Amber Heard’s lawyers said this Tuesday that the actress lived through hell during her marriage to Johnny Depp, an actor who, according to them, was converted into a “monster” by the consumption of drugs and alcohol, with “attacks of rage” that ended in verbal, physical and sexual abuse.
Both are accused of defamation in a trial near Washington that stemmed from a column published in the Washington Post in 2018, in which Amber Heard described herself as a “victim of domestic violence” harassed by society after denouncing Depp two years earlier.
The “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor’s lawyers are denouncing false accusations that have had a “devastating” effect on his career.
Amber Heard “loved the side of Johnny that we see in the movies, charismatic, charming, generous. That’s the man she fell in love with,” her lawyer Elaine Bredehoft told the jury.
“But unfortunately, the monster appeared and this monster appeared when he was drinking or using drugs,” he added, mentioning cocktails of alcohol, medication, cocaine, ecstasy and hallucinogenic mushrooms.
Johnny Depp had “an enormous rage in him” that turned him into a “demon” and “it was during these episodes of rage that he would verbally, psychologically, physically and sexually attack” Amber Heard, explained Bredehoft.
She reported several scenes of violence, most notably in March 2015 in Australia, where Depp was filming the fifth “Pirates of the Caribbean”.
The actress never parted with her makeup kit to hide the bruises on her face, said the lawyer, who plans to show the jury “shocking photos” of Heard with “bruises, split lips, hair pulled out”.
“You will see the real Johnny Depp, beyond the red carpet, the fame, the money and the pirate fantasies”, had previously said another lawyer for the actress, Ben Rottenborn.
On the other hand, the actor’s lawyer, Benjamin Chew, denounced that “Amber Heard forever changed Depp’s life and reputation and you will hear him talk about the terrible impact it had on his life”, he said, addressing the jury.
According to her, Heard accused her husband of violence in 2016 to get revenge on him for filing for divorce.
Two years later, following the “#MeToo movement” and “shortly before the premiere of the movie ‘Aquaman'”, in which she participated, the actress “chose to remind the world of these poisonous accusations in a world-renowned newspaper”, he pointed out.
Depp’s sister Christi Dembrowski described in her testimony a toxic marital relationship with an “always confrontational” young woman who “exaggerated” her husband’s drug and alcohol problems and called him a “fat old man”.
“Dior is class and style, and you don’t have style,”she would have said on one occasion, when talking about an advertising contract with the brand, said Christi.
FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
In her newspaper column, Amber Heard, 35, does not mention Depp, 58, whom she met in 2009 and who she married in 2015.
A year later, she filed for a restraining order, claiming the actor had hit her. But she dropped those charges as part of the divorce settlement, which was finalized in 2017.
After the column was published, Depp, who denies the assault, filed a defamation lawsuit against Amber Heard, seeking $50 million in damages.
The actress, in turn, has filed a defamation lawsuit in which she asks for 100 million dollars for the continuation of the “abuse” and “harassment” that Depp imposed on her during her marriage.
The actor filed the suit in the state of Virginia, where the Washington Post is printed and where the legal framework is more favorable to defamation complaints than in California, where the two actors reside.
This case primarily focuses on the scope of the “First Amendment” to the US Constitution, which gives Amber Heard “the right to say the words that she has said,” replied Rottenborn, and asked the jury to “confirm and protect” that right.
The two ex-spouses watch the trial, broadcast live on television, which will last for weeks. The witness list is worthy of Hollywood movies, such as billionaire Elon Musk, actors James Franco and Paul Bettany, and actress Ellen Barkin.
This trial recalls the one held in 2020 in London, when the actor sued the editor of the tabloid The Sun for an article that presented him as a violent husband.
Depp admits to abusing drugs and alcohol, but insists he has never hit a woman.