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The Stylus

    Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard– What is happening? 


    Johnny Depp needs no introduction. Famous for starring in movies like “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Sweeny Todd,” “Edward Scissorhands,” “Alice in Wonderland” and “Dark Shadows,” he is a familiar face to many. Not to mention his well-known voice acting in Tim Burton films like “Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Corpse Bride.” 

    Over the past few years, Depp’s career has been put on hold and his reputation has been damaged after allegations of domestic abuse towards his former wife Amber Heard. Although Heard never directly used Depp’s name in an interview for a December 2018 opinion piece in the Washington Post about being a survivor of domestic abuse, Depp’s lawyer Benjamin Chew told jurors it was clear who she was referencing. In response, Depp filed a $50 million lawsuit for defamation against Heard in 2018 and the trial began on April 11.  

    Attorneys for Heard argue she told her truth and that her opinion was, and is, protected under free speech. In opening arguments, Heard’s attorneys claimed Depp physically and sexually assaulted her while abusing drugs and alcohol.  In turn, Heard has filed a counter lawsuit against Depp for $100 million.  

    Attorneys for Depp say no such thing happened. They say, in fact, that it was the other way around. Lawyers have introduced evidence that shows Heard as the abuser. Depp claims he has never hit a woman.  

    “I never struck Ms. Heard in that way, nor have I struck a woman in my life,” Depp said.  

    Heard’s allegations about substance abuse were addressed by Depp in testimony, saying he began taking his mother’s “nerve pills” at age 11 and practiced self-medication with substances over the years as a coping mechanism for trauma. He did, however, deny ever having become “out of control” while under the influence.  

    “Once you’ve trusted somebody for a certain amount of years and you’ve told them all the secrets of your life, that information then, of course, can be used against you…I am not some maniac who needs to be high or loaded all the time,” Depp said.  

    A former couple’s therapist Laurel Anderson testified at the trial as well, claiming that the abuse appeared to be “mutual” during their marriage. Anderson also testified that Heard, in a session conducted separately from her husband, said Depp hit her and that she showed bruises as proof.  

    Heard was granted a protective order in May 2016 after presenting a photo of a bruise on her face as evidence to the court and claimed he pulled her hair, screamed at her and hit her repeatedly. 

    “During the entirety of our relationship, Johnny Depp has been verbally and physically abusive to me,” Heard said. 

    Depp continues to deny ever being abusive to Heard and stated that the truth will eventually come out.  

    “Truth is the only thing I’m interested in,” Depp said. “Lies will get you nowhere but lies build upon lies and build upon lies. I’m obsessed with the truth.” 

    This trial is expected to last six weeks before a jury comes up with a verdict.  

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