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After telling a jury that Johnny Depp has turned his defamation trial into a “soap opera,” Amber Heard’s attorneys accused the Pirates of the Caribbean star on Tuesday of extreme physical and sexual violence. One attorney for Heard painted a scene for the jury of Depp on a three-day, drug-fueled bender in Australia, where he allegedly hurls bottles at her, drags her, punches her and “penetrates her with a liquor bottle.”
Heard’s attorney Elaine Charlson Bredehoft said that the ordeal began after Depp had taken eight to 10 tablets of ecstasy.
“The next three days are just a cycle of very, very, very violent activity by him,” Bredehoft said.
As related by Bredehoft, Heard tried to talk Depp down—to no avail.
“He has her jammed up against the bar,” Bredehoft said. “He has hurled bottles and bottles at her. He has dragged her across the floor on the broken bottles. He has punched her. He has kicked her. He has told her he’s going to fucking kill her, and he fucking hates her. He’s pounding at her, pounding at her. And then, he penetrates her with a liquor bottle.”
Depp could be seen wincing behind Bredeholf, as she made that allegation.
The lurid account shows that Heard has not backed down from allegations that she brought when filing a restraining order against Depp in 2016, one year before their short-lived marriage ended in divorce.
In 2018, Heard wrote obliquely about her claims in a Washington Post op-ed titled “I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.” The piece did not mention Depp by name, but his lawyers argue that her paparazzi-chronicled court proceedings years earlier had made the context unmistakable.
Amid the cultural reckoning of the #MeToo movement, Depp’s attorneys say, the op-ed damaged his career with a toxic scandal in Hollywood. Depp sued Heard for defamation in Virginia’s Fairfax County Circuit Court, seeking $50 million in damages.
After unsuccessfully trying to dismiss the lawsuit or move it to California, Heard countersued Depp for labeling her story a “hoax” in September 2020.
“Quite simply, this was an ambush, a hoax,” Depp’s attorney Adam Waldman told the Daily Mail, in one of the challenged statements of the countersuit.
Waldman alleged that “Amber and her friends spilled a little wine and roughed the place up, got their stories straight under the direction of a lawyer and publicist, then placed a second call to 911.”
Earlier that day, Depp’s attorney Benjamin Chew told a jury that Heard’s “terrible and false allegations” had a “devastating” impact on his career. Chew claimed that Heard had concocted false abuse claims, in part, because Depp had made clear that he wanted to divorce her. He said that she revived that scandal in the Post in order to promote her appearance in “Aquaman.”
In her counterclaim, Heard alleges that Depp damaged her brand by making her toxic just as her career had reached its height.
“That was a blockbuster,” Bredeholf said. “It was the highest grossing movie in D.C. film history ever up to this point. It hit over a billion dollars in a very short period of time. It was a mega, mega hit. She was moving forward.”
After Depp’s denials, Bredeholf said: “Nobody wants to touch her.”
After hourslong opening statements by two sets of attorneys for Depp and Heard—advancing and defending against their separate defamation claims and counterclaims—the jury broke for lunch. The trial is expected to feature blockbuster testimony. Depp himself is expected to take the stand, along with his former security guards, bodyguard, producers and other associates. Heard is expected to call billionaire Elon Musk, whom she dated following her divorce with Depp.
(Screenshot via Law&Crime Network)
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