The Depp-Heard trial has concluded its testimonies as the jury was given their instructions and is set to reconvene on Tuesday. They were given Monday off for Memorial Day weekend. Depp, Heard, and their attorneys made some damning and emotional closing statements and they’re leaving a lot to chew on for the next few days.
Heard broke into tears as she said her closing statement.
“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 that I’ve lived through, used to humiliate me. People want to kill me, and they tell me so, every day. People want to put my baby in the microwave, and they tell me that. I’m not sitting in this courtroom laughing, smiling, and making snide jokes, I’m not. This is horrible. This is painful. And this is humiliating for any human being to go through. And perhaps it’s easy to forget that, but I’m a human being. And even though Johnny promised that I deserved this and promised that he’d do this, I don’t deserve this. I want to move on.”
Heard had a baby, Oonagh Paige, via a surrogate mother in 2021. That is the baby whom she is claiming that people are threatening to murder.
She continued to speak about how she believes that Depp enlisted millions of people to smear her and then Depp’s attorneys objected. There was talk about how Heard has lost work with several companies both as a model and actress.
Conversely, Depp was smiling and calm as he said his final part. He spoke about receiving news about not going to their house to retrieve some belongings, such as child items and things given to him by other celebrities. He’d been sent a photo of feces in the bed and said that his initial reaction was to laugh.
“My initial response to that was… I mean, I laughed… it was so outside, it was so bizarre and so grotesque that I could only laugh… and so I did not go [home] that day.”
Depp’s attorneys have tried to turn the tables on Heard, claiming that she has fabricated evidence and has lied about everything.
One of Depp’s attorneys, Ms. Vasquez, said in her closing statement:
“There is an abuser in this courtroom. But it is not Mr. Depp. And there is a victim of domestic abuse in this courtroom, but it is not Ms. Heard… Mr. Depp experienced persistent verbal, physical, and emotional abuse by Ms. Heard, during their relationship. And when their relationship was over, Ms. Heard inflicted the greatest and cruelest injury of all. She publicly and falsely named Mr. Depp as the abuser.”
Interestingly, Heard’s attorney, Mr. Rottenborn, mentioned that Ms. Vasquez tried to say that verbal abuse is not abuse. Yet it was listed as a form of abuse when Vasquez painted Heard as the abuser.
Rottenborn made a plea for victims of domestic violence everywhere during his closing statement.
“Think about the message that Mr. Depp and his attorneys are sending to Amber and, by extension, to every victim of domestic abuser everywhere. ‘If you didn’t take pictures, it didn’t happen; if you did take pictures, they’re fake. If you didn’t tell your friends, you’re lying; and if you did tell your friends, they’re part of the hoax. If you didn’t seek medical treatment, you weren’t injured; if you did seek medical treatment, you’re crazy. If you do everything that you can to help your spouse, the person that you love, rid himself of the crushing drug and alcohol abuse that spins him into an abusive, rage-filled monster, you’re a nag.’
“And if finally decide that enough is enough. You’ve had enough of the fear, enough of the pain, and you have to leave to save yourself, you’re a gold digger. That is the message that Mr. Depp is asking you to send. But he doesn’t stop there. Because in Mr. Depp’s world, you don’t leave Mr. Depp. And if you do, he will start a campaign of global humiliation against you… He will do everything he can to destroy your life, to destroy your career.”
For anyone who needs to be caught up on the Depp-Heard trial: Amber Heard wrote an op-ed for Washington Post in 2018, in which she spoke about the repercussions of speaking about domestic violence. Her ex-husband, Johnny Depp, is suing Heard for $50 million, claiming that what she said in that op-ed was defamatory and ruined his career.
Heard counter-sued Depp for $100 million, claiming that a smear campaign ensued and, if anything, became worse over time. She, like Depp, claims that she has lost work and lost her valuable reputation.
To prove defamation, the plaintiff needs to prove the following:
“1) a false statement purporting to be fact; 2) publication or communication of that statement to a third person; 3) fault amounting to at least negligence; and 4) damages, or some harm caused to the person or entity who is the subject of the statement.”
In the Depp-Heard trial, both parties are public figures, which complicates the case. The other party needs to prove “actual malice,” basically with malicious intent.
The parts of Heard’s op-ed, titled “Opinion: Amber Heard: I spoke up against sexual violence—and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change,” which have been brought into question by Depp and his attorneys, are focused on the following two statements:
“…two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath.”
“I had the rare vantage point of seeing, in real time, how institutions protect men accused of abuse.”
Heard never mentioned Depp’s name in the article, but Depp and his attorneys have claimed that it was obvious and damaged his reputation. Heard and her attorneys have pointed out that she did not come up with the title of the article. Additionally, they say that this case is a matter of free speech, as Heard was trying to speak out about what happens to women in high-profile #MeToo cases.
We have no idea what will happen, but we can expect to see more tears and emotions. This case is so intense that fans of the two parties are lining up outside the courtroom overnight to be a part of the audience. More to come on Tuesday when the jury reconvenes for the emotional Depp-Heard trial.