Johnny Depp and Amber Heard arrive at the High Court as libel hearing continues
Johnny Depp’s multi-million defamation lawsuit against his former wife, Amber Heard, began in Virginia on Monday morning with jury selection. Seven jurors and four alternates were picked to hear the case.
He claims a 2018 article written by Heard in The Washington Post – in which she spoke about domestic violence towards women – implied Depp, her former husband, was an abuser.
Although the 35-year-old did not name the actor, lawyers for Depp say Heard’s allegations have made it difficult for the 58-year-old to land roles he previously did.
Depp is known for starring in films such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Sweeny Todd and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Heard has appeared in titles including Aquaman and Drive Angry.
He is asking for $50m (£38.2m) in damages during the trial in Fairfax County’s district courthouse. Heard has meanwhile filed a counterclaim of defamation against Depp, who she divorced from in 2017, for nuisance.
Depp has previously lost a defamation case in the UK against British newspaper The Sun regarding the claims in Heard’s 2018 article.
Heard said she wanted to be ‘left alone’ at 2020 defamation trial in London
Appearing as a witness during Depp’s trial against British newspaper The Sun in 2020, Heard said she wanted to be “left alone” and wanted her former husband to end lawsuits over domestic abuse claims to “save him the embarrassment.”
“I didn’t want to do this, I did not want to expose this totality of what really happened to me,” Heard told London’s Royal Courts of Justice. “I didn’t want to talk about everything that happened in our marriage and happened in our relationship.”
While Depp denies the claims, Heard told the court of 14 allegations of “violence” by Depp between 2013 and 2016, in locations such as a rented house in Australia, his private island in the Bahamas and a private jet, as The Associated Press reported two years ago.
The judge ruled against Depp, who accused the publisher of The Sun of defaming him with a headline including the words “wife beater”. His lawyers afterwards called the judge’s decision “perverse”.
Oliver O’Connell12 April 2022 01:45
ICYMI: Despatch from outside the court room
Writing from outside the court room in Fairfax, The Independent’s Clémence Michallon says:
“Spectators, supporters, and potential jurors have begun to gather at the Fairfax County Courthouse in Virginia.
Today is the opening of Johnny Depp’s $50m defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard. He alleges she defamed him in an op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in 2018. Heard has countersued for $100m and asked to be granted immunity against his claims.
Potential jurors are lining up inside the courthouse, as are spectators looking to gain access to the courtroom. Proceedings are expected to begin at 10am with jury selection. Jury selection, in turn, is expected to wrap up by the end of the day.
Outside, television cameras are being set up. Supporters also showed up early. During Johnny Depp’s trial against The Sun in the…