“There is an abuser in this courtroom, but it is not Mr. Depp,” attorney Camille Vasquez said. “And there is a victim of domestic abuse in this courtroom, but it is not Ms. Heard.”
Later, Vasquez painted the team’s allegations against Heard more plainly. “Ms. Heard lied,” she said. “And she lied again. And she kept lying.”
Heard allegedly lied, Vasquez said, when she asked for the temporary restraining order in 2016, when she said she donated her entire $7 million divorce settlement to charity and when she wrote the 2018 Washington Post op-ed around which Depp’s case revolves. (The case is being argued in Virginia because the state is home to the news outlet’s servers.)
“She’s come too far. She can’t back down. She’s lied too many times to too many people,” Vasquez said. “So when Mr. Depp finally decided to fight, to clear his name by filing this lawsuit, Ms. Heard responded by making up more and more stories of more and more extreme abuse. She came up with a new accusation that Mr. Depp had raped her with a bottle in Australia, and she keeps making new claims up even now.”
After listing the 16 witnesses who had stood up in court for Depp either in person or via live video, including ex-girlfriend Kate Moss, the Depp team later said that except for Heard’s sister, Whitney Henriquez, “no one showed up for Ms. Heard in this courtroom” other than witnesses who were paid to testify. Heard’s team presented its case in large part via prerecorded video depositions.
Depp attorney Ben Chew, during his turn in front of the jury, categorized the case as “the unique and singular #MeToo case where there’s not a single ‘me too,’” as in no other women who came forward to similarly accuse Depp of abuse.
Chew also noted that after the #MeToo movement hit in 2017, producers knew better than to hire anyone who had been accused of abuse, implying that Heard’s 2018 op-ed had placed Depp into a category where he didn’t belong — one that allegedly cost him tens of millions of dollars in acting work.
Rottenborn returned in his rebuttal to remind the jury about how Heard’s career had allegedly suffered after comments were made by former Depp attorney Adam Waldman. “Studios like her. Co-stars like her. She tests well. But she can’t get opportunities because of the negativity associated with Mr. Depp and Mr. Waldman,” he said.
Judge Penney Azcarate — who kicked off Friday by reading the jury its instructions about how to decide the case — had strongly hinted the day before that the jury shouldn’t argue past dinnertime each day and instructed them to decide what time they would return to deliberations after the Monday holiday.
In Virginia, a seven-person civil jury must reach a verdict unanimously. The jury in this case will decide the defamation claims for both actors simultaneously. It’s not clear when the verdict will be decided, though presumably it could happen next week.
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