Johnny Depp’s defamation trial against Amber Heard enters fourth week

Deb Heard, his ex-wife, is suing him for $50 million over the course of 2018 in an op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post describing herself as a “public figure who represents domestic violence.” Although Depp’s name is not mentioned in the article, he claims that it cost him lucrative acting roles.

Heard and Depp, who met in 2009 and were married from 2015 to 2016, accuse the other of committing acts of physical violence during their relationship. Both denied each other’s allegations.

The trial, which began on April 11, is expected to last six weeks. Heard has not yet tested.

The actress has separated from Precision Strategies, the public relations firm that was hired to handle media inquiries surrounding the trial, multiple sources familiar with the matter said Sunday.

CNN has reached out to a Precision Strategies representative for comment.

Shane Communications, the company newly appointed by Heard to manage communications surrounding the trial, had no comment when contacted by CNN.

Before Monday’s return to court, here’s a look at some of what happened last week at the trial.

Deb says he is a victim of domestic violence

Deeb wrapped up the fourth and final day of his testimony at trial on Monday. Jessica Myers, Depp’s attorney, played a 2016 recording of a conversation between the ex-couple in which Heard expressed concern about restoring her reputation after press reports of abuse in their relationship.

What did I say in response when Mrs. Heard said, ‘Tell the world, Johnny. Tell them, Johnny Depp, me, Johnny Depp, man, am I also a victim of domestic violence?” asked Depp Myers.

Depp replied, “I said, ‘Yes, I am.'”

Courtroom sketches

All week, the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star was seen messing around during breaks.

Depp was seen painting pink and purple markers at one point. During another moment, he drew a diagram on Post-it paper and shared it with his attorney.

‘strange’ testimony

Wednesday, Alejandro Romerowho worked as a janitor at Deb and Heard’s former apartment building, gave a taped testimony from inside his car where he was seen driving his e-car at one point.

Heard’s lawyer called it “strange”.

Judge Benny Azcaret called the moment a “first.”

“I have to say, I’ve never seen that before,” Azcaret said. “I’ve seen a lot of things, but I’ve never seen that before.”

Depp’s former agent

In a taped statement shown to the court, Depp’s former agent, Christian Carino, testified that he believed the domestic violence charges Heard made against Depp costing future actors the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films.

Johnny Depp in the 2003 movie

“My opinion is that Amber’s accusations have had the biggest impact on his off-screen reputation,” Carino said. “I’m not talking about any specific accusation.”

Karino started representing Depp in October 2016, and at one point she represented Depp and Heard at the same time.

Heard’s attorney pressed Carino about other issues Depp may have encountered while working on the previous “Pirates” films.

“I know he’s late but he’s been late for everything his whole life,” Carino said. “I think it’s annoying to everyone, but everyone has learned how to make a movie to deal with it.”


Terrence Dougherty, ACLU general counsel, testified in a taped testimony shown Thursday about the ACLU’s close involvement in the drafting and development of Heard’s opinion piece that is the focus of Depp’s case.

Dougherty said ACLU members wrote an initial draft of the article for Heard, focused on raising awareness of gender-based violence. Heard is an ambassador for the organization.

Amber Heard returns to the courtroom on April 26.

Dougherty said he called several emails back and forth with ACLU individuals and attorneys.

“They were proposing amendments to the opinion piece on the issues covered by the NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement from Heard and Depp’s Divorce),” Dougherty said.

Dougherty said ACLU staffers worked on the op-ed in consultation with Heard’s team, and Heard wanted the piece to come out right after Aquaman was released, a strategy the ACLU approved.

“From the ACLU’s perspective, Amber is about to receive an incredible amount of press and be in the public eye, so what better time than now to publish this editorial so it generates a large number of readers on our issues,” Dougherty said.

Dougherty also tested donations that Heard received or on behalf of, after she publicly promised to donate the entirety of her $7 million divorce settlement from Depp to charities including the ACLU.

Dougherty said Heard agreed to pay the ACLU $3.5 million over several years. Heard herself paid $350,000, Depp paid $100,000 on her behalf, $350,000 from the Fidelity Donor Trust on Heard’s behalf, and her ex-boyfriend, Elon Musk, paid $500,000 from the donor-advised Vanguard Fund on her behalf.

So far, Dougherty has tested that they have received $1.3 million from or on behalf of Heard. Payments stopped after 2019.

Dougherty said he had no indication that Heard had no intention of paying the rest of her pledged donation.

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