- BBC News World
During the third week of the defamation trial initiated by Johnny Depp against his ex-partner Amber Heard, new details of the case were released.
The legal battle revolves around a lawsuit for US$50 million that Depp filed against Heard for an article she wrote for The Washington Post in which she recounted the alleged domestic abuse she suffered at his hands. Heard, for her part, filed a $100 million counterclaim against her ex-husband.
Accusations of verbal and physical violence have been launched and denied by both sides.
The trial is taking place in Virginia, United States.
We summarize below the most recent details and revelations of the case.
1 – ACLU received only a fraction of the money promised by Heard
When the couple reached a divorce settlement in 2017, Heard publicly pledged to donate her entire $7 million payment to charity: half to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and half to the American Union. for Civil Liberties (ACLU).
But on Monday, ACLU executive Terence Dougherty testified that his organization had received alone US$1.3 millionby heardincluding $500,000 from a fund tied to Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, with whom Heard briefly had a relationship.
According to Dougherty, the ACLU learned in 2019 that Heard had financial problems and he couldn’t keep the rest of his promise.
This may be a significant problem for Heard’s case, said journalist and writer Cooper Lawrenence, who has written extensively on the celebrity scene.
“The whole case is really about the amber heard credibilityLawrence explains. “If Heard is going to lie about something easily verifiable, you have to ask yourself: what else is she lying about?”
Dougherty also testified directly about the 2018 Washington Post op-ed at the heart of the case, saying ACLU attorneys helped write and review the article, which was published at the time to take advantage of advertising from Aquaman, the DC Universe movie starring Heard.
Aquaman was released on December 21, 2018, three days after the op-ed was published.
“From the ACLU’s perspective, Amber is about to receive an incredible amount of press and be in the public eye,” Dougherty said. “So what better time than now to publish this opinion piece, to generate a significant number of readers on our topics.”
2 – Heard showed signs of personality disorders, says Depp witness
On Tuesday, forensic psychologist Shannon Curry told the jury that she believed Amber Heard suffered from two diagnoses: borderline personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder.
Curry, who was hired by Depp’s team to conduct a psychological evaluation of his ex-wife, said he reached his conclusion after spending about 12 hours with Heard in December 2021, conducting mental health tests and reviewing his Medical records.
Borderline personality disorder (also known as border line) is a disease of instability, Curry explained, marked by “a lot of anger, cruelty to less powerful people, and seeking attention.”
The behaviors are “driven by an underlying fear of abandonment,” he said. “They will make desperate attempts to stop that from happening.”
Evidence presented in court has included several audio clips of Heard begging Depp not to leave her.
Curry also noted that borderline personality disorder seemed to be “predictable” for women who incite violence against their partners.
While histrionic personality disorder, Curry said, is related to “drama and superficiality” and the need to be the center of attention.
When questioned by Heard’s lawyers, Curry was pressed about her impartiality, and it was said that she had been invited to dinner at Depp’s house before she was hired. Curry responded that this had simply been a part of the interview process.
Curry’s testimony has since been criticized by some domestic abuse advocates who said such diagnoses can be used to undermine accounts of assault.
“I was not at all surprised to see this happen as it was predictable,” psychologist Jessica Taylor said in a statement. “Thousands of women like Amber … will be ordered to undergo psychiatric evaluations that, in most cases, diagnose her with a personality disorder in order to discredit her testimony.”
3 – Depp ‘lost consciousness’ on the beach
Depp’s drug and alcohol use has been a central issue in the trial so far.
Depp said he was sober for much of his relationship with Heard after coming off the opioid Roxicodone in 2014.
But Heard’s team has described a different Depp, one prone to binge drinking and drug use despite Heard’s repeated pleas for him to stay sober.
On Wednesday, Heard’s attorney, Elaine Bredehoft, echoed the latter claim, asking the manager of Depp’s private island in the Bahamas if she remembered the actor “passing out in the sand.”
“I remember she passed out on the beach,” Tara Roberts replied.
Bredehoft insisted and asked if Roberts remembered if Depp’s son had seen him like this. Roberts answered yes.
4 – Heard “hanged out” with Elon Musk
Depp’s former agent took the stand on Wednesday, telling the court that Heard’s accusations against the actor had a “traumatic impact” on his image, costing him the lucrative Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
Christian Carino, a talent agent with the prolific Creative Artists Agency (CAA), told the jury that it was clear through conversations with other executives that Disney, the distributor of the films, could not go on. using Depp.
The abuse allegations were never explicitly discussed, Carino said, but were “known” in the industry.
This testimony may prove crucial to Depp’s case as he seeks to prove that Heard’s 2018 op-ed irrevocably ruined his career.
Less pertinent, perhaps, but just as striking were Carino’s comments about Heard’s brief relationship with Elon Musk.
Speaking about Heard’s breakup with Musk in 2017, Carino recalled asking the Aquaman star why she was upset about the split if she wasn’t “in love with him to begin with.”
“You told me a thousand times that you were just hanging out,” he wrote to Heard.
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