Amber Heard’s cross-examination ends in Johnny Depp libel trial

Amber Heard’s cross-examination ends in Johnny Depp libel trial

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Amber Heard’s cross-examination by one of Johnny Depp’s attorneys concluded Tuesday afternoon in Fairfax County in a fierce libel lawsuit between movie celebrities. Quick questions from Depp’s attorney, Camille Vasquez, were aimed at discrediting Heard’s testimony and continually categorizing her as abusive to her ex-husband during their tumultuous relationship and marriage.

Depp sued Heard for $50 million over a 2018 op-ed she published in The Washington Post, which alleged domestic abuse by an unnamed person. He claims the play ruined his reputation and career and claims he never physically or sexually abused Heard. She counter-sued him for $100 million after his lawyers said his claims were false. (The Post is not a defendant in the lawsuit.)

Johnny Depp’s lawyers tried to discredit his ex-wife Amber Heard’s abuse allegations on May 17 by showing the jury a knife she 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. “It’s the knife you gave to the man who would get drunk and violent with you,” Vasquez said.

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

As she would throughout her cross-examination questions on Tuesday, Vasquez then quickly pivoted, bringing up another unrelated incident. She questioned Heard’s testimony about a particularly brutal incident it claimed to have taken place in Australia, during which she claims she was sexually assaulted with a bottle of alcohol and Depp’s fingertip was severed. Depp alleges Heard cut his finger while throwing a bottle of vodka at him, while the defense suggests Depp injured himself.

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

Vasquez further sought to discredit Heard’s testimony about the incident in Australia by pointing out “there is not a single medical record” of Heard’s injuries, nor any photographs of them.

Vasquez noted that Heard grew concerned about Depp’s drug addiction, but continued to use drugs and alcohol herself. She wondered if it was Heard who was jealous, rather than Depp – as the defendant claimed. She suggested that Depp had heard his role in the movie “Aquaman” and presented a tape recording in which Heard insulted Depp’s career, calling it “washed up” and a “joke.” She also featured several sets of text messages in which Heard repeatedly asks Depp to answer the phone, as an attempt to portray Heard as jealous. “You were texting him all the time,” 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 op-ed she wrote — which is at the heart of the lawsuit — is not about Depp but about what happened to him after he got a temporary restraining order against the actor. “I was talking about a bigger issue, actually, than just Johnny,” Heard said.

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

In response, Vasquez read the headlines of articles negatively describing Heard that were published before Waldman’s comments.

Cross-examination lasted until approximately 2:40 p.m., at which time Heard’s attorney, Elaine Bredehoft began redirecting questions, in which she took issue with a few of Vasquez’s points – like how Heard got his role in “Aquaman.”

“I worked really hard,” Heard said.

The redirect lasted about 35 minutes, and Vasquez consistently – and successfully – opposed Bredehoft’s questions – often so many times in a row that he made the courtroom audience laugh, who throughout of the trial was made up mostly of Depp fans.

The court then played the video deposition of iO artist Tillett Wright, a friend of Heard’s who grew close to Depp for a few years. He described the actor as “charming”, “magical” and “very funny” when sober, but “paranoid”, “mean” and “surly” when drunk.

Although he never saw Depp physically assault Heard, Wright said, he heard Depp say things around her, such as “all she has is her looks.” He said that when Depp was drunk, he would also “insult his fans” and call them “remoras”, also known as “suckerfish”. He also recalled Depp telling him that “he really didn’t like the sober life” and that he would “live big episodes of jealousy in his relationships”.

Right after Depp and Heard’s wedding ceremony, Wright said, he congratulated Depp on their nuptials. Depp reportedly replied, “We are married. Now I can punch her in the face and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

He also recounted an incident where he was on the phone with Heard, who told him that Depp was convinced they had defecated on his pillow. Wright and Heard started laughing, he said, and Depp became restless. Wright heard a smack, “and the phone fell. And he said, ‘Do you think I hit you? Do you think I hit you? What if I take your fucking hair back? And then I heard the phone drop again, and I heard her scream.

The trial is scheduled to continue Wednesday with the testimony of additional witnesses.

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