Depp-Heard trial returns to the much-discussed severed finger


Depp-Heard trial returns to the much-discussed severed finger

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As the Fairfax County defamation trial of Johnny Depp-Amber Heard entered its sixth week, the jury was greeted Monday morning by gruesome photos of Depp’s bloodied, severed finger while an orthopedic surgeon testified, who explained Depp’s version of events leading to his lot – Injury discussed.

Depp, 58, is suing his ex-wife Amber Heard, 36, for $50 million for defamation after a 2018 Washington Post op-ed in which she, two years after filing for divorce, was accused of being a personality public life, representing domestic violence and an injunction. Depp, who has denied all abuse allegations, said the comment (which didn’t name him) ruined his reputation and career. Heard sued the actor for $100 million for defamation after his attorney told the media their claims were a hoax.

Depp has claimed Heard abused him, and during his testimony last month he said that he and Heard had a falling out when he was filming fifth film Pirates of the Caribbean in Australia in March 2015 and she threw a bottle of vodka in a way that severed the tip of his middle finger on his right hand. Heard denied this and testified that Depp sexually assaulted her with a liquor bottle that same night and his finger was injured sometime between then and the next day.

Richard Moore, a North Carolina-based orthopedic surgeon who was called to the witness stand by the defense, told the jury he didn’t think Depp’s finger was injured by a vodka bottle thrown at him. Moore, who added that he reviewed a “tremendous” amount of material, including medical records, photographs and testimonies from Depp and his doctor, said he reached that conclusion because “the medical data is inconclusive — it’s inaccurate.” consistent with what we see in the injury pattern described or in the clinical pictures.”

In other words, Moore testified that if Depp’s hand was flat on a pole and the bottle crushed his finger from above, he would have expected injury to the fingernail and other parts of the finger. However, Moore said the fingernail and nail bed appeared to be intact. (The jury saw photos to support this.)

As a result, Moore said, Depp’s description of what happened didn’t match the evidence Moore was reviewing – and he saw no broken glass or other cuts or injuries on his hand. Using an X-ray of the finger shown to the jury, Moore said this type of injury usually happens when a finger is pinched between two hard, opposing surfaces.

Under cross-examination, Depp’s attorney, Camille Vasquez, argued that Depp had actually described his hand resting on the edge of the bar, slightly curled over the edge — Moore said even if he misrepresented that, it didn’t materialize his opinion of the mechanics change of injury. He also agreed that he had no personal knowledge of what had happened as his impression was based on the description and available medical documentation.

After some back-and-forth, Moore said he couldn’t “rule out” that the injury was caused by a vodka bottle, but based on the evidence he doesn’t think the injury happened in the way Depp described.

The defense later called David Spiegel, a Virginia psychiatrist who specializes in drug and alcohol abuse and intimate partner violence, known as “IPV.” (Depp’s attorneys declined to call him an expert on the latter.) Spiegel spent much time telling the jury how alcohol and drug use affect the brain and memory — Depp’s drug use was a major talking point at the trial — and said that based on his review of the evidence, Depp had behaviors consistent with substance use disorder and intimate partner violence.

“We also know that alcohol and cocaine use independently significantly increase the risk of intimate partner violence,” Spiegel said. “You’re quote, colloquial ‘playing with fire'” when it comes to substances and IPV.

Depp’s attorney, Wayne Dennison, cross-examined Der Spiegel, specifically criticizing the fact that Der Spiegel had never directly evaluated Depp, but Der Spiegel said that if experts were only allowed to testify on issues they personally evaluated, the entire legal system would be ” null and void”. Void.” Dennison asked Der Spiegel if someone could have every risk factor for intimate partner violence and never commit intimate partner violence; Der Spiegel responded that there was a chance the person would, but the unanimous answer was no.

The last defense witness Monday was Kathryn Arnold, an entertainment consultant who testified about damages to her career that both Depp and Heard alleged against each other.

Starting with Depp, she said she analyzed whether The Post’s comments had negatively impacted the actor’s career. Arnold testified that it had no effect, as his behavior on and off the film sets began to “interfere with what everyone saw as his great talent.”

Arnold pointed to another issue raised by Depp’s legal team: a Hollywood Reporter article published on Dec. 20, 2018 — two days after the op-ed — in which Disney executive Sean Bailey confirmed that Depp was not considered Jack Sparrow would go in the future Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Arnold said that although it leaked online that day, it was actually released in print two days earlier, on the same day as the comment — so there’s “no way” Heard’s comment had any bearing on what the Hollywood Reporter journalist wrote , she said.

She reiterated that Depp caused additional damage to his career with his defamation lawsuit against British tabloid The Sun (which he lost in 2020), which, among other things, spotlighted his vulgar text messages and allegations of his conduct. “In fact, he’s causing his own downfall by bringing forward these lawsuits and continuing to ignite the fire of negative publicity around them both,” she said.

The cross-examination also primarily dealt with Arnold’s testimony that comments made by Depp’s attorney, Adam Waldman, to the media — which called her allegations of abuse a hoax — damaged the actress’ reputation and career to the point of ruin and cost her around $45 million to $50 million on occasions .

Dennison poked fun at the idea, particularly the actors Arnold described as “comparable” to Heard’s potential career ahead of Waldman’s comments, including Jason Momoa (Heard’s Aquaman co-star), Gal Gadot, Ana de Armas and Zendaya – such a famous actress, Dennison pointed out that she goes by one name. Arnold said she was trying to find a comparison with actors who have also been in superhero and action films and that they are only comparable, not identical.

Depp’s attorney also pointed out that after 2018’s “Aquaman,” which Arnold described as her breakthrough moment, Heard had booked only one acting role until Waldman’s testimony in 2020. Arnold agreed, but the role was on the TV show The Stand, which was a big deal because it was based on a Stephen King novel.

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