Depp has sued his ex-wife Heard for $50 million, alleging defamation of a 2018 op-ed she published in The Washington Post in which she called herself a public figure representing domestic violence. Although she did not name an attacker, Depp claimed the article ruined her reputation and career. He denied all allegations of abuse and instead said Heard was violent towards him.
Heard sued Depp for $100 million after Depp’s lawyers said his claims were false. The countersuit specifically revolves around multiple allegations made to the media by Waldman, who called Heard’s accusations a hoax. She claimed that these statements resulted in the loss of career opportunities.
Waldman testified via video deposition Thursday but declined to answer most questions, including those about his interactions with the media. He, however, refuted the claim that he first contacted Rolling Stone magazine to write a 2018 feature article about Depp’s lawsuit against his former chief financial officers. He said Depp contacted the magazine first.
He confirmed that he made several statements in the media, such as telling the Daily Mail, in part, “Amber Heard and her friends in the media use false allegations of sexual violence as both a sword and a shield, depending on their needs. ” But he declined to answer any further questions about his statements. He also testified that he had published two audio recordings in the Daily Mail, although he gave no further details of the recordings.
During cross-examination, he explained why he says he believes Depp did not abuse Heard – in part by repeating testimony from several witnesses who said they did not see any bruises on Heard.
Another of Thursday’s witnesses, computer programmer and social media forensic expert Ron Schnell, said more than 2 million negative tweets toward Heard were posted between April 2020 and January 31, 2021, and that 1 in 4 of those tweets referenced Waldman in some way — and that negative tweets toward Heard continue to reference Waldman. He also said he found a correlation between spikes in the use of negative hashtags toward Heard and the publication of the Waldman leaked audio.
Heard’s role in the 2018 blockbuster ‘Aquaman’ was not a career boon as it historically should have been, agent Jessica Kovacevic testified Thursday, suggesting this negative coverage caused Heard to lose opportunities. “Nobody’s going to tell me, ‘We can’t hire him because of these tweets,’ or anything. They just don’t want someone who gets bad press around them because of these accusations. “, said Kovacevic. “Nobody wants this association with his project.”
The defense was also called detective. Marie Sadanaga, who is the domestic violence coordinator at the Los Angeles Police Department, to point to an allegation made by Heard’s team early in the trial – that the police were negligent in not creating a report of incident after responding to a domestic dispute at Depp and Heard’s Los Angeles penthouse.
Sadanaga said officers should create incident reports, even when there is no crime, if either party fears danger. “We know that with domestic violence there’s usually a series of incidents that happen and not all of them are crimes,” she explained. “We document them so that in the future, if there’s a crime, we can go back and say, ‘There were all these other incidents’.”
Earlier in the day, the defense called several former friends and colleagues of Depp who said there had been changes in his behavior as his drug and alcohol use increased.
Bruce Witkin, brother of Depp’s first wife, Lori Anne Allison, said the two were “brothers” until four years ago when Depp suddenly ended their nearly 40-year friendship. He “sent me a weird text saying I stabbed him in the back,” Witkin said, adding that Depp never explained why he ended the friendship. He said he assumed it was related to his testimony in previous lawsuits.
“He ended pretty much everyone in his life, so I was in on it,” said Tracey Jacobs, an agent who represented Depp for decades and was fired in 2016. Jacobs described Depp as being at one time “the biggest star in the world”. but said his “star had faded” over the past 10 years as he began to frequently show up late to sets and needed an earpiece to power him up. She also testified that Depp asked his talent agency for $20 million in 2016.
Joel Mandel, Depp’s former business manager, also said the actor’s increased drug and alcohol use, beginning around 2010, strained their professional relationship. He also said that Depp had financial problems which came to a head in 2015. Depp fired Mandel in 2016 and filed a lawsuit against his company, alleging that it mishandled his money fraudulently and improperly for two decades, which Mandel denies. The parties reached an agreement in 2018.
The defense also presented some brief pre-recorded video depositions, including Heard’s former attorney Michele Mulrooney, who testified that an inebriated Depp fired her on Heard’s behalf while hurling profane insults at her; and psychiatrist Alan S. Blaustein, who said Depp told him about issues with anxiety and substance abuse.
Tina Newman, director of production for Walt Disney Corp., said she wasn’t sure if Depp was being considered for a potential sixth entry in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” film franchise, and said she hadn’t heard talk about any decision-makers at Disney — or outside — who said they wouldn’t consider Depp for a movie because of Heard’s op-ed.
Actress Ellen Barkin, Depp’s former friend and sex partner, described the actor as “drunk all the time…a lot of the time” with red wine in the mid-1990s. relationship and remembered Depp’s assistant, whom the actor called “pig.” She also testified that Depp threw a bottle of wine in a hotel room at a group of people, including her, during a fight.
“He’s just a jealous man,” she said. “Control. … I had a scratch on my back once which made him very, very angry because he insisted it was because I had sex with someone who wasn’t him.
Testimony is due to resume on Monday.