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Johnny Depp's contentious legal battle against Amber Heard has come to an end, at least for now, after the jury reached a verdict after approximately 14 hours of deliberations over the course of three days. The jury on Wednesday decided in unanimous fashion that Depp was defamed by Heard and that she "acted with actual malice."
The defamation lawsuit, which was first filed in 2019, kicked off on April 11, with opening statements the following day that set the tone for the tumultuous courtroom battle that was about to commence. Depp's lawyers alleged that Heard was fabricating claims to cast her ex-husband in a bad light, and Heard's lawyers accused Depp of sexual violence during their marriage -- among other claims.
The lawsuit itself kicked off nearly six years after Heard first filed for divorce from Depp, on May 25, 2016, after 15 months of marriage, citing irreconcilable differences. Days later, Heard was granted a temporary restraining order against Depp after an incident in which Heard claimed Depp physically attacked her, which Depp has long denied.
Jury reaches verdict
In the end, the jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. Depp's punitive damages, however, were reduced by Judge Penney Azcarate to $350,000 in accordance with the state's statutory cap.
Heard, for her part, was awarded $2 million by the jury in compensatory damages for her counterclaim but nothing in punitive damages. The jury found Depp liable after his attorney referred to Heard's claims as a "hoax." It's unclear if Heard will file an appeal.
After the verdict was announced, Heard shared a lengthy statement saying she was "heartbroken" over the jury's decision. Depp, who was in the U.K. when the verdict was announced, also released a lengthy statement, saying he was "humbled" by the verdict.
After the verdict was announced, Heard was seen walking out of the courthouse with her sister, Whitney, and they both got into a waiting pickup truck without addressing reporters. Meanwhile, Depp's lawyers -- Camille Vasquez and Ben Chew -- were met with cheers as they exited the courthouse. They also each gave a brief statement but answered no questions from reporters.
"Today's verdict confirms what we have said from the beginning -- that the claims against Johnny Depp are defamatory and unsupported by any evidence," Vasquez said. "We are grateful, so grateful, for the jury and for their careful consideration."
Chew followed Vasquez and said, "Our judicial system is predicated on each person's right to have his or her case heard and we were honored, truly honored, to assist Mr. Depp in ensuring that his case was fairly considered throughout the trial," he said. "We were also most pleased that the trial has resonated for so many people and the public who value truth and justice. Now that the jury has reached its conclusive verdict, it's time to turn the page and look to the future."
No verdict yet
The jury concluded deliberations Friday after only two hours. They'll pick things up again on Tuesday at 9 a.m. ET.
Jury begins deliberating
The judge designated jurors No. 3 and 14 as alternates, and she instructed them not to discuss the case with anyone while the jury deliberated.
The judge said the jury deliberate for as long as they want and break when they so choose to, but warned them no dinner will be served. The judge said it's up to them when they want to retire for the night. If the jury doesn't reach a verdict Friday, they'll resume deliberations on Tuesday, as Monday is a holiday.
One last shot
Each legal team has delivered their closing arguments. Depp's lawyer, Camille Vasquez, went first and urged the jury to give Depp his life back by telling the world he is not the abuser. Vasquez also referred to Heard as a "deeply, troubled person" who is desperate for attention and approval.
Another one of Depp's attorney, Ben Chew, also gave his closing argument and said, "This is 'Me Too' without any Me Too.'" Chew later said Depp is the "Titanic" and Heard is the "iceberg" that sunk him. Chew added that before Heard, no woman ever claimed Depp raised a hand to her in his 58 years. He also brought up Kate Moss, saying that though she's a very private person, she came forward and testified that Depp did not attack her.
Heard's attorney, Benjamin Rottenborn, came next to deliver his closing argument and said Depp's damage to his career is a self-inflicted wound. Elaine Bredehoft then delivered her closing argument, saying Depp has not taken responsibility for his alleged actions.
During rebuttal closing arguments, Vasquez continued her attack on Heard saying, "She lied six years ago on May 27th, 2016. She lied again when she told the world over and over again. She’s come too far, she can’t back down. She lied too many times, to too many people."
Vasquez also said the actress alienated her friends and it showed during the trial.
"You may have noticed that no one else showed up for her other than her sister. Only people who were paid," Vasquez said.
Rottenborn then offered his rebuttal closing argument, telling the jury, "It's simple. If you believe Depp was abusive to Amber one time ever, then your job is very easy."
Meanwhile Judge Penney Azcarate granted Heard's request that the court seal the identities of the nine jurors for one year. The identity of the jurors -- comprised of six men and three women -- will be sealed "due to the high profile nature of this case."
Closing arguments set to begin
The trial is in its sixth and final week, with Heard and Depp's legal teams having now rested their cases. Closing arguments are set to begin Friday, May 27. The judge said jury deliberations may begin Friday afternoon. If a verdict is not reached Friday, deliberations would continue Tuesday after the Memorial Day holiday.
"People want to put my baby in the microwave"
Heard returned to the witness stand one last time on May 26 and emotionally detailed the toll this case has taken on her, claiming it's been emotionally exhausting even showing up to the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia.
"Even just walking into this courtroom, sitting here in front of the world, having the worst parts of my life used to humiliate me," Heard claimed. "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. Johnny threatened, promised me that if I ever left him, he'd make me think of him every single day I lived." Back in July 2021, the actress revealed she welcomed a baby girl, Oonagh Paige Heard, via surrogate.
Heard claimed the legal drama she's embroiled in has also affected her professionally.
"I would not wish this situation on my worst enemy," she said. "As I stand here today, I can't have a career, I can't have people associate with me and I can't do charity work."
Depp returns to the witness stand
The actor returned to the witness stand on May 25 and claimed Heard's abuse claims are "outlandish" and outrageous." Depp vehemently denied the domestic violence accusations leveled against him after the Aquaman actress took the stand earlier this month and claimed the Pirates of the Caribbean star flew into a violent rage -- allegedly fueled by alcohol and drugs -- on many occasions. He was adamant that he told the truth during the entire trial.
"I have never in my life committed sexual battery, physical abuse. All these outlandish, outrageous stories of me committing these things and living with it for six years and waiting to be able to bring the truth out," Depp said. "So, this is not easy for any of us. I know that. No matter what happens, I did get here and I did tell the truth. And I have spoken up for what I've been carrying on my back reluctantly for six years."
Depp claimed it was actually Heard who hit him on multiple occasions. In one such instance, Depp claimed Heard caused his black eye while they were on their honeymoon and on the Orient Express.
"I had a sort of shiner, but it all ended and everything got fine again," Depp testified. When asked how he received the bruise, Depp responded, "Miss Heard hit me."
Depp was also asked about the incident in Australia in March 2015, where the actor allegedly had the tip of his finger sliced off. Heard claimed earlier in the trial she thought Depp suffered the injury while he was smashing a phone to "smithereens."
The actor, however, maintained that the tip of his finger was severed after Heard allegedly hurled a glass bottle of vodka at him. The actor testified, "I told him [Depp's doctor] that she had thrown a bottle of vodka and smashed and cut my finger off. The tip of my finger. A good chunk. I miss it."
Momoa-Heard chemistry on 'Aquaman' had to be fabricated, exec testified
Walter Hamada, President of DC-based film productions for Warner Bros., said that, in pre-production for the second film, which is due out next year, there was a weeks-long period where the studio considered recasting Heard's role. Hamada, whose previously recorded deposition was played in court and served as a rebuttal against one of Heard's team's claims, said the studio considered recasting Heard not due to comments from Depp or his team, but rather, "It was all concerns about whether she was the right bit of casting for the movie."
"It was the concerns that were brought up at the wrap of the first movie, production of the first movie, which was the issue of chemistry. Did the two have chemistry?" Hamada testified. "I think editorially they were able to make that relationship work in the first movie, but there was a concern that it took a lot of effort to get there. Would we be better off recasting, finding someone who had more natural chemistry with Jason Momoa and move forward that way?"
Jason Momoa fought to keep Heard in Aquaman 2, industry expert testified
Industry expert Kathryn Arnold testified in court that Heard suffered significant career damage after Depp's lawyer, Adam Waldman, called Heard's claims of abuse a "hoax."
Heard was paid $1 million for the first film, and was set to be paid $2 million for the second. Arnold claimed that Heard's salary for the second Aquaman movie could have been higher if not for the statements made by Waldman, and she has not been involved in the promotion for the new film -- which ultimately hurts her career as well.
By contrast, Arnold claimed Momoa was able to renegotiate his salary for the second film to $15 million, up from $3 million which he got for the first, but Heard never got a similar opportunity for that sort of financial bump. Additionally, Arnold claimed that Momoa and director James Wan fought with the studio to keep Heard on board.
Kate Moss briefly testifies
The 48-year-old model appeared via video link as a rebuttal witness for Depp's team after Heard brought up Moss' name during her court testimony earlier this month.
Moss, who appeared from Gloucester, England, via video, denied any allegation that Depp pushed her down stairs during the course of their relationship, specifically, during a stay with the actor at the GoldenEye resort in Jamaica. When asked what happened, the model testified that she fell after a rainstorm and hurt her back.
"We were leaving the room and Johnny left the room before I did and there had been a rainstorm and as I left the room," Moss said. "I slid down the stairs and I hurt my back. And I screamed because I didn't know what had happened to me and I was in pain and he came running back to help me and carried me to my room and brought me medical attention."
Moss, who dated Deep for four years in the '90s, was brought up after Heard mentioned her during an alleged 2015 altercation between Heard's sister, Whitney Henriquez, and Depp.
Depp's psychiatrist testifies
The actor's psychiatrist testified that the actor had a substance abuse issue and had expressed feelings of anger toward Heard.
Dr. Alan Blaustein, who testified virtually, claimed that Depp had issues with marijuana, alcohol and opiates. He also alleged that Depp suffered from anxiety and claimed that Depp turned to drugs to combat psychological issues he was facing -- later adding that at one point, he questioned if the actor had bipolar disorder.
"Certainly his drug use and his turning to drugs to help relieve lot of the psychic pain he was facing," Blaustein said of the behaviors Depp acknowledged that he wanted to change, before adding that the actor also "expressed having issues with anger."
"Part of his goal of therapy was to work through the anger that he and his fiancée had toward each other," he added.
Blaustein said he couldn't recall why Depp had anger towards Heard but acknowledged that there was a level of anger present towards the actress.
"I can recall now he expressed feelings of jealousy," Blaustein added, but said there was no talk of affairs, something Heard testified about earlier in the trial.
Blaustein saw Depp on 18 different occasions between October 2014 and January 2015.
Ellen Barkin takes the stand
Depp's ex-girlfriend was called to testify on Heard's behalf and, in the deposition recorded on Nov. 22, 2019, Barkin labeled the actor as "jealous" and "controlling."
During their brief "sexual" relationship, Barkin claimed Depp "was drunk a lot of the time" and that he consumed "hallucinogenics, cocaine, marijuana."
"He was just a jealous man, controlling," Barkin claimed. "Controlling. Asking me, 'Where are you going? Who are you meeting with?'"
Barkin detailed an alleged incident that sent Depp into a rage.
"I had a scratch on my back once and he got very, very, angry," she alleged. "He insisted it came from me having sex with a person who wasn't him during that time. She also claimed the actor threw a bottle of wine in her direction during one of Depp's alleged blowout fights.
Heard's sister takes the witness stand
Heard's sister, Whitney Henriquez, testified on Wednesday and claimed she witnessed Depp not only attack Heard but also her as well. She claimed this alleged fight that turned violent went down at one of Depp's penthouses in March 2015. Henriquez, who was living in one of the many connecting penthouses owned by Depp, said she was woken up in the middle of the night after Heard stormed into her room fuming after learning Depp had allegedly cheated on her.
"Can you believe he's cheating on me?" Henriquez claimed Heard told her that night. "Your f**king brother is cheating on me." Henriquez has previously said she referred to Depp as her brother.
Henriquez claimed things turned violent after Heard and Depp traded insults, with Depp rushing up the stairs and initially hitting Heard's sister before unleashing a violent attack on Heard.
"Johnny runs up the stairs. I'm facing Amber and he comes up from behind me, strikes me in the back," Henriquez alleged. "I hear Amber shout, 'Don't hit my f**king sister.' She smacks him, lands one."
Henriquez claimed Depp grabbed Heard "by the hair with one hand and was whacking her repeatedly" with the other hand. The sisters, Henriquez claimed, then locked themselves in a bedroom. She claimed Depp continued shouting, "I f**king hate you. Hate you both. F**king c**ts, f**king whores." Henriquez claimed Depp kept "screaming like an animal."
The next day, Henriquez claimed Heard's closet had been completely destroyed and racks were overturned and tossed down the stairs. The jury was then shown a photo showing a rack of clothes tossed on the floor.
Melanie Inglessis, Heard's professional makeup artist, also testified via a recorded deposition. She claimed that, for an appearance on The Late Late Show with James Corden in December 2015, Inglessis "covered the discoloration, the bruises, with slightly heavier concealer." Heard had also previously testified about this claim when she took the stand.
Raquel Pennington, also a former friend of the ex-couple, sat for a deposition and that taped video was played in court. She said she was in attendance when Heard was getting ready for The Late Late Show, and claimed she saw "injuries on her body." Pennington also claimed Depp admitted to her that he was "a f**k up."
"My understanding was that he was sorry and apologetic for his behavior," Pennington claimed. "Verbal arguments. Physical arguments. What he made clear to me in our conversations is that he was very sorry and that he was working to get clean and get better and that he was asking for forgiveness and trying to think that he was going to get better." Pennington added that she did see Depp get better "a lot of times" but never saw him get better permanently.
Heard dismissed from the witness stand
Depp's defense attorney, Camille Vasquez, brutally cross-examined the actress and questioned her honesty, particularly about details during an alleged fight with the actor while in Australia in March 2015.
Vasquez wanted to know from Heard why she never got medical attention after she allegedly slipping on broken glass while being barefoot during the alleged fight with Depp. Heard had previously claimed Depp threw a bottle of liquor at her, threatened to carve up her face and allegedly penetrated her with it.
During that alleged fight, Heard had also claimed Depp smashed a phone to "smithereens." But Vasquez said no phones were shown smashed in pictures taken of the scene.
“I was expressing frustration about his criticism of my carer and how many problems that caused within the dynamic of our relationship," Heard explained. Vasquez asked her if she called him a sellout and a joke.
"I called him horrible, ugly things," she said. "We spoke to each other in a really horrible way." Vasquez then reiterated that Heard called him a "washed up piece of s**t," to which Heard responded with, "I think we both called each other that on that occasion, yes."
During cross-examination, Heard also denied Depp got her the role in Aquaman after Vasquez point-blank asked her, "Mr. Depp got you that role in Aquaman didn't he?"
Heard responded, saying, "Excuse me?" prompting Vasquez to repeat the question.
"No, Ms. Vasquez. I got myself that role by auditioning. That's how that works," Heard shot back.
Heard had also testified that she "fought really hard to stay in the movie" after "the communication stopped" between her and Warner Bros. after Depp's attorney called Heard's abuse claims in a Washington Post op-ed a "hoax." That op-ed resulted in Depp filing a $50 million defamation lawsuit against Heard.
Heard testified that they "didn't want to include me in the film," and though she ultimately remained in the sequel, she claimed it was a "very pared-down version of that role."
"I was given a script, and then given new versions of the script that had taken away scenes that had action in it that depicted my character and another character -- without giving any spoilers away -- you know, there's two characters fighting with one another. They basically took a bunch out of my role. They didn't, yeah, they just removed a bunch out," she claimed.
Heard had also testified that her sister, Whitney, taught Depp how to use tampon applicator to snort cocaine. She also denied defecating on Depp's bed in 2016, and instead blamed it on their dog.
When she was finally dismissed from the witness stand, Heard exited the courtroom while Depp was all smiles while giving Vasquez a hug.
Heard takes the witness stand
The 36-year-old actress made a number of damming allegations against the actor on Wednesday, May 4, including claims that Depp physically assaulted her on a number of occasions and that he allegedly performed a cavity search on her.
Heard got emotional recalling the first time she claimed Depp slapped her after asking him about a tattoo on his arm, which she said "looked like a muddled, faded tattoo." Heard said when she asked him what the tattoo said, Depp responded with "Wino forever."
Heard recalled laughing because she thought Depp was joking, and that's when she claims he slapped her across the face.
"And I laughed," she said, growing emotional. "I laughed because I didn't know what else to do. I thought this must be a joke. I just stared at him kind of laughing still, thinking that he was going to start laughing too to tell me it was a joke, but he didn’t. He said, 'You think it’s so funny. You think you’re a funny b**ch,' and he slapped me again." It's unclear when this alleged incident happened, but Heard would go on to offer more details about other alleged incidents.
She claimed in May 2013, Depp flew into a rage after accusing her of cheating on him and stealing his cocaine while on a trip to a California desert.
"He ripped my dress, the top part of my dress," she alleged. "I had just dyed this thing pink. He's grabbing my breasts, he’s touching my thighs, he rips my underwear off." It's at this point during her testimony that Heard began choking back tears.
"He proceeds to do a cavity search," she claimed. "He said he was looking for his drugs, his cocaine, his coke. I was wondering how I, somebody who didn’t do cocaine and was against it, that was in and of itself causing problems in the relationship. He was insinuating [I was hiding it]. He was telling me, 'We are going to conduct a cavity search.' Like, just shoved his fingers inside me. I just stood there staring at the stupid light. I didn’t know what to do. I just stood there. While he did that. He twisted his fingers around. I didn’t say stop or anything."
Heard also recalled a July 2013 incident in which she claimed Depp threatened he could "kill" her after she claimed he grew furious for "telling on him" to his kids that he had fallen off the wagon and started drinking again.
The incident's alleged to have happened on a trip to the Bahamas with Depp's two children -- Lily-Rose and Jack. According to Heard, the actor had fallen off the wagon and was hiding his drinking by pouring alcohol in coffee cups. She claimed his behavior became erratic, to the point it upset Lily-Rose, who became "panicky."
"I'm holding her and comforting her," Heard recalled. "Johnny comes in and within a few seconds I realize that he shifted his attention on me and then he seemed very angry. He asked Lily-Rose to leave. Lily-Rose leaves, looks at me crying. And Johnny starts accusing me of kind of telling on him and calling him a drunk in front of his kids."
Heard then claimed Depp turned violent.
"He slams me up against the side wall -- we were in the bedroom this whole time -- up against the wall of the cabin and slams me up by my neck," she recalled. "And holds me there for a second and tells me he could f***ing kill me and that I was an embarrassment."
Psychologist: Depp allegedly penetrated Heard with bottle
Dr. Dawn Hughes, a clinical and forensic psychologist hired by Heard's legal team, testified on Tuesday, May 3 that she diagnosed Heard with post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, as a result of alleged "intimate partner violence" that she suffered at the hands of Depp.
Dr. Hughes said she ultimately arrived at a few expert opinions, including that "intimate partner violence" occurred after Depp's alleged to have "pushed, shoved, slapped, choked and kicked" Heard as well as "slammed her into a wall," causing the actress to sustain injuries that ranged from "bruising" and "pain" to some "cuts" and a "loss of consciousnesses." She also described some of Heard's sexual assault allegations against Depp, including that at one time, he allegedly penetrated her with a liquor bottle.
Dr. Hughes testimony came after Dr. Shannon Curry, a clinical and forensics psychologist hired by Depp's legal team, diagnosed Heard with borderline personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder.
As for the PTSD claim, Dr. Curry said that she did not believe that Heard has PTSD as both the actress and Dr. Hughes have claimed.
"Ms. Heard did not have PTSD," Dr. Curry said, "and there were also pretty significant indications that she was grossly exaggerating symptoms of PTSD when asked about them."
Heard's Motion to Dismiss the Lawsuit Is Denied
On Tuesday, May 3, Depp's team called their final witness, forensic accountant Michael Spindler, who testified that Heard's 2018 op-ed led the actor to suffer "lost earnings of approximately $40 million." Heard's lawyers, however, argued that the monetary loss was not on their client, but rather due to Depp's films' "worsening performance at the box office," among other factors.
Following Spindler's testimony, Heard's lawyers filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that Depp’s team did not present enough evidence to justify their case. They also argued that the actress should be awarded a summary judgment.
Depp's attorney argued that they had presented enough evidence, citing audio recordings of alleged arguments between the former couple, witness testimony that claimed Heard had physically abused the actor, and more.
Judge Penney Azcarate sided with Depp's team, noting, "If there is a scintilla of evidence that a reasonable juror could weigh, then the matter survives a motion to strike."
Following the court's decision, a spokesperson for Depp reacted to the news in a statement to ET.
"Over the last 3.5 weeks, we’ve seen and heard from nearly 30 witnesses who have attested to and supported Mr. Depp’s claims that Ms. Heard defamed him in her 2018 op-ed," the statement read. "Ms. Heard’s reckless op-ed in turn caused him to lose a $22.5 million deal with Disney for Pirates of the Caribbean 6, resulting in an overall loss of earnings of over $40 million since December 18, 2018."
"Numerous witnesses have testified that Ms. Heard engaged in psychological, verbal and physical abuse towards Mr. Depp and we are pleased at Chief Judge Azcarate’s ruling to continue with the trial after Mr. Rottenborn failed to convince the court that there was reason to dismiss the case," the statement continued. "We stand confident in the future of the case and for the truth to be continued to be shared."
With Depp's $50 million defamation lawsuit in full swing, ET is breaking down what sparked the suit, and what has surfaced so far over the course of the courtroom battle.
The Beginning -- The Basis for The Lawsuit
Depp first filed his defamation lawsuit against Heard in March 2019, in response to an op-ed Heard wrote for the Washington Post in December 2018 about being the victim of domestic violence. The article itself did not mention Depp by name, however, their contentious 2016 divorce had been in the news over the previous two years.
In the suit, Depp claims that Heard's allegations of abuse against him were an "elaborate hoax." Depp alleges the op-ed caused damage to his career. He says he was dropped from Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean franchise four days after the op-ed was published.
Though Heard never mentioned Depp by name in the article, the suit claims that the piece "depends on the central premise that Ms. Heard was a domestic abuse victim and that Mr. Depp perpetrated domestic violence against her." While Depp originally filed in 2019, the subsequent coronavirus pandemic pushed the case back significantly.
The Opening Statements
In the opening statements, which were broadcast on CourtTV, Heard's lawyer, Ben Rottenborn, claimed that Heard suffered abuse that "took many forms," including physical, emotional and psychological.
The headline for the online version of Heard's op-ed read "Amber Heard: I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture's wrath. That has to change." Rottenborn claimed that Heard did not write the headline herself, nor was she given final approval for it. However, the attorney alleged of the headline, "Tragically, it's true."
"Amber did suffer sexual violence at the hands of Depp," Rottenborn claimed. "You will hear in the most graphic and horrifying terms about the violence that she suffered. You'll hear that straight from her. She will get on the stand and she will tell you that it happened."
Depp's rep refuted the claims in a statement to ET, sharing, "These fictitious claims were never made at the onset of Amber’s allegations in 2016, and only advantageously surfaced years later once 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."
In her opening statement, Depp's attorney, Camille Vasquez, reiterated the allegation that Heard fabricated her claims to elevate her own career and notoriety amid the height of the #MeToo Movement.
Depp's Sister Is the First to Testify
The actor's sister -- and personal manager -- Christi Dembrowski was the first person to take the stand to refute Heard's claims that Depp was abusive. According to Dembrowski, she witnessed Depp being physically abused and hurt by their mother, and claimed that Depp swore to never perpetrate that sort of violence. She also claimed that she'd not seen a reason to believe that Depp struggled with drugs or alcohol abuse.
However, on cross-examination, Dembrowski struggled to reconcile her defense of Depp's mental health with text messages she sent in which she expressed concern over his use of pain pills. One text, sent to Heard, read, "I love him so much but he needs help." Dembrowski claimed that was specifically in connection to his dependence on pain medication.
Dembrowski also claimed that Heard once called Depp, while married, “an old, fat man," Dembrowski claims that Heard got mad when Depp was offered advertising work for Dior, and allegedly told the actor, "They’re about class and style and you don’t have style."
Depp's Longtime Friend Isaac Baruch Defends the Actor in Emotional Testimony
Depp's longtime friend and neighbor Isaac Baruch took the stand on April 13, and claimed that he'd only ever seen the couple in two arguments -- once in person and once over the phone. Baruch claimed that Heard had told him once that Depp had thrown a phone and struck her in the face, but Baruch stated that he did not see any visible marks on Heard's face when he saw her the day after the alleged altercation.
Baruch also claims to have seen a security camera video of Heard practicing getting hit by a fake punch thrown by her sister while in the elevator at the building here Depp and Heard lived. Depp's lawyers have claimed this video shows Heard practicing for a real punch in the future as part of her alleged efforts to fabricate evidence of abuse.
Baruch got emotional as he defended his longtime friend and chastised Heard, stating, "His family has been completely wrecked by all of this stuff, and it’s not fair. It’s not right, what she did ... It’s insane."
However, Baruch -- who has known Depp since the 1980s and previously worked as the manager of Depp's nightclub, The Viper Room -- confirmed that he received profane texts from Depp regarding his ex in 2016, including one in which the actor said he hoped Heard's “rotting corpse is decomposing in the f**king trunk of a Honda Civic." Another text read, "That c*** ruined such a f**king cool life we had for a while."
Heard's Former Personal Assistant Claims She Was Verbally Abusive as a Boss
Day four of the trial, on April 14, saw Kate James, Heard's former personal assistant paint a rather negative picture of her ex-employer. James' testimony was part of a taped deposition that was played for the jury. She claimed that she never saw any evidence that Heard was abused or hurt by Depp, and that she was around nearly constantly as Heard's assistant.
She claimed that she was initially paid $25 per hour to be Heard's assistant -- a job she had from 2012 to 2015 -- and that her salary was raised to $50,000 per year, but only after Heard allegedly "screamed abuses" at her when she asked for a raise.
James claims that Heard was a "dramatic" person in general, and had seen the actress fly into a "blind rage." In contrast, she described Depp, upon her first meeting him, as "shy, peaceful, quiet" and said he behaved like "a total Southern Gentleman."
James further alleged that Heard once spit in her face while discussing the possibility of a raise, and claimed that Heard would have something akin to "manic episodes," allegedly calling James and texting incoherently at odd hours of the night. James claimed that Heard treated her own sister "like a dog that you kicked," and said she was once told by Heard's mother that she was "terrified" of her daughter.
Former Marriage Counselor Says Both Parties Were Aggressive
Laurel Anderson, a marriage counselor who saw the former couple for four sessions, took the stage on day four and shared her accounting of what she claims to have seen from the pair over the short time she worked with them.
Anderson said -- in a deposition taped in February and played in court on April 14 -- that the two engaged in "mutual abuse," where Heard would often initiate conflict, or respond to perceived insults or provocation by fighting. Anderson claimed that Depp would often try to deescalate fights and attempt to leave the situation, but Heard would amp up the argument.
"If [Depp] was going to leave her to deescalate the fight, she would strike him to keep him there," Anderson claimed. She also stated, "I think [Depp] may have initiated it on occasions too. That I am less sure on."
The Chef and the Finger Tip
Depp's personal doctor, Dr. David Kipper, and Depp's nurse, Debbie Lloyd, appeared in video depositions as court returned on Monday, where they testified about a 2015 incident in which the tip of Depp's middle finger was sliced off.
Lloyd said that she'd been told several different stories about how the incident happened -- including one account that claimed Heard threw a vodka bottle at Depp, which shattered on his hand and sliced his finger to the bone.
However, Kipper states that Depp himself took the blame for the incident. Depp and Heard were in Australia at the time, and Kipper testified that he and Lloyd had traveled with them to care for Depp as he struggled with addiction issues. Depp texted Kipper the night of the severing, and wrote "I cut the top of my middle finger off. What should I do? Except of course go to a hospital."
Kipper testified that he treated Depp's wounds and eventually took him to an emergency room. Kipper stated that, after a search, a chef on the premises found the tip of Depp's finger on the floor of the kitchen and it was successfully reattached.
Kipper also testified that, eventually, Heard also became his patient, and that he never saw any instances of physical abuse, nor did either party ever seek treatment for injuries that would have likely stemmed from domestic violence.
Depp Takes the Stand
The actor took the stand on April 19, and said that the allegations of abuse leveled against him "were not based in any species of truth."
"It was a complete shock," he said. "It just didn't need to go in that direction as nothing of the kind had ever happened. In the relationship, there were arguments and things of that nature, but never did I myself reach the point of striking Ms. Heard in any way, nor have I ever struck any woman in my life."
"The news of her accusations had sort of permeated the industry and then made its way through media and social media became quite a global, let's say, 'fact,' if you will," Depp testified. "Since I knew that there was no truth to it whatsoever, I felt it my responsibility to stand up, not only for myself in that instance, but stand up for my children."
"It's been six years of trying times for me. Strange when one day you're Cinderella so to speak and then in 0.6 seconds you're Quasimodo. I didn't deserve that, nor did my children, nor did the people who've believed in me all these years," he said. "I didn't want those people to believe that I had done the wrong or lied to them or was a fraud. I pride myself on honesty. I pride myself on truth. Truth is the only thing I'm interested in. Lies will get you nowhere."
Depp also discussed the beginning of his relationship with Heard, whom he met on the set of their 2011 film, The Rum Diary. Apart from one on-set kiss, Depp said his and Heard's relationship didn't start until the movie's promotional tour years later.
"She seemed to be the perfect partner, in a sense, for me," he said of Heard, adding that, at first, "it was as if she was too good to be true."
"She was attentive, she was loving, she was smart, she was kind, she was funny, she was understanding. We had many things in common... music, literature, things of that nature. For that year or year and a half, it was amazing," he said. "There were a couple of things that stuck in my head that I noticed might be a little bit of a dilemma at some point... Within a year or year and a half, she had become another person almost."
Depp Claims Heard Was Abusive and He Thought She Was a Danger to Herself
Depp took the stand for his second day of testimony on April 20, and elaborated on his claims that Heard's personality seemed to change after getting married, telling the court, "I was suddenly just wrong about everything... and Ms. Heard was unable to be wrong."
"You start to slowly realize that you are in a relationship with your mother," he said, claiming that Heard "commenced with demeaning name calling... and that would escalate into a full-scale argument."
According to Depp, the finger slicing incident was a result of Heard throwing two glass vodka bottles at him, but that he took the blame for the injury, alleging that he didn't "want to get her in trouble." Depp claimed, "I tried to just keep things as copacetic and easy as possible for everyone. I did not want to put her name in that mix."
Depp claimed that when he and Heard had disagreements, he would "constantly" lock himself in the bathroom to remove himself from the situation. Depp alleged that Heard "has a need for conflict. She has a need for violence. It erupts out of nowhere."
"I wanted to try to make it work," Depp said, addressing why he stayed in the relationship despite the alleged conflicts and fights. "I thought maybe I could help her. I thought maybe I could bring her around, because the Amber Heard that I knew for the first year, year and a half was not this opponent."
Depp also said that he decided to stay in the relationship, because, he claimed, he feared Heard would hurt herself if he left.
"I remember very well that when my father left and my mother, Betty Sue, first attempted suicide, that I woke up to and that visual in my head, that was a direct result of my father's leaving," Depp said, claiming, "Ms. Heard had spoken of suicide on a couple of occasions, so that also becomes a factor."
"That's also something that always lives in the back of your brain and that you fear. Because when I would leave sometimes... she would stop me at the elevator with the security guards crying and screaming, 'I can't live without you. I'm going to die.' But you had to get out," Depp testified.
Depp Is Cross-Examined
On April 21, Depp's testimony continued, as he was cross-examined by Rottenborn, Heard's lawyer. Depp was asked in court about text messages he sent to Paul Bettany, in which their past drug used was discussed and negative comments about Heard were made.
Additionally, Depp was questioned about texts in which he referenced Marilyn Manson. Other texts messages, including some between Depp and his assistants, as well as the actor and Heard's family members, were also discussed.
In June 2013, Depp, who starred alongside Bettany in several films and said he did drugs with the actor "at times," texted Bettany about killing Heard.
"Let's burn Amber!!! Let's drown her before we burn her!!! I will f**k her her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure she is dead," Depp texted Bettany.
As for Manson, Depp testified, "We drank together. We've had cocaine together maybe a couple of times."
When asked if he'd ever taken pills with Manson, Depp testified, "I once gave Marilyn Manson a pill so that he would stop talking so much."
After a back-and-forth about the length of Depp's sobriety, Rottenborn alleged that text messages from 2015 show that Depp tried to get pills from Manson's assistant.
At the time, Depp texted one of his assistants, "I do believe that Ryan (Munson’s), gave you a wee baggage for me??? Where does it reside???" The actor confirmed that "Munson" was a nickname for Manson.
Depp Is Questioned About Allegedly Controlling Heard's Career
During his April 25 testimony, Depp was shown a 2013 text message exchange between himself and Heard, in which she told him she was at a coffee meeting.
"NO F**KING MEETINGS!!! NO MOVIES!!! Why??? Why do you deviate from our agreement???" Depp responded. "What species of meeting??? F**k it. Just tell me when you get home."
Heard's lawyer referenced the texts in an effort to claim that Depp wanted to control the actress' career, an allegation the actor called "absolutely not true."
"We had an agreement to do something together," he said. "... This is not necessarily an angry text, it's just [asking,] 'Why do you deviate from our agreement?'"
"It's not about her doing films. How do you think she got Aquaman?" Depp added, referencing Heard's 2018 film.
Depp went one step further, claiming that, not only was he not against Heard's career, but that she had turned to him for advice about it.
"She wanted to be able to escape the chains of being objectified by the Hollywood system, which is a difficult thing for any woman, certainly unfortunately. But she asked me, 'How can I avoid being stereotyped as the beautiful blonde who gets her breasts out or goes naked?'" Depp testified. "... I gave her my advice on it, on how to avoid it, which I thought was pretty accurate. Her ambition was stronger than what she received from my advice. My advice that I thought long and hard about, because I did care for her and I did understand."
On the same day, Heard's lawyers played audio recordings of arguments between the former spouses. One clip included Heard telling Depp to "put his cigarettes out on someone else." In response, according to the recording, Depp said, "Shut up fat a**." Depp alleged that Heard's claim in the recording was "grossly exaggerated."
Heard's Mental Health Is Brought Into Question
Following Deep's days of testimony, Dr. Shannon Curry -- a clinical and forensic psychologist hired by Johnny Depp's legal team -- was called to the stand on April 26, and testified that she had diagnosed Heard with borderline personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder.
Dr. Curry's diagnoses, which she described as "two sides of the same coin," came after reviewing "multiple sources" including testing, Heard's past medical records, the actress' self-report, and two meetings with the Aquaman star.
Dr. Curry described personality as "the way we think, we feel and we act that make us who we are." Thus a personality disorder, she said, "is some sort of dysfunction in those enduring traits." When it comes to histrionic personality disorder, Dr. Curry said that the hallmarks include "an overly dramatic presentation," "drama and shallowness," a need to "always be the center of attention," and a "quick shift" between emotions.
"She would suddenly be one way, and then she would become very animated or very sad," Dr. Curry said of Heard. "When people are displaying these emotions with a personality disorder, there's a sense of shallowness to it. People who are observing them will feel like it's almost play-acting... She never really indicated a vulnerable feeling of her own."
While evaluating Heard, Dr. Curry said she noticed that the actress had "a very sophisticated way of minimizing any personal problems."
As for borderline personality disorder, Dr. Curry explained that it's characterized by "instability" in personal relationships, emotions, behavior, sense of self and identity, as well as "emotional reactivity," all of which is "driven by this underlying terror of abandonment."
People with the disorder, Dr. Curry said, "make desperate attempts" to keep people from abandoning them, using "behaviors that are very extreme and concerning to the people around them" when they do so. Borderline personality disorder causes people to start relationships "very intensely," before turning negative.
Dr. Curry later described Heard as "very likable," but testified that her testing "showed that she approached it in a manor... that very clearly minimized any psychological dysfunction" and "presented herself as free of any problems."
"She did so in a way that was very sophisticated, not obvious," Curry added of Heard. Additionally, Dr. Curry said that she does not believe that Heard has PTSD as the actress has claimed. "Ms. Heard did not have PTSD," Dr. Curry said, "and there were also pretty significant indications that she was grossly exaggerating symptoms of PTSD when asked about them."
Depp's Former Agent Testifies About the Loss of Pirates 6 Role
Depp's former talent agent, Christian Carino, attended the trial remotely on April 27, saying that he thought Depp lost the sixth Pirates movie -- a follow-up to 2017's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales -- due to Heard's allegations against him.
In 2019, it was reported that Pirates writer Ted Elliott and Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin were developing a new film in the franchise, with Jerry Bruckheimer to return as producer.
Depp testified earlier in the week that Disney cut ties with him in 2018 following Heard's allegations of abuse -- a decision that Carino believed was a direct result of Heard's allegations against him.
"My opinion is that it was related to the accusations that Amber has made," Carino told Heard's lawyer, Elaine Bredehoft, before sharing that his opinion was based on conversations he had with Disney and other executives -- both internal and external.
The CAA agent, who started representing Depp in late 2016, said he had between five and 10 conversations with studios and other executives about Depp's situation, including Bruckheimer and colleagues at CAA.
While he didn't remember when these conversations took place, he did say it was around the time the studio was casting for the sixth Pirates movie.
"It would've been whenever the decisions were being made about how to cast that movie," Carino maintained, before adding that the studio was having difficulty employing Depp.
Carino said that while the reason wasn't explicitly stated, it was obvious, and everyone knew.
"Everyone was aware of what was garnering the attention of the studios in determining whether or not he would be employed," Carino explained.
When asked if Bruckheimer ever specifically stated that the reason Depp wasn't being hired for the sixth Pirates film or other projects was because of Heard's domestic violence allegations, Carino said 'no,' but maintained that in Hollywood, things like this are just understood.
Bredehoft went on to ask Carino if he knew if Depp had any issues, such as being late or intoxicated during the filming of the fifth Pirates movie.
"I'm aware of him being tardy, but he's been tardy on everything his entire life," Carino shared.
While he said that Depp's tardiness was troublesome, the real issue on the fifth Pirates film was the creative differences Depp had with Disney in regard to "how the film was edited."
Carino went on to share that efforts were made by him and others at CAA to book roles for Depp after the filming of the fifth Pirates movie.
Benjamin Chew, Depp's attorney, questioned Carino about his representation of Depp and his relationship with Heard -- whom he also represented. Carino testified that he remained friends with both of them through their divorce and even tried to arrange a meeting between Heard and Depp at Heard's request.
"At some point around that time, she wanted for me to get them together in person," Carino shared. "I talked to Johnny about it."
Carino said Depp was reluctant to meet, since Heard had a temporary restraining order in place against him.
"I remember there was a fair amount of discussion about the TRO and how we would deal with that because nobody wanted Johnny accused of violating the TRO," Carino explained.
Depp later agreed to meet after Heard said she would not accuse him of violating the temporary restraining order.
"I arranged the meeting. Johnny was in San Francisco, on tour, and I arranged to borrow a friend's house. Amber and I flew to San Francisco and drove to the house, and Johnny showed up a few hours later," he continued.
After a few hours, they moved the meeting to a hotel, where the pair continued to talk, but the conversation quickly turned into an argument.
Laura Wasser, Depp's divorce attorney, also attended remotely, where she testified to knowing Carino and shared that she knew that Carino helped arrange that meeting in San Francisco between Depp and Heard.
"That sounds vaguely familiar," Wasser shared, before revealing that she was not on the telephone during that meeting.
Elon Musk Believed to Have Donated $500,000 to the ACLU for Heard
Elon Musk is thought to have donated half a million dollars to the American Civil Liberties Union in Heard's name. On Wednesday, April 27, Terence Dougherty, the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel of the ACLU, testified about what donations the organization had received from and on behalf of the former couple. Dougherty's virtual testimony was recorded in December 2021.
Dougherty's testimony was in response to Heard's 2016 statement, which said that she was splitting her $7 million Depp divorce settlement equally between the ACLU and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.
The same year that Depp and Heard's divorce was finalized, the actress began dating Musk. Dougherty testified that the ACLU received a $500,000 donation from a donor-advised fund at Vanguard. Dougherty said that he believes that donor to be Musk, adding that the Tesla founder emailed the organization about the donation.
In regard to Musk's supposed donation, Dougherty later testified that the ACLU will take contributions from other donors toward a pledge, no matter what. Thus that $500,000 was credited toward Heard's $3.5 million pledge.
Bodyguard Calls Defecation in Bed 'Practical Joke Gone Wrong'
On Thursday, April 28, Depp's bodyguard, Sterling Jenkins, addressed the story about Heard allegedly defecating on a bed in the former couple's penthouse apartment in Los Angeles during the actress' 30th birthday party in April 2016. Jenkins said he spoke to Heard about the alleged incident when he drove her to Coachella.
"We had a conversation pertaining to the surprise she left in the boss’ bed prior to leaving the apartment," Jenkins said, adding that Heard called it a "horrible practical joke gone wrong."
Heard Hires New Public Relations Team
On Monday, May 2, ET confirmed that Heard hired a new public relations team to represent her during the trial.
This news came after her mental health was questioned in court, and it was alleged that she was abusive and did drugs while in a relationship with Depp.
Additionally, a petition to get her off the upcoming Aquaman sequel has recently garnered millions of signatures.
Depp's Bodyguard Alleges Heard Physically and Verbally Abused the Actor
On Monday, May 2, Travis McGivern testified virtually and claimed that the actress physically and verbally abused his client, referring to one alleged 2015 altercation in particular.
During that alleged argument, McGivern claimed that he "saw Ms. Heard throw a Red Bull can from her position that struck Mr. Depp in the back."
"At one point, Ms. Heard threw something else -- either a purse or some sort of bag that she had up there," McGivern claimed. "I was able to knock it away, so it didn't hit [Mr. Depp]. At one point, she spit at him."
McGivern additionally alleged that, at one point, Heard punched Depp in the face.
The bodyguard, who said he never saw any injuries on Heard, testified that Depp did not retaliate following the alleged physical abuse.
McGivern claimed that the alleged altercation also included "verbal vitriol" from both Depp and Heard, adding that they each called the other "a f**king c**t" amid the alleged disagreement.
As for Heard specifically, McGivern claimed that the actress told Depp he was "f**king washed up" and "a deadbeat dad" during the alleged argument.
As the defamation lawsuit continues, ET will be streaming it live as new revelations are revealed and new witnesses take the stand.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential.
Witness Vapes as He Testifies at Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's Trial
Elon Musk Believed to Have Donated $500K to the ACLU for Amber Heard
Johnny Depp Claims Amber Heard Was Suicidal During Their Marriage