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Amber Heard to take to the stand next week in blockbuster defamation trial against Johnny Depp

Amber Heard is about to take the stand in her bombshell defamation trial against ex-husband Johnny Depp as quickly as Monday, with insiders saying the actress will probably be a ‘extremely efficient weapon’ in her $100million countersuit.

The A-list trial in Virginia, which began on April 11 and is about to final one other three weeks, has to date seen Depp declare he was the sufferer of home abuse in his 4 days of testimony, together with his bodyguard yesterday describing wounds on the actor’s face.

The Pirates of the Caribbean star is suing Heard for $50million, claiming she defamed him and ruined his career after a 2018 Washington Post article in which she described herself as a ‘public determine representing home abuse’, with out naming her ex-husband.

Heard is countersuing for $100million, and after three weeks of sitting silently in the courtroom throughout Depp’s testimony, she is getting ready to begin her struggle again when courtroom resumes next week after a time off right this moment.

Insiders advised Deadline she may take to the stand as quickly as Monday, until a serious revelation comes out throughout the closing statements in Depp’s case.

A supply stated: ‘It’s onerous to see how Amber will not show to be a extremely efficient weapon against Depp in her personal advocacy.

‘Regardless of how they’ve tried to characterize her, she has been nothing however properly composed and fairly conservative in courtroom with out having stated a phrase.’

Heard was not a celebration and didn’t take the stand in Depp’s 2020 libel declare against The Sun in the UK, which he lost.

The trial in the Fairfax County Courthouse runs Monday to Thursday from 10am to 5pm, and is about to conclude on May 19. Judge Penny Azcarate has a prescheduled convention from May 9 to 12 when the trial will pause for a week. 

Yesterday, Depp’s bodyguard stated he observed accidents and marks on the actor’s face as his relationship with Heard grew to become more and more unstable.

Amber Heard is set to take to the stand in her bombshell defamation trial against ex-husband Johnny Depp as soon as Monday

Amber Heard is about to take to the stand in her bombshell defamation trial against ex-husband Johnny Depp as quickly as Monday

The A-list trial in Virginia, which started on April 11 and is set to last another three weeks, has so far seen Depp claim he was the victim of domestic abuse

The A-list trial in Virginia, which started on April 11 and is set to last another three weeks, has so far seen Depp claim he was the victim of domestic abuse

The A-list trial in Virginia, which began on April 11 and is about to final one other three weeks, has to date seen Depp declare he was the sufferer of home abuse

The jury was then shown a photo taken by Depp's bodyguard during Depp and Heard's honeymoon in 2013 where the Pirates of the Caribbean star appeared to have visible scratches and 'swelling' on his face

The jury was then proven a photograph taken by Depp’s bodyguard throughout Depp and Heard’s honeymoon in 2013 the place the Pirates of the Caribbean star appeared to have seen scratches and ‘swelling’ on his face

Security guard Malcolm Connolly pointed to the 'swelling on the left hand side' of Depp's nose and 'under his left eye' seen in the photo

Security guard Malcolm Connolly pointed to the ‘swelling on the left hand aspect’ of Depp’s nostril and ‘underneath his left eye’ seen in the picture 

Testifying remotely from his native UK, Connolly, who began working as Depp's private personal security in 2006, said he witnessed Johnny and Amber's relationship become increasingly volatile

Testifying remotely from his native UK, Connolly, who started working as Depp’s non-public personal safety in 2006, stated he witnessed Johnny and Amber’s relationship grow to be more and more unstable 

Malcolm Connolly advised the courtroom he witnessed his consumer go from being completely satisfied in love to ‘quiet’ as Heard grew to become extra ‘dominant’ and ‘demanding.’  

Testifying remotely from his native UK, Connolly, who started working as Depp’s non-public personal safety in 2006, stated: ‘At the starting [it was] all lovey-dovey. Everything was nice. Honeymoon interval was on, and yeah it was good.’

‘It was nice to see Johnny completely satisfied once more. Amber was beautiful, charming – as she normally is – and good as gold.’ 

But Connolly, who identifies as a ‘safety officer’, stated issues then ‘began to change’ between the two spouses, who started arguing extra usually. 

‘Amber began to change. Amber began getting a bit extra feisty, demanding. I may see that Amber needed to put on the pants in this relationship. That was fairly apparent,’ he stated. 

The bodyguard added that Heard ‘may get a frosty at the drop of hat’ and over time witnessed Depp ‘getting quieter’ as Amber ‘began getting grumpy.’

Connolly admitted that he by no means did see any bodily violence between the two, however testified that he would usually hear Depp and Heard argue regularly.   

‘I may hear Amber screaming. I may listening to shouting and bawling,’ he stated, including that he may ‘principally’ hear Heard shouting and that the couple fought ‘as a rule.’ 

And whereas he by no means witnessed any violence, the safety guard advised the courtroom that he started noticing scratches and accidents on Depp’s face. He famous that he by no means noticed any marks on Heard.  

‘What I observed immediately was most of those marks had been occurring on the left hand aspect of his (Depp’s) face,’ Connolly stated. 

‘There can be scratches on his neck. Maybe a fats lip in the nook, a bruising in the eye socket. 

‘It was getting extra common. Not each week, but it surely was positively occurring,’ he added.  

The jury was then proven a photograph taken by Connolly throughout Depp and Heard’s honeymoon in 2013.  

Depp, posing alongside his now ex-wife and three others, appeared to have seen accidents and ‘swelling’ on his face. 

When requested to described the picture, Connolly pointed the ‘swelling on the left hand aspect’ of Depp’s nostril and ‘underneath his left eye.’

Asked what he thought had occurred, the bodyguard stated: ‘Either he is walked right into a door, or a door has walked into him,’ prompting laughter from the courtroom. 

Earlier on Thursday, jurors additionally heard briefly from Depp’s business supervisor, Ed White, who stated he intervened in 2016 to resolve monetary difficulties for Depp, together with unpaid taxes and a money crunch. 

Amber Heard

Johnny Depp in court Thursday. The court heard how Depp went from being happy in love to 'quiet' as Heard allegedly became more 'dominant' and 'demanding'

The courtroom heard how Depp went from being completely satisfied in love to ‘quiet’ as Heard allegedly grew to become extra ‘dominant’ and ‘demanding’

When he blamed Heard for an extreme wine invoice that featured a number of $500 bottles of Spanish Vega Sicilia wine, Heard’s legal professionals responded with a barrage of questions over Depp’s spending excesses, together with spending tens of millions of {dollars} to shoot journalist Hunter S. Thompson’s ashes out of a cannon. 

The courtroom additionally heard testimony revealing that Elon Musk coated practically half of ex-girlfriend Amber Heard’s donation to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) after she pledged to give away her multimillion greenback divorce settlement to charity following her cut up from Depp. 

The actress has to date solely paid $1.3million of the $3.5million she promised the ACLU practically six years in the past, with Musk’s money making up a big chunk of it.

The billionaire Tesla founder, 50, gave $500,000 to the civil rights group on behalf of Heard after the two started relationship after her divorce from Depp in 2016. 

The Aquaman star, 36, introduced she would donate the $7million she acquired in her settlement to two organizations when the couple’s authorized separation was finalized in August 2016.

Heard promised to give half the money to the ACLU to assist its work in ‘preventing violence against girls’, and the different $3.5million to the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. 

But Terence Dougherty, the ACLU Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel, testified in the trial Thursday, telling the courtroom the organizations’ promised donation has not been paid in full but.

Dougherty stated that to date solely a complete of $1.3million has both been paid by Heard or on her behalf.

Of that money, Heard contributed $350,000 instantly, whereas $100,000 was paid by Depp and one other $350,000 got here from a fund at Fidelity, an funding company.

Another $500,000 fee got here from an account at funding agency Vanguard, which Dougherty stated he ‘believed it was a fund arrange by Elon Musk.’

Asked by one in every of Depp’s legal professionals if there have been messages with Musk about it, Dougherty stated there have been.

He stated there was a doc and emails that they had produced to the legal professionals in the case relating to the money.

Billionaire Tesla founder Elon Musk, 50, donated $500,000 to the ACLU on behalf of Amber Heard when the two were dating in 2016, the actress's defamation trial heard Thursday. The two are pictured together in 2017

Billionaire Tesla founder Elon Musk, 50, donated $500,000 to the ACLU on behalf of Amber Heard when the two had been relationship in 2016, the actress’s defamation trial heard Thursday. The two are pictured collectively in 2017 

The court heard the Aquaman actress has so far only paid $1.3million of the $3.5million she promised the ACLU nearly six years ago, with Musk's money making up a large chunk of it

The courtroom heard the Aquaman actress has to date solely paid $1.3million of the $3.5million she promised the ACLU practically six years in the past, with Musk’s money making up a big chunk of it

ACLU Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel Terence Dougherty testified Thursday revealing only half the money has been paid by Heard or on her behalf

ACLU Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel Terence Dougherty testified Thursday revealing solely half the money has been paid by Heard or on her behalf

Dougherty stated that based mostly on emails with Musk, the ACLU understood that Heard’s $3.5million donation can be given over 10 years.

He stated that Heard’s money was thought of a ‘pledge’ so reasonably than a verify , it will come over time.

Heard’s legal professionals have beforehand advised the courtroom that she totally intends to pay the money however for now wants the divorce settlement to pay her authorized charges.

Heard had promised to donate her $7M divorce settlement to charity, splitting the funds between the ACLU and the Children's Hospital in Los Angeles

Heard had promised to donate her $7M divorce settlement to charity, splitting the funds between the ACLU and the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles

The courtroom heard that Heard’s final donation of $350,000 in December 2018 and that she had not paid any money since.

Dougherty stated that Heard had advised the group that money was from her nameless account with Fidelity however they didn’t do any additional checks to assure it was her money.

One of Depp’s legal professionals requested Dougherty what ‘efforts the ACLU has made to get Amber Heard to pay’.

He replied: ‘We reached out to Miss Heard beginning in 2019 for the next installment of her giving and we realized she was having monetary difficulties’.

The courtroom heard that Musk performed a central function in establishing Heard’s donations to the ACLU, partly as a result of he had given to it earlier than.

Heard and Musk dated for a year following the actress's divorce from Johnny Depp in 2016

Heard and Musk dated for a year following the actress’s divorce from Johnny Depp in 2016 

Johnny Depp's $50million defamation lawsuit against Amber Heard that started on April 10 is expected to last five or six weeks

Johnny Depp’s $50million defamation lawsuit against Amber Heard that began on April 10 is anticipated to final 5 or 6 weeks

In an e mail dated August 18, 2016, Musk wrote to Heard and Anthony Romero, the government director of the ACLU: ‘I described your (Heard’s) plan to donate $3.5million to the ACLU over the next 10 years as you very a lot imagine in what they’re doing’.

The courtroom heard that Robin Shulman, a communications strategist with the ACLU wrote the first draft of the op-ed in November 2018, a month earlier than the article was printed.

In a message to Heard dated November 29, 2018, Shulman stated that she tried to ‘collect your hearth and rage’ and form it into an op-ed piece.

Asked if that meant rage against Depp, Dougherty stated it was about ‘gender-based violence points’.

In a observe up message, Shulman advised Heard: ‘Our legal professionals ought to review this for the approach I skirted round your marriage’.

Jessica Weitz, one other member of the ACLU communications crew, advised Heard: ‘I need to be certain nothing was stated in right here that places you in jeopardy along with your NDA’ with Depp after the divorce.

Shulman and Heard met in individual and that op-ed was modified, the courtroom heard.

Heard’s legal professionals additionally made some edits.

One of Depp’s legal professionals requested Dougherty: ‘Some at the ACLU expressed perception that excising references to the marriage and divorce from Johnny Depp made the op-ed much less impactful?’

Dougherty stated: ‘That is appropriate’.

Dougherty stated that the ACLU had the accountability of inserting the op-ed and thought of the New York Times, Washington Post, Teen Vogue and USA Today as locations the place it may go.

As Dougherty put it, the record was in ‘descending significance and attain as we go down’, however with a larger chance they’d publish it.

Gerry Johnson, one in every of the ACLU communications crew, emailed his colleagues about timing the op-ed so it will come out at the similar time as the premiere of Aquaman, the movie Heard was starring in.

Johnson wrote: ‘Since draft turned out fairly sturdy and Aquaman slated to do giant numbers I’m questioning what you consider it?’

Actor Amber Heard returns following a break at the Fairfax County Circuit Court Thursday, April 28, 2022

Actor Amber Heard returns following a break at the Fairfax County Circuit Court Thursday, April 28, 2022

Depp, 58, had previously accused his ex-wife of lying about giving all of her divorce settlement to charity

Depp, 58, had beforehand accused his ex-wife of mendacity about giving all of her divorce settlement to charity

Depp sued his ex-wife Amber Heard for libel in Fairfax County Circuit Court after she wrote an op-ed piece in The Washington Post in 2018 referring to herself as a 'public figure representing domestic abuse'

Depp sued his ex-wife Amber Heard for libel in Fairfax County Circuit Court after she wrote an op-ed piece in The Washington Post in 2018 referring to herself as a ‘public determine representing home abuse’

Dougherty stated that media retailers had been extra seemingly to take on an op-ed if it had ‘sturdy views’ and the extra the individual was in the public eye at the time, the ‘extra seemingly it will likely be accepted by a extra distinguished media outlet’.

Depp’s legal professionals requested Dougherty if Heard’s marriage to Depp made the op-ed a ‘stronger product’.

Dougherty stated: ‘Amber’s contributions to the portion of op-ed that talks about personal experiences is what knowledgeable the view this was a robust op-ed’.

One of Depp’s legal professionals requested: ‘She needed the op-ed to come out simply after Aquaman launch?’

Dougherty stated: ‘I recall there was a dialog for optimum timing’

Dougherty added that it was ‘appropriate’ that Heard needed the article to come out simply after the Aquaman launch.

On December 11 2018, Witz emailed her colleagues that Heard’s crew had despatched again a closing draft but it surely ‘neutered a lot of her marriage and home violence’.

Witz stated that the purpose was the ‘get this out this week to capitalize on the large marketing campaign for Aquaman’, referring to the publicity surrounding the movie.

In observe up emails, Witz stated that Heard needed to get a point out of her getting a restraining order again into the article.

Witz stated: ‘Is there an suave approach to to try this?’

Such a point out didn’t make it into the closing minimize.

Around that point, Stacey Sullivan, one other member of the ACLU’s communications pitched the the article to Michael Duffy, an editor at the Washington Post.

Emails shown in court Thursday revealed Johnny Depp contributed towards Heard's $3.5million pledge to the ACLU

Emails proven in courtroom Thursday revealed Johnny Depp contributed in the direction of Heard’s $3.5million pledge to the ACLU 

The e mail stated: ‘Hey Michael, questioning if we’d curiosity you in an op-ed by Amber Heard ‘Who as it’s possible you’ll recall was crushed up throughout her transient marriage to Johnny Depp’

Once it had been agreed the article can be printed, Heard emailed her crew and the ACLU: ‘It’s going to the Washington Post!!!’

The courtroom additionally heard about the panic inside the ACLU how in 2019 Reuters inquired about how a lot Heard had paid of her $3.5m pledge.

In an e mail to colleagues, Witz insisted that Heard had ‘donated her full settlement to charity’ however investigations revealed she had solely paid $1.3m

As Witz and her colleagues struggled to phrase a press release to Reuters, she emailed her colleagues: ‘I had nightmares about this final tonight, do you assume that is OK?’

Depp’s legal professionals requested if Witz was ‘involved the ACLU was not telling the reality?

As Depp appeared on and smiled, Dougherty stated: ‘She was doing the whole lot she may to give an accurate assertion to the press’.

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