What we've learned from Amber Heard and Johnny Depp's trial this week 3 months ago

What we've learned from Amber Heard and Johnny Depp's trial this week

*Content note: This article contains reference to domestic violence.*

The six-week case has reached its halfway point.

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The defamation case brought by actor Johnny Depp against his ex-wife Amber Heard has now finished its third week.

Depp is seeking $50 million in damages over an opinion piece Heard wrote for The Washington Post in 2018, in which she described being the victim of domestic violence, but did not mention Depp by name. Heard is countersuing for $100 million.

Both Depp and Heard have claimed that they experienced domestic abuse at the hands of the other. Here are some key moments from this week.

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Monday

Several audio recordings were played in the court, including heated arguments with the couple verbally attacking each other.

The court saw a series of texts sent between Johnny Depp and friend Paul Bettany in court, in which the pair discussed "drowning and burning" Heard.

Depp said he was "ashamed" of his language in the messages, but that he did not mean them literally and often handles a "difficult or unpleasant situation" with humour.

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Another audio was played in the courtroom of Heard mocking Depp, saying "Tell them, I, Johnny Depp, a man, am a victim of domestic violence... and see how many people believe or side with you", sparking a huge reaction on social media.

Depp concluded his testimony by telling the court that he was a "victim of abuse" - after being asked by his lawyer if that was the case.

Tuesday

Dr. Shannon Curry, the psychologist who evaluated Depp and Heard's relationship, said she believed Heard had borderline personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder - adding the actress seems “full of rage".

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Dr Curry said borderline personality is a disease of instability marked by "a lot of anger and cruelty toward people less powerful and attention seeking".

Also on Tuesday, Tara Roberts, estate manager of Depp’s private island in the Bahamas, said she witnessed an argument between Depp and Heard where Heard told him he was “a washed-up actor who was going to die a fat, lonely old man".

According to Roberts, Depp replied: "You hit me with a can." She said she later noticed that Depp had a mark on the bridge of his nose.

Wednesday

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Police officers who visited Amber Heard on 21 May 2016 - the night of the final row between Depp and Heard before their break-up - told the court they saw no evidence of injuries or property damage.

Asked if Heard was a victim of domestic violence on the date, Officer William Gatlin told the court: “Based on our investigation it appeared as if she was not.”

Asked why no action was taken over the altercation, he said: “It’s not against the law to argue. I argue with my wife.”

A staff member who worked in the Los Angeles building where Depp and Heard lived in one of the actor's penthouse apartments also gave evidence to say he saw the actress a few days later and saw no sign of any marks or bruising on her face.

Thursday

On Thursday, the court finally delved into the article that started the entire case.

Terence Dougherty, of the American Civil Liberties Union, said that the famous article on domestic violence was drafted for Heard, and the actress originally wanted to include more details about her marriage against legal advice.

Dougherty testified that the language that wound up in the final op-ed piece was "very different from the original language".

He said Heard had voiced her desire to donate $3.5 million to ACLU - half of her divorce settlement from Depp.

However, he said it only received $35,000 directly, in addition to a $100,000 check from Johnny Depp. It also received $500,000 a fund tied to Elon Musk, with whom Heard was briefly in a relationship after Johnny.

He said the organisation learned in 2019 that Ms Heard was having financial problems and could not fulfil the remainder of the pledge.

According to Court TV, Amber Heard is set to take to the stand next week. Given the length of the questioning that Johnny Depp has had to deal with, it is expected that it will last a few days.