Johnny Depp ‘obsessed ex-husband bent on revenge’ – Amber Heard’s lawyers
Amber Heard’s lawyers said Johnny Depp is an “obsessed ex-husband out for revenge” as they set out their defense in his multimillion-dollar US defamation lawsuit.
The 58-year-old actor is suing actress Ms. 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.
The article does not mention Mr Depp by name and, according to Ms Heard’s lawyers, falls under the First Amendment to the US Constitution, which protects freedom of speech.
Benjamin Rottenborn, representing Ms Heard, said the actress also suffered “sexual violence at the hands of Depp.”
“You are being asked to decide a very simple question: Were the words Amber used in the 2018 opinion piece published in The Washington Post protected by the First Amendment or not?” he said in his opening statement.
“The question is whether the words were protected by the First Amendment, and the answer is clearly yes.”
He continued, “The evidence for Mr. Depp isn’t pretty… You’ll see who the real Johnny Depp is behind the fame, behind the pirate costumes.
“We’re going to focus on those words…whether you look at them individually or in the context of the play doesn’t matter because they’re true.
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“Tragically, it’s true. Amber suffered sexual violence at the hands of Depp.”
Mr Rottenborn added that the actor filed the lawsuit “instead of taking responsibility for his own actions” and planned to turn the trial into a “soap opera”.
“Amber Heard never wanted to show the public who Johnny Depp was, but that will come out,” he said.
“He wanted to make her life miserable, he wanted to ruin her life. He wanted to destroy her. And he did.
“I wish I could say it’s surprising. It’s disturbing but not surprising.”
Elaine Bredehoft, also representing Ms Heard, detailed a series of alleged abusive incidents sparked by “devastating” drug and alcohol problems.
These included a “drug rush” with his “good friend” Marilyn Manson and a “blackout” in Australia that Ms Heard had previously described as a “three-day hostage situation”.
However, Mr Depp’s lawyers argued that Ms Heard’s allegations were false and that the actress was “preparing to give the performance of her life” during the trial.
Camille Vasquez, representing Mr Depp, said the actor would “go to his grave knowing there will always be people who believe he abused a woman”.
“Ms. Heard took on the role of her life, she couldn’t back down,” she said.
“She’s been living and breathing that lie for years.
“She’s 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, where both actors are due to attend the trial in person and testify.
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 article in The Washington Post was titled “I Speak Out Against Sexual Violence — and Faced the Wrath of Our Culture.”
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/johnny-depp-obsessed-ex-husband-hell-bent-on-revenge-amber-heards-lawyers-41548479.html Johnny Depp ‘obsessed ex-husband bent on revenge’ – Amber Heard’s lawyers