The charges of domestic violence against Johnny Depp by his ex-wife Amber Heard have had a “devastating” effect on the American actor’s career, his lawyer claimed Tuesday in a U.S. court where the former couple accuse each other of defamation. .
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This lawsuit, which is taking place near Washington, DC, stems from a column published in the Washington Post in 2018 in which Amber Heard described herself as a “victim of domestic violence” who was bullied by the community after coming out of silence two years earlier. .
“This case shows how words can be destructive when they are fake and spoken out in public,” said the actor’s lawyer, Benjamin Chew, at the opening of the case.
“Amber Heard forever changed Mr. Depp’s life and reputation, and you will hear him talk about the terrible impact it had on his life,” he said, addressing jurors.
According to Benjamin Chew, Amber Heard had accused her husband of violence in 2016 of taking revenge on him following his decision to divorce.
And two years later, “in the wake of the MeToo movement,” which condemned sexual violence, and “just before the release of the movie Aquaman,” in which she starred, Amber Heard “chose to remind the world of these toxic allegations in a world-renowned newspaper. ‘, He assured.
Freedom of expression
In her op-ed, the 35-year-old actress did not mention Johnny Depp, 58, whom she met in 2009 and married in 2015.
The following year, she applied for a protection order to keep him away, claiming she had been hit by the actress. But she had dropped her charges as part of their divorce, ending with a bang in 2017.
Following the publication of this forum, the former undercover police officer from “21 Jump Street”, who denies ever having hit his wife, had filed a defamation suit against Amber Heard claiming $ 50 million in damages.
The actress, in turn, had filed a defamation suit for $ 100 million, condemning the extension of the “abuse” and “harassment” that Johnny Depp imposed on her during their marriage.
The actor filed his lawsuit in the state of Virginia, where The Washington Post is printed, and where the legal framework is more favorable for libel claims than in California, where the two actors reside. The trial is taking place in a court in Fairfax, a small town in the state of Virginia near the US capital.
This case is primarily “about the first amendment” to the Constitution, which gave Amber Heard “the right to say the words she said,” Amber Heard’s lawyer Ben Rottenborn replied, asking jurors to “confirm and protect” this right.
“If Amber had intended to use this article to describe the abuse she was subjected to … this article would have been very, very different,” he said.
“You will see the real Johnny Depp, in addition to the red carpets, the notoriety and the money from the pirate costumes,” the lawyer added, evoking a man who was made violent due to alcohol and drug abuse, addiction that ruined his career.
The two former spouses are attending the trial, broadcasting live on television, and which should be extremely well attended. It was to last several weeks, and the list of witnesses is worthy of the big Hollywood movies, with billionaire Elon Musk, actors James Franco and Paul Bettany and actress Ellen Barkin.
This scenario is similar to what unfolded in 2020 in London. At the time, the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star sued the publisher of The Sun newspaper for an article portraying him as a violent husband.
Called as a witness, his ex-wife had described a dozen attacks committed, according to her, by a man who had been turned into a “monster” due to his excessive use of drugs.
Johnny Depp had admitted to having used too many drugs and alcohol, but said he had never laid a hand on a woman. He had received support from his ex-peers Vanessa Paradis and Winona Ryder.
British Justice had finally decided on the tabloid given that “the vast majority of the alleged attacks had been proven”.
After this setback, the actor’s career plummeted and he was thrown out of several projects, including the 6th part of “Pirates of the Caribbean”.