In the final days of the Depp-Heard trial, a parade of rebuttal witnesses

In the final days of the Depp-Heard trial, a parade of rebuttal witnesses

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The notoriety of the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard libel lawsuit offered a particular twist on Tuesday afternoon, when both sides had the opportunity to question and challenge a potential witness that Depp’s attorneys had planned to call for a rebuttal testimony because he had seen part of the trial. .

Outside of the jury’s presence, Morgan Night said he saw an excerpt from trial testimony about Heard and Depp’s 2013 trip to Hicksville, a luxury trailer park he owned in South Florida. California – and that the testimony was incorrect. He had also previously tweeted in defense of Depp in response to a tweet from a user named Umbrella Guy.

Witnesses are instructed not to follow a trial in which they are going to testify, which also means that they are not allowed to enter the courtroom before testifying. The night, however, only became part of the case after it began and, as Judge Penney Azcarate said, “The problem is that the courtroom in this particular case appears to be the world “.

The trial, which is being held at the Fairfax County Courthouse, centers on a 2018 Heard op-ed published in The Washington Post, which alleged domestic abuse by an unnamed person. Depp denied ever physically abusing Heard and sued her for $50 million, claiming the play harmed her career. She counter-sued him for $100 million after his lawyers said his claims were fabricated.

Night was found to be a credible witness after explaining that he “shut off the internet” once he became involved in the plaintiff’s case. He was present the night Heard and Depp vacationed in Hicksville, during which the pair got into a fight and, Heard said in previous testimony, Depp performed a body search on her in a jealous rage.

Night, however, said Heard seemed annoyed throughout the evening. While he testified that Depp had become increasingly drunk, he said he had witnessed an argument between the couple, and Depp “was a little cowered and seemed almost scared”, which was ” strange to see”. He added that he did not witness a physical altercation between the two.

During cross-examination, Heard’s attorney, Elaine Bredehoft, attempted to portray Night as an attention-seeking Depp follower who wanted to be on television. The court laughed when Night insisted he was not a fan. “I’m happy to tell what I saw, and that’s it. I don’t care,” he said during the redirect.

Tuesday’s proceedings began with a likely preview of the trial’s closing arguments, which are expected to begin Friday morning.

Azcarate has heard – and denied – the plaintiff’s motion to quash Heard’s countersuit, which revolves around three statements by Adam Waldman dismissing Heard’s claims as false. Depp’s attorney, Benjamin Chew, argued that Waldman did not act with actual malice, as he believes “and will believe to his dying day” that Deep did not abuse Heard. He accused the defense of “game” and “puns” and claimed there was no evidence of abuse.

Defense attorney Benjamin Rottenborn argued that the defense provided ample evidence to substantiate Heard’s abuse allegations, saying “there was no hoax”. Furthermore, he argued, “when Mr. Waldman made these statements, he was standing in Mr. Depp’s shoes. They are one and the same for the purposes of these statements.

Depp’s lawyers spent most of the rest of the day presenting the jury with rebuttals to Heard’s expert witnesses by calling their own. Walter Hamada, president of DC Films, said Heard’s compensation for “Aquaman” and its upcoming sequel was not affected by anything said by Depp or Waldman. He also said the studio briefly considered — and ultimately decided against — recasting her role because she and lead actor Jason Momoa lacked “natural chemistry.”

David A. Kulber, the hand surgeon who reconstructed Depp’s injured finger in March 2015 after it was injured in a fight between Heard and Depp, said the actor was wearing a plaster splint. bulky” after the operation and would probably have trouble grabbing someone or forming a fist with that hand. In cross-examination, he admitted that Depp could grab someone with his other hand. (How his finger was injured remains a point of contention.)

Richard Marks, a Hollywood attorney, was called by Depp’s team to contradict testimony given Monday by Kathryn Arnold, an entertainment consultant, who was called to the stand by the defense. Marks said Arnold’s projections of Heard’s potential post-Aquaman earnings, which the defense said were hurt by Waldman’s statements, were significantly inflated: “[Arnold] knows something about our business, but not about negotiating deals,” he said.

During cross-examination, Marks did not recall ever brokering a deal for a superhero movie, or naming an actress who had a leading role in a superhero movie and who did not. wasn’t later cast in another studio film.

Forensic accountant Michael Spindler was also asked to discredit Arnold’s testimony, calling it “insufficiently substantiated” and “unreasonable” and arguing that she used a combination of methodologies to predict Heard’s potential earnings.

Spindler and another witness, social media forensic expert Doug Bania, took issue with actors Arnold had called “comparable” to Heard’s potential career – including Gal Gadot, Ana de Armas and Zendaya – by showing, among other things, the higher “Q”. scores” and social media followings of these actors in relation to Heard.

Psychiatrist Richard Shaw was called in to refute the testimony of David Spiegel, a Virginia psychiatrist who testified that “Depp exhibited behaviors consistent with substance use disorder and domestic violence”.

Shaw testified that Spiegel violated the Goldwater Rule, which is an ethical guideline issued by the American Psychiatric Association stating that psychiatrists should not publicize opinions about the mental state of public figures.

The day ended with two short testimonials regarding Heard’s charitable giving. Jennifer Howell, a former friend of Amber Heard’s sister Whitney Henriquez and founder of a nonprofit called Art of Elysium, testified that Elon Musk donated $250,000 in Heard’s name to its organization. Candie Davidson-Goldbronn, a representative for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, said Heard has yet to donate the $3.5 million she pledged to the organization.

Testimony is due to continue on Wednesday.

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