(The Hill) – The defamation trial between actor Johnny Depp and actress Amber Heard, who has accused her ex-husband of abuse, has entered what is expected to be its final week, with closing arguments scheduled to take place on Friday.
The “Pirates of the Caribbean” star filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against Heard in response to her publishing an op-ed in the Washington Post in 2018 where she opens up about experiencing sexual violence.
Depp, 58, alleges that while Heard’s Post op-ed didn’t mention him by name, the article ruined his reputation and cost him roles. He said he hasn’t been cast in a major film since the release of the story.
Heard, 36, also filed a $100 million counterclaim lawsuit against Depp, alleging that her former husband damaged her reputation by calling her a liar for her allegations of sexual violence.
The Depp-Heard defamation trial, which is taking place in Virginia, has garnered massive media attention throughout its duration, with fellow celebrities such as Drew Barrymore publicly commenting on the matter.
Sources told The Hill on Monday that Heard’s legal team will not call Depp to the stand to testify again in the trial.
Here’s some of what we’ve heard so far in the trial
Amber Heard’s sister’s testimony
Whitney Heard Henriquez, Heard’s sister, was the first witness to testify on behalf of Heard in the trial.
She said she found herself in the middle of violent encounters between Heard and Depp and said she had seen bruises on Heard as a result of altercations with Depp.
Henriquez said that she witnessed one fight in 2015 where Heard found evidence that Depp was involved in an extramarital affair with another woman, adding that Depp began to blame Heard for forcing him into the affair.
She added that a physical confrontation broke out between Heard and Depp after he charged up the stairs to confront his wife. She also testified that Heard had landed a punch on Depp while she tried to intervene, being stuck in the middle of the couple.
One of Depp’s bodyguards eventually broke up the fight, but Henriquez said that Depp continued to assault Heard by grabbing her hair. The reported altercation happened a month after the couple married.
Henriquez also said at the trial that she saw bruises and injuries on Heard from the aftermath of her fights with Depp, but acknowledged during cross-examination that she sided with Depp during some of the disputes with Heard.
Heard accuses Depp of assaulting her with bottle
Heard told jurors in a tearful testimony that Depp sexually assaulted her using a liquor bottle during one incident.
Heard said that after the couple arrived in Australia, where the actor was filming his fifth “Pirates of the Caribbean” film, Depp began accusing her of sleeping with male co-stars in her movies, saying that the fight escalated when Depp threw her into a ping pong table and ripped off her night grown, noting that she was naked and exposed during the assault.
Heard also said that Depp used a liquor bottle to assault her, noting that she realized numerous liquor bottles have been broken during the altercation
“I looked around and saw so much broken glass. I just remember thinking, ‘Please God, please don’t be broken,’” Heard said in her testimony.
Depp has publicly denied assaulting Heard and said his finger was severed when Heard threw a vodka bottle toward him.
Heard testified that when Depp’s security team arrived at the residence where the couple was staying to tend to his injured finger, Depp left vulgar messages in blood and urine on the walls.
Heard claims that Depp injured his finger himself when he smashed his phone. Surgeon Richard Moore testified on behalf of Heard Monday that the photograph of Depp’s injury was inconsistent with a “glass explosion.”
Heard: Depp kept around a group of enablers for his substance abuse problems
The actress also testified that her ex-husband kept a group of enablers around him in an effort to shield him from facing consequences for his substance abuse problems.
Heard said that Depp was either drunk or high when he physically and sexually assaulted her, saying that during a plane ride in 2014 the couple got into an argument over his displeasure with her filming a movie with actor James Franco where he slapped and kicked her, adding that no one on the plane intervened to stop Depp.
Jurors in the trial also heard an audio recording of Depp speaking incoherently at the end of the incident, also viewing text messages of Depp admitting to his friend that he was to stop drinking due to his altercation with Heard.
“I’m admittedly too f——- in the head to spray my rage at the one I love for little reason as well,” Depp texted his friend.
Heard added that Depp has a team of people who clean him up when gets sick from his substance abuse, adding that this allowed him to go about his business without facing consequences for his issues.
Depp has denied Heard’s claims of his substance abuse, as family, friends, and current and former employees of his backed up his claim.
Depp testifies that Heard physically and mentally abused him during their relationship
During Depp’s testimony in the trial, his team revealed an audio recording of Heard admitting that she hit the actor during an altercation.
“You didn’t get punched, you got hit. I’m sorry I hit you like this, but I did not punch you. I did not f—ing deck you. I f—ing was hitting you,” she said in the audio recording.
Ben King, a former employee of Depp, testified that Heard also threw a vodka bottle at him during an altercation in Australia, which resulted in the actor severely wounding his middle finger.
King, a former house manager for Depp, said he found Depp’s severed fingertip in a “scrunched-up piece of paper on the tiled floor at the end of the bar, saying their altercation damaged the whole residence.
The actor told the jury that the fight in Australia was over Heard’s displeasure with a prior meeting with his attorneys that did not grant them a post-nuptial agreement, noting that he tried to remove himself from the situation first.
“She was irate and she was possessed, and when I tried to remove myself as I normally would from the situation, she’s hammering me with brutal words,” Depp said.