The lawsuit against Johnny Depp live: Amber Heard and the actor arrive in Virginia court for $ 50 million defamation lawsuit

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard arrive at the High Court while the libel hearing continues

Johnny Depp’s multimillion-dollar defamation case against his ex-wife, Amber Heard, begins in Virginia later today.

He claims an article from 2018 written by Heard in Washington Post – where she talked about domestic violence against women – suggested that Depp, her ex-husband, was an addict.

Although the 35-year-old did not name the actor, Depp’s lawyers say Heard’s allegations have made it difficult for the 58-year-old to get roles he previously did.

Depp is known for appearing in films such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Sweeny Todd and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Heard has appeared in titles including Aquaman and Drive angry.

He is asking for $ 50 million (£ 38.2 million) in compensation during the trial in Fairfax County District Court. Heard, meanwhile, has filed a defamation suit against Depp, from whom she was divorced in 2017, for nuisance.

Depp has previously lost a lawsuit in the UK against the British newspaper The sun regarding the allegations in Heard’s 2018 article.


Depp and Heard: A timeline for their relationship

From meeting on the set to a movie from 2011 to divorce filing in 2016, the story between Depp and Heard are likely to be heard again when the trial in Fairfax, Virginia, begins.

The Independent’s Clémence Michallon has a timeline here:

Oliver O’ConnellApril 11, 2022 5:56 PM


How long does the trial last?

The trial is likely to last several weeks, according to analysts, with the previous case brought by Depp against The sun the newspaper takes three weeks to complete.

The case in court in Fairfax, Virginia, began Monday with jury selection. In the next phase, both sides will present their arguments – including a number of witnesses.

It may take some time to conclude, where the judge must also rule on Heard’s counterclaim for defamation of her ex-husband.

She has accused Depp of smearing her with his act of defamation and is likely to claim immunity with reference to her Washington Post article from 2018 on being a victim of domestic violence.

Oliver O’ConnellApril 11, 2022 5:37 PM


Jury selection underway

The independent‘s Clemence Michallon reports from the courthouse:

Jury selection is underway for the defamation case against Johnny Depp and Amber Heard in Fairfax.

The cases began around noon. 10 ET with jury selection. Depp and Heard are both present, each sitting on one side of the courthouse with their legal team.

Potential jurors were first asked if they would face any difficulties if asked to take part in a trial that is expected to last six weeks. Some were apologized for that background.

The judge and each party’s lawyers then asked potential jurors whether they had read or heard anything about the case and, if so, whether they would still be able to make an objective decision in this case.

Some jurors have acknowledged previous knowledge of the case, but have generally said they would be able to keep an open mind if they are part of the final jury.

A total of seven juries and four deputies will be elected.

Oliver O’ConnellApril 11, 2022 5:29 PM


Heard says in the statement: ‘I will continue to pay the price’

In a statement on Saturday, Heard said she continued to “pay the price” for being a woman who “speaks out against those in power” and that she was disappointed that her and Depp’s lives would once again unfold in court.

“I never named him,” Heard said Saturday. “I rather wrote about the price women pay for speaking out against those in power.”

“I continue to pay the price, but hopefully when this case is settled I can move on, and so can Johnny,” she added of her ex-husband, whom she said she “has always maintained a love for” .

Heard’s lawyers are likely to argue that she is “immune” to liability during the trial because her opinion piece in Washington Post was a matter of public interest.

The article, which was published in 2018, was entitled: I spoke out against sexual violence – and faced the wrath of our culture. That needs to change. It did not name her ex-husband.

Oliver O’ConnellApril 11, 2022 5:18 PM


Previous Depp and Heard trial appearances

This is not the first time Depp and Heard have appeared in court after failing to sue the publishers of The sun newspaper for defamation in 2020.

A judge ruled that the headline of an article written by Solens CEO Dan Wootton in 2018 was “essentially true”. It described the actor as a “wife beater”, which he denies.

Depp, whose lawyers called the judge’s decision “perverse,” was also not allowed to appeal the decision.

He also dismissed the allegations in the article and by Heard, who spoke in court as a witness during the case in London’s Royal Courts of Justice.

While Depp says he was forced to resign from his role in the film Amazing Beasts – -one Harry Potter spin-off – after the trial, he has participated in a number of film events and was awarded the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain for his life achievements. The decision turned out to be very controversial.

Oliver O’ConnellApril 11, 2022 16:59


Who could testify during the trial?

Ahead of the trial, which is set to begin today in Virginia, Depp and Heard have each published a list of witnesses their team may wish to call, writes The Independent’s Clémence Michallon.

They have each filed lists of objections to some of the other side’s witnesses, so that the final pool of witnesses will become clearer and may evolve as the case continues.

Some of the people mentioned so far as potential witnesses include Tesla founder Elon Musk and actor James Franco …

Oliver O’ConnellApril 11, 2022 4:40 PM


Why is the trial taking place in Virginia?

Although the couple both live in California, the defamation lawsuit is being filed by Depp against his ex-wife in Virginia, where the lawsuit will take place in Fairfax County District Court.

Online editions of Washington Post published through servers located in Fairfax County, which is thought to be one of the reasons why Depp’s attorneys decide on the location.

Another is due to Virginia’s anti-Slapp law, which is not as broad as the one in California. The provision allows a person to claim protection against a lawsuit when he or she speaks on matters of public interest.

Lawyers for Heard, who have filed a defamation lawsuit, are expected to use the anti-Slapp Act during the trial. It comes four years after her Washington Post article with the title: I spoke out against sexual violence – and faced the wrath of our culture. That needs to change.

Additional reporting from the Associated Press

Oliver O’ConnellApril 11, 2022 16:21


Johnny Depp fans waited outside the courthouse to catch a glimpse of the actor



Oliver O’ConnellApril 11, 2022 3:52 PM


Heard said in 2020 that she wanted to be ‘left alone’

Appeared as a witness during Depp’s trial against the British newspaper The sun in 2020, Heard said she wanted to be “left alone” and wanted her ex-husband to end trials over allegations of domestic abuse to “save him embarrassment.”

“I did not want to do this, I did not want to reveal this whole of what really happened to me,” Heard told the London Royal Courts of Justice. “I did not want to talk about everything that happened in our marriage and happened in our relationship.”

While Depp denies the allegations, Heard told the court about 14 allegations of “violence” on Depp’s part between 2013 and 2016, in places such as a rented house in Australia, his private island in the Bahamas and a private jet, which Associated Press reported two years ago.

The judge ruled against Depp, who accused the publisher of The sun off slander of him with a headline with the words “wife butcher”. His lawyers subsequently called the judge’s decision “perverse.”

Gino SpocchiaApril 11, 2022 3:30 p.m.


Depp and Heard have arrived at the courthouse

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard have arrived at the courthouse for jury selection in the $ 50 million defamation case.

Oliver O’ConnellApril 11, 2022 3:17 PM

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