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After 6 weeks of testimony, Defamation: Jury deliberation starts in Johnny Depp-Amber Heard

After six weeks of Virginia trial, jury deliberations have begun in the high-profile case against Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.

Mr Depp, 58, sued his ex-wife for $50m (£40m) for an article she wrote in which she claims to be an abuse victim. Ms Heard, 36 years old, counter-sued and sought $100m.

The lawyer for Mr Depp asked jurors “to hold Ms Heard responsible for her ‘lies.’

Ms Heard’s team argued that Mr Depp is an abuser and bully, so they should not be trusted.

A jury of seven must reach a unanimous verdict. The deliberations began shortly after the closing arguments were delivered by both sides.

Benjamin Rottenborn was a lawyer for Ms Heard and reminded jurors that Mr Depp had sent explicit texts to his friends. He told them that he wanted harm to his ex-wife.

Rottenborn stated, “This is a window into America’s favourite pirate” “This is Johnny Depp.”

Camille Vasquez Camille Depp, Mr Depp’s lawyer, called Ms Heard’s allegations of abuse “wild and over-the top and ridiculous”.

Ms Vasquez repeated a recording that featured an actress confessing to hitting her then husband, “There is an abusiver in this courtroom but it isn’t Mr Depp.”

She stated that Depp suffered persistent verbal and physical abuse from Ms Heard.

Friday’s arguments echo the last six weeks of trial where both sides presented conflicting accounts of the ex-couple’s five year relationship.

Ms Heard and her attorneys told the court about an erratic, cruel Mr Depp who was prone to alcohol and drug binges and violent behavior.

On Thursday, Ms. Heard was emotional when she spoke out to jurors about the “harassment and humiliation” that had been directed against her.

Mr Depp, however, presented a very different picture. He claimed that Ms Heard had been a volatile spouse and had abused and degraded him. Depp testified before the jury that his ex-wife had a need for violence and conflict, and that she caused him injury by cutting off one of his fingers.

Ms. Heard’s 2018 op ed in which she describes her experience as “public figure representing domestic abusive” is the basis of this case.

“I felt the full power of our culture’s wrath towards women who speak out,” she wrote. “I was able to see in real-time how institutions protect abusers men.”

Friday’s article, which Ms Vasquez stated was a lie that had tarnished the reputation of Mr Depp – although it didn’t directly mention him.

Mr Rottenborn, Ms Heard’s lawyer, requested that the jury focus on Ms Heard’s words when making their verdict.

He stated that it is not about who is the better spouse. “It’s not about whether Ms Heard might have been abusive towards Mr Depp,” he said.

He stated that Amber won if she believed they were abusive to each other. Amber wins if she was abused just once.

On Friday morning, Mr. Depp was met by hundreds outside screaming for his safety. This is the same as what happened on most other days of the trial.

The celebrity case was broadcast live every day and attracted intense public interest. Both actors were accused of serious emotional, physical, and verbal abuse.


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