On a day when Amber Heard broke down in court saying ex-husband Johnny Depp sexually assaulted her and threatened her life, Johnny’s spokesperson has called the testimony a ‘performance’. In turn, Amber’s team responded by claiming that Johnny’s case is falling apart and hence, he and his team are resorting to ‘victim-blaming’. Johnny has sued ex-wife Amber for defamation, claiming a piece she wrote about ‘surviving domestic abuse’ harmed his career and life. Also read: Johnny Depp laughs after Amber Heard testifies that she ‘allowed him to take off his own boots’. Watch
The trial is underway at a state court in Virginia’s Fairfax County where Johnny has sued Amber for $50 million. Amber has a counter-suit of $100 million. On Thursday, Amber testified in court saying Johnny has assaulted her with a bottle. Speaking in between sobs, the actor said, “I was scared. I had just married him.” As per Amber, the incident took place in July 2015 when she visited Johnny in Australia where he was filming the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie.
Soon after the testimony, Johnny’s spokesperson released a statement on his behalf to People Magazine. It read, “As Mr. Depp’s counsel correctly predicted in their opening statements last month, Ms. Heard did indeed deliver ‘the performance of her life’ in her direct examination. While Ms. Heard’s stories have continued to grow new and convenient details, Mr. Depp’s recollections have remained exactly the same throughout the six painful years since her first allegations were made.”
The statement further claimed that ‘fallacies’ in Amber’s testimony will be highlighted during her cross-questioning in the coming days. “His truth — the truth — is the same no matter the environment in which it has been presented. The upcoming cross-examination from Mr. Depp’s team will be most telling, and will certainly highlight the many fallacies Ms. Heard has now attempted to pass off as fact throughout her convoluted testimony.”
Amber’s representatives responded to the statement by claiming that Johnny’s case is ‘falling apart’. The statement read, “As evidenced by the statement just released, Mr. Depp’s defamation claim is falling apart so rapidly that his counsel are turning from prosecutor to persecutor. They boast that Mr. Depp’s story has not changed. If so, since he lost the Domestic Violence Restraining Order and he resoundingly lost the libel case in the UK, perhaps he should consider a new strategy rather than the recycled approach of attacking the victim, and refusing to take responsibility for his own conduct.”
In the statement released on Amber’s behalf, her spokesperson also slammed Johnny for not having the ‘courage to look at her’. It read, “If Mr. Depp was truly innocent, why has he repeatedly apologized to Ms. Heard and promised to put the ‘monster away for good. Small wonder Mr. Depp does not have the fortitude or courage to even look at Ms. Heard at all throughout the proceedings — as he could not in the UK trial. Mr. Depp’s behavior in this trial has been as pitiful as it was in their marriage. Apparently, they feel they must double-down on their demonstrably losing two-part strategy: distract the jury and demonize the victim.”
Earlier, in his testimony, Johnny had said he never abused or assaulted Amber and that it was she who bullied him during their marriage. The couple had met in 2010 when they were shooting the film The Rum Diary. They were married in 2015 and their divorce was finalized in 2017 after less than two years of marriage.
The case hinges on a December 2018 opinion piece Amber authored in the Washington Post. The article never mentioned Johnny by name, but his lawyer told jurors it was clear Amber was referencing him. Johnny, once among Hollywood’s biggest stars, said the allegations cost him “everything.” A new Pirates movie was put on hold, and the actor was replaced in the Fantastic Beasts film franchise. Amber’s attorneys have argued that she told the truth and that her opinion was protected as free speech under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.
Less than two years ago, Johnny lost a libel case against the Sun, a British tabloid that labeled him a “wife-beater.” A London High Court judge ruled he had repeatedly assaulted his ex-wife.
(With inputs from Reuters)