Johnny Depp’s lawyers will provide testimonies and recorded testimony from remote witnesses Thursday as they pursue his case against his ex-wife, Amber Heard. The latest witnesses come after Depp’s lawyers gave taped statements from Los Angeles Police Department officers who responded to Depp and Heard’s home after an altercation, as well as a doorman and a former client on Wednesday.
Deb Heard is suing for defamation in Fairfax County Court after she wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post referring to herself as a “public figure who represents domestic violence.”
The article did not mention Depp by name, but his lawyers say the article contains “implicit libel,” arguing that it clearly refers to allegations of domestic violence that Heard made when she filed for divorce in 2016. Depp said the article contributed to Unfairly shattered reputation Which made him a Hollywood pariah and assigned him his role in the lucrative “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie franchise. Heard’s lawyers say Depp is solely responsible for his muddled career.
On Thursday, the court heard testimony from the CEO and General Counsel of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Terence Dougherty, who said Heard had expressed a desire to donate $3.5 million to a nonprofit organization — half of her divorce settlement from Depp. . The American Civil Liberties Union appointed Heard an ambassador and drafted an opinion piece for The Washington Post.
Dougherty said Heard did not donate $3.5 million, and he paid $350,000 directly, as well as a $100,000 check from Johnny Depp that was deposited into Heard’s sum.
According to additional evidence presented Thursday, Heard pushed to include details of her marriage to fellow actor Johnny Depp in the article, which has been strategically timed by both the ACLU and Heard to coincide with the release of her new movie “Aquaman.”
Dougherty testified that several ACLU attorneys reviewed the article at various stages, and asked Heard’s attorneys to review the article as well to ensure it did not conflict with her nondisclosure agreement with Depp in connection with the couple’s 2016 divorce.
During those discussions, Heard sent a redacted version approved by her lawyers that “specifically saluted much of the version regarding her marriage,” according to an email from Jessica Weitz, an ACLU employee who coordinated with Heard.
According to the email, Heard was looking for a way to restore a deleted clip to the article.
The various drafts of the articles were not shown to the jury, so it’s not clear how many personal details were in the first draft and how much of Heard’s attorneys were left out. But the final version contains very little of Heard’s personal experiences and doesn’t mention Depp at all. In addition to the passage about “a public figure representing domestic violence,” she wrote in another passage, “I had a rare perspective in seeing how institutions protect, in real time, men accused of abuse.”
Dougherty also testified that “the language that ended up in the editorial was very different from the original” in the draft, Dougherty said. “He did not directly refer to Mrs. Heard’s relationship with Johnny Depp.”
While the defamation lawsuit is supposed to focus on whether Depp was defamed in the article, most of the trial focused on the ugly details of the couple’s short marriage.
Depp denied hitting Heard at all. Heard’s lawyers say Depp physically and sexually abused her and that Depp’s denial lacked merit because he was often drunk and agitated to the point of fainting.
Wednesday marks the 11th day in the trial, which is expected to last for a month. Depp himself wrapped up four grueling days onMonday; Heard is expected to testify later at the trial.