Johnny Depp Lawyers Arrest Amber Heard Over Abuse Allegations

Johnny Depp Lawyers Arrest Amber Heard Over Abuse Allegations

May 16 (Reuters) – Lawyers for actor Johnny Depp began questioning Amber Heard during the couple’s defamation trial on Monday and challenged the ‘Aquaman’ star’s claims that she suffered physical abuse before and during their brief marriage.

Depp’s lawyers presented photographs of Heard making public appearances on red carpets and “The James Corden Show” shortly after she said Depp hit her with his hands, which he usually wore on heavy rings.

Photos shown to jurors appeared to reveal no injuries. Heard said the sore, which included what she thought was a broken nose, was not severe enough to be visible or was covered in makeup.

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Depp, 58, is suing Heard, 36, for $50 million, claiming she defamed him when she claimed to have been the victim of domestic violence. Heard sued for $100 million, arguing that Depp defamed her by calling her a liar.

At the start of Heard’s cross-examination, a lawyer for Depp asked Heard if she had abused Depp and was still hurting him with false allegations.

“I could never hurt Johnny,” Heard said.

Earlier, Heard told jurors that she filed for divorce from Depp in 2016 because she feared she would not survive physical abuse from him. She said she realized the relationship was beyond repair after he threw a cellphone that hit her in the face.

“I knew I had to leave him,” she said. “I knew I wouldn’t survive it if I didn’t.

“I have made the decision to file for divorce,” she added. “It was hard because I loved Johnny so much.”

The couple married in February 2015 and their divorce was finalized about two years later.

Depp testified that he never hit Heard and maintained that she was the aggressor in their relationship. He said she threw a bottle of vodka at him in early 2015, cutting the top of his right middle finger.

Heard said she did not cause the finger injury and only hit it to defend herself or her sister.

She also denied Depp’s allegation that she left feces in a bed in one of her homes following a fight on her birthday. A security guard had testified that Heard had told him that the feces were a “horrible prank”.

Heard said she didn’t pull any pranks that day, adding that she was “in no mood for pranks”.

“I had just been assaulted on my 30th birthday by my husband, whom I was desperately in love with and knew I had to leave,” she said.

The court case centers on a December 2018 opinion piece by Heard that appeared in The Washington Post. The article never mentioned Depp by name, but his attorney told jurors it was clear Heard was referring to him. Read more

Depp, once among Hollywood’s biggest stars, said Heard’s allegations cost him “everything”. A new “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie has been put on hold, and Depp has been replaced in the “Fantastic Beasts” film franchise, a “Harry Potter” spin-off.

Heard’s lawyers argued that she had spoken the truth and that her opinion was protected by free speech under the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

Oral arguments are scheduled for May 27.

Less than two years ago, Depp lost a libel case against the Sun, a British tabloid that called him a “wife beater”. A High Court judge in London ruled that he assaulted Heard on several occasions.

Depp’s attorneys filed the case in Fairfax County, Va., because The Washington Post is printed there. The newspaper is not accused.

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Reporting by Lisa Richwine in Los Angeles Editing by Mark Porter, Jonathan Oatis and Matthew Lewis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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