Round two of the explosive, protracted struggle between Amber Heard and Johnny Depp will kick off Monday in Virginia courtroom — the place the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star is suing his ex-wife for $50 million claiming she defamed him in a 2018 op-ed.
The star-studded witness checklist for the Fairfax County trial contains everybody from Elon Musk to James Franco and the warring ex-couple themselves.
At the middle of the case is the piece that Heard, 35, wrote for the Washington Post, wherein she spoke out about being a sufferer of “sexual violence.”
While Depp is just not named within the op-ed, the actor who as soon as made upwards of $20 million per movie, says it ruined his fame and career after it was broadly assumed Heard was writing about their five-year relationship.
Defamation instances as high-profile as this one are normally litigated behind closed doorways, however a jury of 12 Virginians will finally resolve whether or not they discover Heard’s allegations credible.
Just days after Heard’s op-ed revealed, Disney dropped Depp from its “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, which collectively grossed greater than $4.5 billion within the field office. And after dropping his 2020 courtroom case in UK against The Sun — over its description of Depp as a “wife beater” — the actor withdrew from his position within the Harry Potter spin-off “Fantastic Beasts,” apparently on the behest of Warner Bros.
Unlike the case within the UK, which had fewer witnesses however the place the decide dominated that Depp had bodily abused Heard, the case in Virginia has a prolonged witness checklist and is anticipated to final six weeks.
Jury choice within the case begins Monday.
Heard has claimed that Depp was all the time the aggressor and any bodily response from her was to defend herself, whereas the actor has accused his “sociopathic” ex-wife of being the perpetrator of the violence that marred their marriage.
On Saturday, Heard introduced on Instagram that she will probably be off social media whereas in Virginia for the trial, including: “I have always maintained a love for Johnny and it brings me great pain to have to live out the details of our past life together in front of the world.”
Both Heard and Depp are anticipated to take the stand — though it was not instantly clear if Depp will attend the trial.
Heard’s former lover Elon Musk, actor James Franco, “WandaVision” star Paul Bettany, actress Ellen Barkin, representatives from Disney and Warner Bros. in addition to the American Civil Liberties Union and the Los Angeles Police Department are amongst these anticipated to testify. Some will seemingly testify remotely.
Two LAPD officer who responded to the ex-couple’s home in May 2016 for a home disturbance are supposed to take the stand and can play body-camera footage from the scene that day, in accordance to insiders.
An individual aware of Heard’s case mentioned to there’ll seemingly be “more doctors and psychiatrists, more pictures, more audio, more video and more documents showing there was abuse” than on the UK trial.
Heard’s 1,530-item exhibit checklist features a textual content trade between Depp and Paul Bettany, wherein Depp writes: “Let’s burn Amber!!! … Let’s drown her before we burn her!!! I will f—k her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure she’s dead.” The disturbing message was revealed on the UK trial.
“These are two people who had troubled, abusive childhoods,” a supply aware of each Depp and Heard instructed The Post. “Amber had a difficult father that she once compared to Johnny, and Johnny’s mother was very tough on him. It may be why both of them keep fighting it out and not letting it go.”
A spokeswoman for Heard instructed The Post that “the UK High Court of Justice has already found that Mr. Depp engaged in at least 12 acts of domestic abuse against Amber in his libel suit against the London Sun. Now he’s seeking a different result in his libel suit against Amber.”
Heard filed a $100 million countersuit against Depp when he filed his $50 million defamation go well with.
Celebrity lawyer Claire Gill told The Hollywood Reporter that this courtroom battle, which will probably be televised and accessible for public viewing, may be very distinctive.
“It’s just really rare for someone to take on this level of risk. You might say that suggests that possibly he’s telling the truth. The perception is ‘Why would anyone do this unless what’s being said about him is untrue,’” she mentioned. “Others would say he’s desperate and has no choice to follow through. Either way it’s really unusual.”
Additional reporting by Dana Kennedy