Amber Heard cross-examination ends with Johnny Depp defamation trial


Amber Heard cross-examination ends with Johnny Depp defamation trial

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Cross-examination of Amber Heard by one of Johnny Depp’s attorneys ended Tuesday afternoon in Fairfax County in the bitter libel trial between the film stars. Depp attorney Camille Vasquez’s rapid-fire questions sought to discredit Heard’s testimony, continuously framing her as abusive towards her ex-husband throughout their turbulent relationship and marriage.

Depp is suing Heard for $50 million over a 2018 comment she published in The Washington Post alleging domestic violence by an unnamed person. He claims the play ruined his reputation and career and claims that he never physically or sexually abused Heard. She sued him for $100 million after his lawyers said their allegations were false. (The Post is not a defendant in the lawsuit.)

Johnny Depp’s lawyers attempted to discredit his ex-wife Amber Heard’s abuse allegations on May 17 by showing the jury a knife she had bought for the actor. (Video: Reuters)

Vasquez presented the jury with a knife that Heard gave Depp for his birthday, engraved with the phrase “until death” in Spanish. “That’s the knife you gave to the man who was going to get drunk with you and become violent,” Vasquez said.

“I wasn’t afraid that he would stab me with it,” Heard said.

As she would do during her cross-examination questions Tuesday, Vasquez then quickly turned and brought up another, unrelated incident. She questioned Heard’s statement about a particularly brutal incident It claimed to have taken place in Australia, where she claims she was sexually assaulted with a liquor bottle and severed the fingertip of Depp. Depp claims Heard cut his finger by throwing a vodka bottle at him, while the defense suggests Depp injured himself.

Vasquez focused on the sequence of events, which she thought unlikely – claiming Depp couldn’t do that much damage with a severed finger. Heard claimed that she didn’t remember the order things happened in, saying, “I never claimed I could remember the exact order of these things. This is a multi-day attack that took place over three terrible days.”

Vasquez also tried to discredit Heard’s testimony about the Australia incident, pointing out that “there is not a single medical record” of Heard’s injuries, nor are there any photos of it.

Vasquez noted that Heard expressed concern about Depp’s drug abuse, but continued to use drugs and alcohol herself. She asked if it was hear who was more jealous than Depp – as the accused has claimed. She suggested Depp got her part in the movie Aquaman and presented a tape recording in which Heard insulted Depp’s career, calling it “slurred” and a “joke.” She also presented several sets of text messages in which Heard repeatedly asks Depp to pick up the phone in an attempt to portray Heard as jealous. “You texted him non-stop,” Vasquez said. Heard said she sent them in a desperate attempt to get Depp to stop using drugs.

Vasquez pushed hard against Heard’s argument that the comment she wrote — which is at the heart of the trial — isn’t about Depp, but what happened to her after obtaining a restraining order against the actor. “Actually, I was talking about a bigger issue than just Johnny,” Heard said.

Heard’s counterclaim revolves around several allegations in the press by Depp’s former attorney, Adam Waldman, who called Heard’s allegations a hoax. She claims the allegations, which she described as a “negative smear campaign,” resulted in the loss of career opportunities.

In response, Vasquez read headlines from articles negatively characterizing Heard that were published before Waldman’s comments.

The cross-examination lasted until about 2:40 p.m., when Heard’s attorney said, Elaine Bredehoft began diversion interviews, in which she questioned some of Vasquez’s points, such as how Heard got her role on Aquaman.

“I’ve worked really hard,” Heard said.

The diversion lasted about 35 minutes, and Vasquez consistently – and successfully – contradicted questions from Bredehoft – often back-to-back times enough to keep the courtroom audience, composed mostly of Depp fans throughout the trial, laughing.

The court then played video testimony from artist iO Tillett Wright, a friend of Heard’s who was close to Depp for a number of years. He described the actor as “lovely,” “magical,” and “very funny” when sober, but “paranoid,” “mean,” and “grumpy” when drunk.

Although he never saw Depp physically attack Heard, Wright said he overheard Depp saying things around her like “all she’s got is her looks.” He said that when Depp was drunk, he would also “insult his fans,” calling them “Remoras,” aka Suckerfish. He also recalled Depp telling him that “he just didn’t like life sober” and that he “would have big bouts of jealousy in relationships.”

Shortly after Depp and Heard’s wedding, Wright said he congratulated Depp on their marriage. Depp reportedly replied: “We are married. Now I can slap her in the face and nobody can do anything about it.”

He also shared an incident where he spoke on the phone with Heard, who told him Depp was convinced they defecated on his pillow. Wright and Heard started laughing, he said, and Depp got excited. Wright heard a bang, “and the phone fell off. And he said to her, “Do you think I hit you? Do you think I hit you? What if I pull back your damn hair?’ And then I heard the phone fall again and I heard her scream.”

The trial is scheduled to continue on Wednesday with more testimonies.

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