All the evidence has been given, and now the contentious defamation case between film stars Johnny Depp and Amber Heard is headed toward its end.
On Friday, the parties offered closing arguments after a seven-week lawsuit that has taken a firm hold on public attention.Shortly before beginning deliberations, jurors heard closing arguments from both Heard and Depp’s attorneys.
Heard’s attorney, Ben Rottenborn, told jurors that if Depp failed to demonstrate he never, at any time, abused Heard, she would win the Depp-Heard case. Rottenborn argues that it would be impossible for Depp to show “that he never once abused Amber.” He added that a decision against Amber Heard would suggest “that no matter what you do as an abuse victim, you always have to do more.”
The legal team for Heard, the defendant in the case, told jurors to “think about the message that Mr Depp and his attorneys are sending to Amber and victims of domestic abuse.” Rottenborn told jurors that “if Amber was abused by Mr Depp even one time, then she wins,” and he added that this could mean physical, mental or sexual abuse, whilst a lawyer for Depp, Benjamin Chew, told jurors: “You have now come to know the real Amber Heard.”
As Depp is suing Heard for $50 million, if she loses she will have to pay up.
What happens if Amber Heard wins?
If she wins, she will not have to pay Depp any damages, though his team may be able to appeal the decision.
The closing arguments were the legal teams’ last chance to convince the jury of why they should win the case.
Both sides gave an explanation of how the evidence supports their theory of the case, and shed light on any matters that needed clarification for the jury to render a verdict.
Closing arguments are also the lawyers’ chance to jog the jurors’ memory about the crucial evidence that has been presented and to talk them into adopting an interpretation which is of benefit to their client’s position.
A jury heard these closing arguments on Friday, but after a couple hours of thinking decided to restart their work after the holiday weekend.
The seven-person civil jury began its deliberations at 3PM Friday and concluded for the day two hours later, as it did not arrive at a completely unanimous decision by end of business. They will recommence deliberations on Tuesday.
It is also important to note that what the jury considers will be very different from the public discussion that has engulfed the conspicuous events.