The couple is facing each other at the Fairfax County Circuit Court. The “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor is suing his ex-wife for $50 million over a December 2018 op-ed Heard wrote for the Washington Post where she claims that she is a domestic violence survivor. Although she did not mention Depp by name, he claims that he has lost movie roles due to the “clear implication” that he was the “Aquaman” actress’ abuser. Heard is countersuing for $100 million dollars.
Heard began her testimony on Wednesday morning by describing how they met on the set of “The Rum Diary.” She then continued on to explain the first time that Depp allegedly struck her. On Thursday morning, she recalled further allegations of abuse, claiming that he kicked her in front of other people on a plane. On Thursday afternoon, she recalled graphic physical and sexual abuse.
The court went on break for a week and resumed the trial on Monday, May 16. In the morning, Heard recalled the violence she claims she experienced on the night of her 30th birthday and insists that she did not leave the fecal matter on the bed. She also spoke briefly about the reasons why she filed for divorce and filing for a domestic violence restraining order.
On Monday morning, Heard’s legal team released a statement ahead of her cross-examination, which took place just after 3 PM ET that afternoon.
Amber Heard’s Legal Team Calls Out Johnny Depp’s Attorneys
A spokesperson for Amber Heard provided The Blast with a document from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), which is a valuable resource for determining the core aggressor in toxic relationships where domestic violence might be present.
They also gave a statement ahead of Heard’s cross-examination on the stand.
“There’s an old saying by trial lawyers: when the facts are on your side, argue the facts,” a spokesperson for the actress said. “When the facts are not on your side, pound away on the podium.”
“Today, we expect Depp’s attorneys will instead pound away on the victim,” they continued. “We fear it will be equal parts shameful and desperate.”
“And, the overwhelming evidence — the truth — is not on Depp’s side,” they concluded. “The one thing we suspect Depp’s attorneys will avoid is the central issue of this trial: does Amber or any woman have the First Amendment Right of Freedom of Speech.”
If history repeats itself, it is more than possible that Depp will lose this trial. He previously lost his 2020 U.K. libel case against the British tabloid “The Sun.” Even legal experts believe that Depp is facing an “uphill battle” in his case against Amber Heard.
Will Johnny Depp Be Able To Win His Defamation Lawsuit Against Amber Heard?
Daniel Gutenplan, entertainment litigator, defamation expert, and a partner at Enenstein Pham & Glass, told PEOPLE that Depp is facing an “uphill battle” in winning his lawsuit against his ex-wife.
“In terms of the trial in Virginia right now, I think Johnny Depp has an uphill battle,” Gutenplan told the publication. “Defamation is very hard to prove. First and foremost, truth is an absolute defense to any defamatory statement. So regardless of the alleged defamatory statement, if a defendant can establish that it is true, the defense is going to win.”
Gutenplan agreed that the op-ed “doesn’t detail any specific alleged events or any specific conduct. It is incredibly general in that regard.” He added that winning a defamation case “has to be based on facts” and said, “It can’t be based on opinion. And that’s where a lot of defamation plaintiffs get in trouble.”
“When we’re talking more about defamation, it really does come down to he said, she said, or he said, he said, or she said, she said, whatever it might be, but it’s an opinion of two people and the defamation claims are oftentimes not reduced to writing,” Gutenplan added.
He continued, “And so anytime you get into a courtroom, you get into a legal battle, and it’s one story against another — which, by the way, is exactly what’s happening in Virginia right now. It’s two people telling two very different stories, right? It’s tough to prove, and let’s not forget that Mr. Depp is the plaintiff and carries the burden of proof to show by a preponderance of the evidence.”
Though he says he is uncertain how long the trial will last, it is likely that either side would appeal should they lose. At this point, it is unclear how long the trial may ultimately go on.