Johnny Depp and Amber Heard were back in court today as their lawyers delivered closing arguments.
Depp is suing Heard $50 million for defamation over a 2018 op-ed piece she wrote about being a domestic abuse survivor. She is countersuing him for $100 million.
Over the past several weeks, the exes have battled it out in court, both accusing the other of abuse.
Johnny’s attorney Camille Vasquez addressed the jury first, telling them, in part, “What is at stake in this trial is a man’s good name, even more than that is what is at stake in this trial is a man’s life. A life that he lost when he was accused of a heinous crime and the life he could live when he is finally vindicated.”
She continued, “Exactly six years ago today, on May 27, 2016, Ms. Heard walked into court and filed a false report of domestic abuse against her husband of 15 months, Johnny Depp.”
“The scene was a setup,” Vasquez said of the day Amber filed for a restraining order against the actor in L.A.
The lawyer claimed, “She tipped off the paparazzi so they would be waiting. They knew exactly where she would pause, which side of her face to photograph. And the photos captured what she wanted them to see: the image of a battered woman.”
“What the paparazzi didn’t know is the dark mark on her face mysteriously appeared six days after seeing Mr. Depp, it was a lie… the world only saw what she wanted them to see.”
Vasquez continued to pick apart Heard’s case, and called her a “deeply troubled person,” and at one point stated, “The evidence presented at this trial has shown that Ms. Heard is in fact the abuser and Mr. Depp the abused.”
Benjamin Chew, another attorney for Depp, also spoke. He told the jury, “While Mr. Depp’s name will be forever tarnished by these horrendous and false allegations this case is about telling you his story and the truth about what really happened, which you’ve now heard. It is about restoring his lost reputation.”
He added, “It’s about showing Mr. Depp’s children, Lily Rose and Jack, that the truth is worth fighting for. It is. And it’s about restoring Mr. Depp’s name and standing in the community to the fullest extent that you can.”
Chew insisted, “And you can do something and only you, ladies and gentlemen, can do that for him.”
Heard’s lawyer Ben Rottenborn also addressed the jury, warning of the message this trial could send to victims of domestic violence.
“Think about the message they are sending to Amber, and victims of domestic abuse everywhere,” Rottenborn said. “If you didn’t take pictures, it didn’t happen, and if you did take pictures, they’re fake… If you don’t seek medical attention, you’re lying. If you do seek medical attention, you’re crazy… And if you’ve finally decided that enough is enough, you’re a gold-digger.”
He insisted, “That’s what they’re trying to get you, the jury, to be an accomplice to.”
Bringing up the 2018 op-ed, which appeared in The Washington Post, Rottenborn said, “You can weigh this case… by determining that those statements are true and protected by the First Amendment. If Amber was abused just one time, then she wins. And we’re not just talking about physical abuse. We’re talking about emotional abuse. We’re talking about verbal abuse.”
Elaine Bredehoft, another attorney for Heard, also spoke, saying Depp “blamed everybody in the world: his agent, his manager, his lawyer, Amber, his friends. But he’s never accepted responsibility for anything in his life. But we’re asking you to make him accept responsibility.”
Vasquez addressed the jury again during a rebuttal, saying, ”The evidence overwhelmingly shows that Ms. heard is an abuser and that she is a liar,. She lied about Mr. Depp and took on the role of a lifetime as a public figure representing abuse.”
She insisted Amber “does not deserve” that role.
“While you deliberate, ask yourselves why Mr. Depp would put himself through this,” Vasquez said. “Exposing every embarrassing detail of his life on national television if he was guilty of anything, anything, that Ms. Heard accuses him of.”