As the highly publicized defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard wrapped up on Friday, the legal teams for Johnny Depp and Amber Heard left jurors with some final thoughts and delivered the closing statements to consider after all of the testimony had been completed for the multi-million-dollar case.
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s lawyers deliver closing arguments as the million-dollar defamation trial wraps up
Camille Vasquez, Depp's legal representative went first and repeatedly called Heard a liar and said that the Aquaman actress committed an act "of profound cruelty" by claiming to be a representative of domestic abuse survivors causing "irreparable harm" to her former husband's good name and to "true survivors.” Depp's lawyer Benjamin Chew also delivered a statement, where he doubled down on describing Heard as not being a true survivor of domestic violence.
As noted by Entertianment Weekly, Chew argued that no other former partners of Depp have come forward with their own abuse claims. Ellen Barkin testified that Depp was "controlling" and "jealous" when they dated in the '90s but also confirmed that he did not ever physically harm her. Kate Moss called in to deny rumors that Depp pushed her down stairs or otherwise harmed her. Chew also said that Depp "never claimed" to be a saint, and admitted to his struggles with alcohol and drug abuse. But those issues don't make him an abuser.
In his closing, Heard's lawyer Ben Rottenborn argued that for the jury to side with his client, they just have to decide that Depp abused Heard even once, because in that case, her op-ed would not be defamatory. He replayed video footage taken by Heard of an erratic Depp slamming cabinets in their kitchen and yelling at her. Although Depp doesn't physically attack Heard in the video, Rottenborn argued that domestic abuse can be emotional and verbal in addition to physical. Rottenborn also went on to point a set of text messages apparently sent by Depp, expressing his hope that Heard's corpse was rotting in the trunk of a car.
Those messages, Rottenborn said, revealed the true nature of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" star. In her rebuttal, Vazquez took the opposite rhetorical approach, telling the jury that "you either believe all of it or none of it." "What we have is a mountain of unproven allegations that are wild, over-the-top, and implausible. You can't pick and choose which to believe," Vazquez argued. "Either Mr. Depp sexually assaulted Ms. Heard with a bottle in Australia, or Ms. Heard got up on that stand, in front of all of you, and made up that horrific tale of abuse. Either she's a victim of truly horrific abuse or she is a woman who is willing to say absolutely anything."
For the unversed, Depp is suing Heard for $50 million over a 2018 Washington Post op-ed in which she described herself as a victim of domestic violence thereby defaming him with false accusations. Heard counter-sued for $100 million claiming that his denials of her accusations have in turn damaged her career.
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