Spherical two of the explosive, protracted combat 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 listing for the Fairfax County trial contains everybody from Elon Musk to James Franco and the warring ex-couple themselves.
On the heart of the case is the piece that Heard, 35, wrote for the Washington Post, through which she spoke out about being a sufferer of “sexual violence.”
Whereas Depp just isn’t named within the op-ed, the actor who as soon as made upwards of $20 million per movie, says it ruined his repute and profession after it was broadly assumed Heard was writing about their five-year relationship.
Defamation circumstances as high-profile as this one are often litigated behind closed doorways, however a jury of 12 Virginians will in the end resolve whether or not they discover Heard’s allegations credible.
Simply 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 workplace. And after shedding his 2020 courtroom case in UK towards The Solar — over its description of Depp as a “spouse beater” — the actor withdrew from his function within the Harry Potter spin-off “Improbable Beasts,” apparently on the behest of Warner Bros.
Not like the case within the UK, which had fewer witnesses however the place the choose dominated that Depp had bodily abused Heard, the case in Virginia has a prolonged witness listing and is predicted to final six weeks.
Jury choice within the case begins Monday.
Heard has claimed that Depp was at all times 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’ve at all times maintained a love for Johnny and it brings me nice ache to should reside out the small print of our previous life collectively in entrance of the world.”
Each 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 Division are amongst these anticipated to testify. Some will doubtless testify remotely.
Two LAPD officer who responded to the ex-couple’s home in Might 2016 for a home disturbance are speculated to take the stand and can play body-camera footage from the scene that day, in response to insiders.
An individual aware of Heard’s case stated to there’ll doubtless be “extra docs and psychiatrists, extra photos, extra audio, extra video and extra paperwork exhibiting there was abuse” than on the UK trial.
Heard’s 1,530-item exhibit listing features a textual content trade between Depp and Paul Bettany, through which Depp writes: “Let’s burn Amber!!! … Let’s drown her earlier than we burn her!!! I’ll f—okay her burnt corpse afterwards to verify she’s lifeless.” The disturbing message was revealed on the UK trial.
“These are two individuals who had troubled, abusive childhoods,” a supply aware of each Depp and Heard instructed The Submit. “Amber had a tough father that she as soon as in comparison with Johnny, and Johnny’s mom was very powerful on him. It might be why each of them hold combating it out and never letting it go.”
A spokeswoman for Heard instructed The Submit that “the UK Excessive Court docket of Justice has already discovered that Mr. Depp engaged in at the very least 12 acts of home abuse towards Amber in his libel swimsuit towards the London Solar. Now he’s searching for a special lead to his libel swimsuit towards Amber.”
Heard filed a $100 million countersuit towards Depp when he filed his $50 million defamation swimsuit.
Superstar lawyer Claire Gill told The Hollywood Reporter that this courtroom battle, which will probably be televised and accessible for public viewing, could be very distinctive.
“It’s simply actually uncommon for somebody to tackle this stage of danger. You would possibly say that implies that probably he’s telling the reality. The notion is ‘Why would anybody do that until what’s being stated about him is unfaithful,’” she stated. “Others would say he’s determined and has no option to observe by way of. Both approach it’s actually uncommon.”
Extra reporting by Dana Kennedy