Johnny Depp's courtroom behaviour may cost him his case against Amber Heard, according to legal experts.
The Pirates of the Caribbean star's $50 million (£38 million) defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife, centred on a 2018 Washington Post op-ed in which Heard claimed she had become 'a public figure representing domestic abuse', has paused in Virginia.
The trial will pick up again on Monday, 16 May, with Heard's testimony and cross-examination to continue, as well as other witnesses taking the stand. Closing arguments are set for Friday, 27 May.
Each beat of the trial has dominated the news since it began, whether it's audio recordings of Heard, the Aquaman 2 star's allegations against Depp or the pair locking eyes in the courtroom.
Notably, there's been a few instances where Depp has laughed to himself during the trial, both in response to his apartment receptionist's testimony and Heard saying his breath stunk of weed and alcohol.
He's also been seen eating gummy bears and doodling, made somewhat snappy remarks to Heard's team during his cross-examination and hasn't looked at Heard at all during her testimony.
Speaking to the MailOnline, Virginia defamation lawyer Lee Berlik said Depp's behaviour may be sabotaging his own case.
He said: "In Fairfax, Virginia we don't get a lot of celebrity trials.
"In a normal case where nobody knows the parties and you have somebody suing his wife for $100 million, you don't want to see that person giggling and chuckling to himself and making smart-ass comments on the witness stand.
"You want the jury to sympathise with your client and they have to be likeable for that. If you're acting like this is just fun and games that could turn a lot of people off.
"But I don't know how Johnny Depp being Johnny Depp changes that. Normal people aren't met by 100 screaming fans as they enter the courtroom. I think it will turn some people on the jury off but will it turn all of them off?"
Steven Krieger, a lawyer who also handles defamation cases in Virginia, also criticised Heard's demeanour.
He said: "It wouldn't surprise me if there was at least one juror who found each of their reactions to be inappropriate or not credible or in some way negative.
"As for Depp, you don't want to appear to a jury that you're making jokes, snickering, or not taking this seriously.
"As for Heard, you don't want to be staring straight ahead with a deadpan expression on your face. Both should be trying to appear sympathetic, humane, and like the victim."
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