Salem Radio Network News Monday, August 15, 2022

U.S.

Johnny Depp’s lawyers to resume questioning of Amber Heard in defamation fight

By Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – “Aquaman” actor Amber Heard will face more questioning on Tuesday from attorneys for her ex-husband, Johnny Depp, the Hollywood star she has accused of physical and emotional abuse before and during their brief marriage.

The “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor, 58, is suing Heard for $50 million, saying she defamed him when she claimed she was a victim of domestic abuse. Heard, 36, has countersued for $100 million, arguing that Depp smeared her by calling her a liar.

On Monday, she told jurors it was “torture” to see her claims being questioned and to have to defend herself to the public.

“I want to move on,” she said through tears. “I want Johnny to move on too. I want him to leave me alone.”

Depp’s attorneys began their attempt to discredit her claims by introducing photographs of Heard on red carpets and on “The James Corden Show” during their relationship.

The public appearances took place shortly after occasions that Heard said Depp had struck her with his hands, on which he usually wore heavy rings, and the pictures appeared to reveal no injuries.

Heard said she did suffer harm, and at one point thought her nose was broken, but the injuries were either not severe enough to be visible or were covered by makeup. She said she used ice to reduce swelling.

Depp has testified that he never hit Heard and argued that she was the abuser in their relationship. He said she threw a vodka bottle at him in early 2015, severing the top of his right middle finger.

Heard said she did not cause the finger injury and said she only hit him to defend herself or her sister.

The actors wed in February 2015 and their divorce was finalized about two years later.

The legal case centers on a December 2018 opinion piece by Heard that appeared in the Washington Post. The article never mentioned Depp by name, but his lawyer told jurors it was clear Heard was referencing him.

Depp, once among Hollywood’s biggest stars, said Heard’s allegations cost him “everything.” A new “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie was put on hold, and Depp was replaced in the “Fantastic Beasts” film franchise, a “Harry Potter” spinoff.

Heard’s attorneys have argued that she told the truth and that her opinion was protected free speech under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.

Closing arguments are scheduled for May 27.

Less than two years ago, Depp lost a libel case against the Sun, a British tabloid that labeled him a “wife beater.” A London High Court judge ruled that he had repeatedly assaulted Heard.

Depp’s lawyers filed the case in Fairfax County, Virginia, because the Washington Post is printed there. The newspaper is not a defendant.

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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