Johnny Depp & Amber Heard Case Is Now in the Jury’s Hands

After 23 days of testimony, lawyers for Johnny Depp and Amber Heard just delivered their closing argument.

After 23 days of testimony, lawyers for Johnny Depp and Amber Heard just delivered their closing arguments, seeking to persuade the jury that their client had been the person who was abused and defamed.

Mr. Depp’s lawyers claimed that Depp had been falsely disparaged in a Washington Post op-ed in which Ms. Heard referred to herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.”

The accusations of spousal abuse that she was referencing, the lawyers argued, had ruined Mr. Depp’s life.

“We ask you to give Mr. Depp his life back by telling the world that Mr. Depp is not the abuser Ms. Heard said he is,” a lawyer for Mr. Depp, Camille Vasquez, said, “and hold Ms. Heard accountable for her lies.”

Ms. Heard’s lawyers claimed that accusations are absolutely true. They also added that, in 2020, a lawyer (who represented Mr. Depp at the time) called her abuse accusations a hoax.

“In Mr. Depp’s world, you don’t leave Mr. Depp, and if you do, he will start a campaign of global humiliation against you,” argued a lawyer for Ms. Heard, Ben Rottenborn.

Now, the case is in the hands of seven jurors.

The trial in Fairfax County Circuit Court has drawn widespread attention because the proceedings have been both televised and livestreamed.

The jury verdict in this case must be unanimous, but the panel does not have to find the evidence convincing “beyond a reasonable doubt,” as in a criminal case. Each party has the burden of proving by the greater weight of the evidence that they had been defamed, and that there was clear and convincing evidence that the other side had acted with actual malice while defaming them.

The jurors are also tasked with determining the amount of money either side deserves if he or she wins. Mr. Depp has sought $50 million and Ms. Heard has asked for $100 million.

Mr. Depp’s team sought to portray him as honest, as a person who was forthcoming in his testimony about his drug use and battle with an opioid addiction.

“Mr. Depp is no saint,” said one of his lawyers, Benjamin Chew. “But he is not a violent abuser.”

Ms. Vasquez, a lawyer for Mr. Depp, urged jurors not to pick and choose which of Ms. Heard’s many accusations to believe, telling them, “You either believe all of it or none of it.”

But Mr. Rottenborn, a lawyer for Ms. Heard, countered that the jury did not even have to scrutinize the accusations to find that the statements in her op-ed — including that she became a “public figure representing domestic abuse” — were true and protected by the First Amendment.

RELATED: Amber Heard Expresses ‘Torture’ of Online Mockery, Threats: ‘I’m a Human Being’

He also argued that the jury only needed to find that Ms. Heard had been abused once, including emotionally or psychologically, to establish that she was telling the truth.

“If Amber was abused by Mr. Depp even one time,” he said, “then she wins.”


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