Amber Heard isn’t really asking for the $100 million she sued Johnny Depp for. On Friday, her lawyer said they asked for that amount simply to send a letter to the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star after he demanded half of that amount when he sued her for defamation.
The information came Friday in a Virginia courtroom where the former couple’s legal teams recorded their closing arguments in fencing libel cases.
“Johnny Depp sued for $50 million, and we sent a letter saying, ‘Okay, we’re going to sue $100 million because you look at what you did to her. We’re not asking you to pay $100 million,” Attorney Eileen Breedhoft told the jury, speaking of compensatory damages. “We’re just asking you to look at the damages in this case and be fair and reasonable in whatever you specify.”
The case, which began April 11 in Fairfax, Virginia, went to the jury on Friday afternoon. While Depp’s side painted the issue as one of restoring his life and reputation, Heard’s side argued that it was a First Amendment issue of the right to tell one’s story.
Hearing attorney Benjamin Rothenborn led the defendant’s closing arguments by warning jurors of the letter they would send to victims of domestic violence if found in Depp’s favour.
If you don’t take pictures, it won’t. If you take pictures, they are fake. If you don’t tell your friends, you’re lying. If you tell your friends, they are part of the trick. If you don’t seek medical treatment, you won’t get hurt. If you seek medical treatment You’re crazy,” Rothenborn said.
“If you do everything in your power to help your wife, the one you love, and get rid of the destructive drug and alcohol abuse that drives him into an abusive and angry beast, you are an annoyance. And if at last you decide enough, you are tired of fear, enough of the pain and you have to leave to save yourself, You are a gold digger.”
Rotten-Bourne described the case as “victim-blaming at its most disgusting”. He also replayed the infamous video of Depp walking around the kitchen, closing cabinet doors, pouring himself a large glass of wine and getting angry when he realized Heard was recording his actions.
“Who does that? Who does that?” Rottenborn asked the jurors. “Imagine watching your husband, the person you love, act violently in this way. Like a wild animal. This is abuse. This is abuse.”
These statements came after Depp’s lawyers argued that he was the actual victim in the relationship.
“There is an assailant in this room, but it is not Mr. Deeb,” said attorney Camille Vasquez. “And there is a victim of domestic violence in this courtroom, but she is not Mrs. Heard.”
Later, Vazquez painted the team’s allegations against Heard more clearly. “Mrs. Heard lied,” she said. “And she lied again. And she kept lying.”
Vasquez said Heard lied when she requested the temporary restraining order in 2016, when she said she donated the entirety of her $7 million divorce settlement to a charity and when she wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post in 2018 about Depp’s case. (The issue is being discussed in Virginia because the state is home to the news outlet’s servers.)
“She’s come a long way,” Vasquez said. “She can’t back out. She’s lied so many times to so many people.” “So when Mr. Depp finally decided to fight, to clear his name by filing this lawsuit, Ms. Heard responded by fabricating more and more stories of more and more severe abuse. She came up with a new accusation that Mr. Depp raped her with a bottle in Australia, and she continues to make new claims even right Now “.
After listing the 16 witnesses who stood in court for Depp either in person or via live video, including his ex-girlfriend Kate Moss, Depp’s team later said that except for Heard’s sister, Whitney Henriquez, “no one appeared for Ms. It is heard in these Hall” other than witnesses who were paid to testify. The Heard team made their case in large part via pre-recorded video filings.
Depp’s attorney, Ben Chiu, during his turn before the jury, classified the case as “the unique and singular #MeToo case where there is no ‘me too'” and no other woman has come forward to accuse Depp of similar abuse.
Chiu also noted that after the emergence of the #MeToo movement in 2017, producers knew better than to hire anyone accused of abuse, meaning Heard’s 2018 opinion piece put Depp in a category he didn’t belong to — a category that allegedly cost him tens of millions of dollars in acting.
Rothenborn returned in his refutation to remind the jury of how Heard’s career had deteriorated after comments made by Depp’s former attorney Adam Waldman. He said, “Studios are like her. Co-stars like her. She tests very well. But she can’t get chances because of the negativity associated with Mr. Depp and Mr. Waldman.”
Judge Benny Azcaret — who began Friday by reading the jury’s instructions on how to adjudicate the case — had sharply hinted the day before that juries should not discuss pre-dinner time each day and asked them to decide when they would return to deliberations after Monday’s recess.
In Virginia, a seven-person civil jury must reach a unanimous verdict. In this case, the jury will decide the defamation suits for both representatives simultaneously. It is not clear when the ruling will be decided, although it is likely to happen next week.
This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.