Johnny Depp’s lawyers have delivered their closing arguments ahead of the trial being handed to the jury for deliberation.
Amber Heard is being sued by ex-husband Johnny Depp over an op-ed she penned in 2018, claiming she had been the victim of domestic abuse.
While it did not specifically name the Pirates of the Caribbean star, Depp argued that it damaged his career and went on to launch a $50 million defamation case against Heard – who in turn countersued him for $100m.
Today (27 May), each side was given two hours to summarise their case, after which the trial will be handed over to the jury to begin their deliberations – a process expected to continue into next week.
Depp’s team went first, with lawyer Camille Vasquez saying it is now up to jurors to ‘hold Miss Heard accountable for her lies’.
She said: “What is at stake in this trial is a man's good name. Even more than that, what's at stake in this trial is a man's life.”
Vaquez said there was an ‘abuser’ in the courtroom, but that ‘it is not Mr. Depp’.
“There is a victim of domestic violence in this courtroom, but it is not Miss Heard,” she added.
Vasquez told the jury that they cannot pick and choose what to believe regarding abuse allegations, arguing: "You either believe all of it or none of it."
Taking over, attorney Benjamin Chew then said: "You have now come to know the real Amber Heard. Scary."
He went on to list a number of high-profile partners Depp has been linked to in the past, including Kate Moss and Vanessa Paradis, noting that no woman has ever accused the actor of physical abuse.
"No woman ever, before Amber Heard, ever claimed that Mr. Depp raised a hand to her in his 58 years," Chew said.
While Chew said Depp was 'no saint', and has never claimed to be one, he argued that the star 'does not deserve to have his life and legacy destroyed by a vicious lie'.
He said: "To tarnish him as an abuser, is to destroy him in the eyes of many of these [fans], who will never look at him the same way again."
Chew said the date that Heard's Washington Post article was published coincided with the release of Aquaman, and that, while she did not mention him by name, 'everyone knew who she was talking about' and that the op-ed was 'just another one of her many lies'.
Earlier today, Judge Penny Azcarate announced that the identities of the jurors will be sealed for one year ‘due to the high-profile nature’ of the trial – something that had not previously been the case.
Azacarate also shared instructions with the jury – a copy of which would be allowed inside the deliberation room – including telling jurors they must read Heard’s entire op-ed, explaining that they must not seize on any ‘one word, phrase or image’.
As reported by Law and Crime Network’s Sierra Gillespie, in order to side with Depp on these points, Azacarate said jurors must find that Heard acted with knowledge that the statement was false or wilful disregard for the truth.
To reach a favourable verdict for Heard, she said the jury must determine the statements made by Adam Waldman were done so with actual malice.Featured Image Credit: Law and Crime Network