disagreeing, reasoning, nudging can all seem like confrontations, I am not sure of the volume or when some is likely to wear off?”
Heard’s lawyer asked if she was talking about drugs and alcohol “wearing off?”
“I don’t know,” she said. “I am referring to the volume of voices. There was a certain way you learned to talk to Amber to try and keep things calm. You would pacify her, just go along with all her conversations with her, whatever, we would placate her all the time to keep things calm, that is what we did.
“Were you telling Ms Heard not to voice any concerns about her significant other’s drug concerns?” Mr Rottenborn asked.
“No, she was much more confrontational, always confrontational, and I was trying to say that all these things could be confrontational and to take it down a notch.”
Graeme Massie13 April 2022 13:03
Johnny Depp’s team react to explosive new sex assault allegations made in court
ICYMI: Explosive new allegations were made by Amber Heard about her ex-husband, Johnny Depp, during the opening arguments of his defamation trial.
Ms Heard’s attorney, Elaine Bredehoft, claimed that Depp sexually assaulted Ms Heard using a liquor bottle during a black-out drunk episode.
Depp was visibly skeptical as Ms Bredehoft made the claims, and shook his head “no” after her comments.
Now the actor’s team has issued a statement in response to the “erroneous” claims.
“These fictitious claims were never made at the onset of Amber’s allegations in 2016, and only advantageously surfaced years later eleven she was sued for defamation after noting in her op-ed that she was a victim of ‘sexual violence.’ Words are key in a defamation case and conveniently, this allegation only came after that. This follows a pattern of her elaborate, erroneous claims which have continued to change and evolve over time for the purpose of Hollywood shock value of which Amber has mastered and used to exploit a serious social movement.” a spokesperson for Depp told The Independent.
Graeme Massie13 April 2022 11:05
Heard says in statement: ‘I continue to pay the price’
ICYMI: In a statement on Saturday, Heard said she was continuing “to pay the price” for being a woman “speaking out against men in power” and that she was dissapointed her and Depp’s life would again play out in front of a court.
“I never named him,” said Heard on Saturday. “Rather, I wrote about the price women pay for speaking out against men in power.”
“I continue to pay the price, but hopefully when this case concludes, I can move on and so can Johnny,” she added of her former husband, who she said she has “always maintained a love for.”
Heard’s lawyers will likely argue that she is “immune” from liability during the trial because her opinion article in Washington Post was a matter of public concern.
The article, which was published in 2018, was titled: I spoke up against sexual violence – and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change. It did not name her ex-husband.
Graeme Massie13 April 2022 10:11
Johnny Depp’s sister says Amber Heard called him ‘old and fat’ and his family was ‘devastated’ with the marriage
ICYMI: Johnny Depp’s sister says Amber Heard called him “old and fat” and that the actor’s family was “devastated” at his marriage to her.
Christi Dembrowski made the claims as she took the stand as the first witness in the multi-million dollar defamation trial in Virginia, in which Depp claims that a 2018 article on domestic violence she wrote for Washington Post implied he was an abuser.
Graeme Massie13 April 2022 09:01
Legal dispute was focus of TV documentary last year
ICYMI: The high-profile legal disagreement between Depp and Heard was depicted in a TV documentary series last year on Discovery Plus, which sought to reveal the reasons behind the pair’s two “polarized perspectives”.
The programme- Johnny vs. Amber – was also billed as the story “of the breakdown” of Depp and Heard’s relationship, including “how it tipped into the celebrity court case of the decade”.
Graeme Massie13 April 2022 08:20
ICYMI: Bredehoft alleges Depp wrote “terrible things” on lampshades, mirrors, and countertops and lists extensive allegations of physical abuse and drug-taking.
Marilyn Manson has been mentioned twice as someone Depp associated with.
In a particularly shocking moment, Bredehoft says that Depp penetrated Heard with a liquor bottle.
Behind her Depp appears to shake his head as if to say “no”.
The graphic nature of the opening statement documenting several alleged incidents of abuse is purportedly backed up with photographic and documentary evidence.
Graeme Massie13 April 2022 07:01