Johnny Depp will “go to his grave knowing that there will always be people who believe he molested a woman,” a court said.
Awyers on behalf of the actor said his former wife Amber Heard was “preparing to give the performance of her life” during the US trial that recently began.
Jury members heard Mr Depp had been cast as the “villain” in the story when the six-week trial at the Fairfax County Courthouse, Virginia, opened on Tuesday.
The 58-year-old actor is suing actress Heard, his former partner, for defamation over a 2018 article she wrote in The Washington Post in which she discussed her experiences of domestic violence.
Mr Depp’s lawyers say the article falsely implied that Ms Heard, 35, was physically and sexually abused by him when they were married.
He says the allegations have made it difficult for him to get the kind of roles he used to have and filed the $50million (£38.2million) lawsuit in 2019.
Benjamin Chew, representing Mr Depp, told the jury: “Some of you may recognize Johnny Depp for his portrayal of characters like Edward Scissorhands and Captain Jack Sparrow.
“For over 30 years he has built a career as one of Hollywood’s most talented actors.
“Today his name is associated with a lie. A false testimony from his ex-wife Amber Heard.”
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Mr Chew said the lie “represented Mr Depp as a villain, a man who would violently abuse a woman”.
“This is a case of how devastating words can be. Words matter,” he said.
Both actors are personally taking part in the process and are expected to testify.
Camille Vasquez, also representing Mr Depp, said: “Mr Depp will go to his grave knowing that there will always be people who believe he has abused a woman.
“Ms Heard took on the role of her life, she couldn’t back down.
“She’s been living and breathing that lie for years. She is preparing to give the performance of her life in the process.”
Scores of people, mostly fans of Mr Depp, crowded the courtroom on Tuesday as the case officially opened.
Mr Depp wore a navy suit and black shirt with a cream tie, while Ms Heard wore a gray blazer and wore her hair in a low bun.
Ms. Heard’s Washington Post article was titled, “I’ve spoken out against sexual violence — and faced the wrath of our culture.” That needs to change.”
Mr Depp was not mentioned by name.
The case is being brought in Virginia and not in California, where the actors live, because the Washington Post’s online editions are published through servers in Fairfax County.
Other high-profile celebrities are listed as witnesses in the trial, including actors James Franco and Paul Bettany, and Tesla founder Elon Musk.
https://www.independent.ie/style/celebrity/celebrity-news/depp-will-go-to-his-grave-knowing-people-think-he-is-an-abuser-court-hears-41546726.html Depp will go to his grave because he knows people think he’s an abuser, the court hears