Horrifying texts open ‘window into heart of America’s favourite pirate,’ Heard’s lawyers charge
Jurors began deliberations on the defamation claims from the former spouses following six weeks of graphic testimony and photographic evidence that revealed the sordid details behind the onetime couple’s tumultuous relationship.
The trial is ending exactly six years to the day that Heard tipped off TMZ, “got a restraining order and ruined his life,” Vasquez told the jury in closing arguments.
Depp sued Heard for $50 million in Virginia’s Fairfax County over a December 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post in which she described herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” Although the article didn’t mention him by name, Depp claimed it was inferred that he was the abuser and he lost acting work, including a proposed sixth Pirates of the Caribbean movie, because of the allegation.
Heard filed a $100 million counterclaim against Depp after his lawyer Adam Waldman called her accusations an “abuse hoax.”
When he took the stand last month, Depp was forced to admit his past drug abuse, but he alleged that Heard abused him throughout their five-year relationship and severed the tip of his finger during a 2015 fight in Australia.
“She has a need for violence. It erupts out of nowhere,” Depp said.
Over the course of six weeks, jurors heard recordings of the former couple’s nasty arguments and heard how their relationship eventually ended after poop was discovered in the couple’s marital bed.
Depp told the court that the feces was left by Heard or one of her friends, but she maintained it came from one of their dogs after they consumed his marijuana. Starling Jenkins, a security guard who worked for Depp, said that Heard admitted to him it was “a horrible practical joke,” which she denied.
“There is an abuser in this courtroom, but it is not Mr. Depp,” Vasquez said, noting that Heard’s pattern of behaviour during their relationship was “violent, abusive and cruel.”
As she addressed the jury, Vasquez methodically picked apart pieces of Heard’s testimony and played audio from some of their disputes.
“I’m sorry I didn’t hit you across the face in a proper slap,” the Aquaman star was heard saying. “I was hitting you, but I wasn’t punching you. Babe, you’re not punched.”
“Imagine that was Mr. Depp saying that to Ms. Heard on that recording?” Vasquez questioned.
Jurors were reminded how security guards had seen him at points with a swollen eyelid and various bruises and scratches. Elsewhere, Vasquez read how Heard had referred to her then-partner as a “washed up” a “f—ing c—” and a “deadbeat dad.”
“She took the low blows and hit him where it hurt,” Vasquez said. “Ms. Heard spat at him and left him with a shiner.”[via]