Thursday, December 8, 2022

Johnny Depp v Amber Heard: From Elon Musk to James Franco, who were potential witnesses at defamation trial?

The defamation case opposing Johnny Depp and Amber Heard started on 11 April in Fairfax, Virginia.

It stems from a grievance filed in 2019 by Depp, who alleges Heard, his ex-wife, defamed him in an op-ed she wrote for The Washington Submit in 2018, wherein she described herself as “a public determine representing home abuse”. He has requested for $50m in damages.

Heard, in flip, has filed a counterclaim, accusing him of allegedly orchestrating a “smear marketing campaign” towards her and describing his personal lawsuit as a continuation of “abuse and harassment.” She has requested for $100m in damages, and for immunity from Depp’s claims.

Forward of the trial, Depp and Heard every printed an inventory of witnesses their groups might need to name upon.

They every filed lists of objections to a few of the different aspect’s witnesses, so the ultimate pool of witnesses will proceed to evolve because the proceedings go on.

Listed here are a few of the folks named as potential witnesses:

Elon Musk

The Tesla CEO was listed as a potential witness for Heard, showing by way of video hyperlink. Nevertheless on 28 April, a supply conversant in the scenario confirmed to The Independent that he would not in fact be taking the stand.

Lists of potential witnesses do not include substantial reasons for why a party’s legal team wants to call upon a specific person as a witness.

Heard and Musk are believed to have dated on and off between 2016 and 2018. When Johnny Depp sued Information Group Newspapers, the corporate that publishes The Solar, for libel within the UK (over a headline calling him a “spouse beater”), Musk got here up within the ensuing court docket case.

Eleanor Legal guidelines QC, who represented Depp, read out text messages from Might 2016, wherein Heard informed Musk she was going to receive a restraining order towards her then-husband Depp.

Legal guidelines stated Musk provided to “prepare 24/7 safety” for Heard, and that he added: “The provide would stand, even if you happen to by no means wished to see me once more… anyway, sorry for being an fool. The radio silence hurts quite a bit. It solely issues as a result of I actually such as you.”

Depp’s workforce subpoenaed a few of Musk’s previous communications with Heard as a part of the Virginia defamation case.

James Franco

The actor was additionally listed amongst Heard’s potential witnesses, anticipated to seem by way of video hyperlink. However as with Musk, The Independent has since learned that he will not be testifying.

Depp’s aspect had subpoenaed Franco for a few of his previous communications and paperwork reflecting interactions with Heard.

Franco, too, got here up in the course of the UK court docket case opposing Depp and The Solar.

Joshua Drew, a pal of Heard, told the court he had heard Depp had a “explicit situation” with Franco, and that point out of his identify would “trigger fights” between Heard and Depp.

Paul Bettany

The actor was listed amongst Depp’s record of potential witnesses, however is now not anticipated to testify.

Heard’s workforce subpoenaed Bettany for a few of his previous communications with Depp.

Bettany was additionally talked about in the course of the earlier UK court docket case.

Throughout a preliminary listening to in February 2020, texts from 2013 were revealed wherein Depp allegedly wrote to Bettany: “Let’s burn Amber!!!”

Bettany was stated to have replied: “Having thought it by I don’t suppose we must always burn Amber – she’s pleasant firm and simple on the attention, plus I’m undecided she’s a witch. We may after all strive the English plan of action in these predicaments – we do a drowning take a look at. Ideas?”

Depp, in flip, was stated to have responded: “Let’s drown her earlier than we burn her!!! I’ll f*** her burnt corpse afterwards to ensure she’s lifeless.”

In an interview with The Independent in December 2021, Bettany, requested concerning the texts, stated: “It was very unusual. It was a wierd momen. What was unusual about it was you all of the sudden have some of the scabrous newspapers in London and their attorneys pouring by your texts for the final 10 years.

“Are you able to think about what it will be like, truthfully, to have a bunch of attorneys undergo each considered one of your emails and texts for 10 years? All I can let you know was that it was an disagreeable feeling.”

Amber Heard

Heard is included in her personal record of witnesses.

She doesn’t seem as a potential witness on Depp’s record thus far.

Heard is taken into account a defendant in Depp’s defamation grievance, and a plaintiff within the counterclaim she filed towards him.

For a timeline of Heard and Depp’s relationship and authorized battles, click on here.

Johnny Depp

Depp was listed as a witness in his personal record, in addition to Heard’s, and took the stand on the fifth day of testimony on 19 April.

He referred to as Heard’s claims “heinous,” “disturbing” and “not primarily based in any species of fact” and stated of the case: “My purpose is the reality.”

Depp stated he felt uncovered testifying as he has been a personal particular person however added: “I can’t say that I’m embarrassed as a result of I do know that I’m doing the appropriate factor.”

Depp spent three and a half days on the stand earlier than concluding his testimony on 25 April.

The actor is taken into account each a plaintiff within the authentic grievance he filed, and a defendant in Heard’s counterclaim.

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