Sun. Dec 4th, 2022

Editor’s note: Some testimony contains graphic language and descriptions of sexual and physical assault.

The civil trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard continued Tuesday as Heard’s legal team rested its case. The trial in Depp’s $50 million lawsuit and Heard’s $100 million counterclaim is in its sixth week.

Judge Penney Azcarate rejected a motion from Depp’s attorneys to toss out a $100 million counterclaim she filed against Depp. The counterclaim alleges Depp’s then-lawyer, Adam Waldman, defamed Heard when he called her abuse allegations a hoax.

Azcarate said the bar for tossing out a claim before it goes to the jury is exceedingly high, and said there is enough evidence to allow it to go forward. She had already ruled Depp could be held responsible for statements made by his lawyer, a principle Depp’s team disputes.

Depp is suing Heard for libel in Fairfax County Circuit Court over a December 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post describing herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” His lawyers say he was defamed by the article even though it never mentioned his name.

CBS News has confirmed Depp’s team is expected to call supermodel Kate Moss, who dated Depp in the 1990s. Earlier, Heard testified that during a 2015 fight she recalled an alleged incident of Depp pushing Moss down a staircase. That opened the door for Depp’s attorneys to call Moss to the stand. 

Depp has denied he ever struck Heard, and says she was the abuser in the relationship. Heard has testified about more than a dozen separate instances of physical abuse she says she suffered at Depp’s hands.

Also Tuesday, Walter Hamara, the president of DC Films, testified that Amber Heard lacked chemistry with “Aquaman” star Jason Momoa, and the studio considered replacing her for the blockbuster’s sequel, “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” slated to be released next spring.

Hamara said in court: “It’s like what makes a movie star a movie star? You know it when you see it. And the chemistry wasn’t there.”

Hamara’s testimony is in contrast to Heard’s lawyers claim that her role was scaled back and almost cut completely from the sequel because of public backlash to her abuse allegations against Depp. 

Depp’s attorneys also called the actor’s hand doctor Dr. David A. Kulber to the stand. Heard’s attorneys called a hand surgeon who had not treated Depp who testified the star’s injury to his finger was unlikely to have occurred as he claimed. 

Wayne Dennison, Depp’s attorney’s also sought to discredit expert Dr. David Spiegel, who was called by Heard’s legal team and said during earlier testimony that he had not personally spoken with or evaluated Depp, but that he had reviewed depositions, medical records, video and other evidence.

Dennison questioned whether Spiegel could accurate assess Depp without ever having spoken to him. He also noted that the doctor referred to Depp as an idiot during a taped deposition.

“So I’m thinking back, where was he coming in from Europe for a deposition, video deposition that he gave and he took a overnight, the night before,” said Spiegel. “And what I think I said was that … if you’re going to do a major thing for a trial that you’re involved with, I think you’d be an idiot to come in the night before.”

Dennison also questioned why Spiegel felt that Depp’s use of an earpiece on movie sets was a sign of cognitive problems.

“Maybe Hollywood stars get lines fed to them through earpieces all the time. And I don’t know, That could be said,” said Spiegel. “It sounded to me to be unusual, if you’re doing a movie and you don’t know the lines. But as you said, I’m just judging, you know, what I do with lectures and that would never happen.”

While it had been reported Heard’s attorneys would call Depp as a witness Monday, they did not do so. Depp’s attorneys are planning to recall the star to the stand ahead of closing arguments Friday.

Both Depp and Heard have each testified extensively already about details of their toxic relationship.



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