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Johnny Depp v Amber Heard news summary | 22 May 2022

Update:
US actor Johhny Depp returns from a break during the 50 million US dollar Depp vs Heard defamation trial at the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Virginia

Depp v Heard trial: latest updates

WATCH: Thursday's courtroom footage of the Depp v Heard trial

The Depp vs Heard case broke for the weekend after Thursday’s testimony, which was day 19 of the trial.

On Thursday, the court heard from witnesses such as Johnny Depp’s former friend Bruce Witkin; Depp’s former co-star and girlfriend Ellen Barkin; and his ex-agent, Tracey Jacobs.

The trial, which had originally been due to end on Thursday, will resume on Monday for the final week’s testimony. Final arguments are to be heard on Friday 27 May.

CONTENT WARNING: The embeded live feed comes direct from inside the courtroom, where strong language and references to content including sex, violence and drug abuse is possible. Discretion is advised.

Depp-Heard case resumes today at 09:00 am (ET)

The ongoing court case between Amber Heard and Johnny Depp resumes again on Monday morning at 09:00 am (ET) in Fairfax County, Virginia. 

The "Pirates of the Caribbean" star Depp is suing Heard for $50 million in damages for insinuating that he was an abuser.

The actress, a native of the state of Texas (south) and star of "Aquaman" filed a counterclaim for 100 million dollars, alleging that she suffered "physical violence and rampant abuse" by her ex-husband.

When will the Depp-Heard trial end?

The trial was scheduled to end on Thursday 19 May. However, with significant evidence yet to be considered extra time has been given to ensure the jury is in full appreciation of the information they have been given.

The new end date for the trial is 27 May. This won’t be the end of proceedings, as the jury will still need to give their verdict on whether Heard did defame Depp in her Washington Post article.

Depp is suing Heard for $50 million, saying she defamed him when she claimed she was a victim of domestic abuse. Heard has countersued for $100 million, arguing that Depp smeared her by calling her a liar. Both parties have completed their testimonies.

Actor Johnny Depp testifies at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse as his defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard continues, in Fairfax, Virginia, U.S., April 19, 2022. Jim Watson/Pool via REUTERS

How did Depp get the nickname 'Steve'?

The actor's full name is John Christopher Depp II, so the moniker ‘Steve’ is obviously nothing to do with his given name. Fittingly for a couple who met while working on a film set, the nicknames comes from the 1944 movie To Have and Have Not.

The film features Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart in lead roles, and their characters are named Slim and Steve, respectively.

Just like Heard and Depp, the fictional characters have a major age disparity (Depp is 22 years her senior). However when explaining the nickname during his testimony last month, Depp outlined the origins of the two nicknames in his mind.

“I was the old craggy Bogie, and she was this beautiful creature, this stunning creature,” he told the court.

Actor Johnny Depp gestures as he testifies in the courtroom during the defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia, U.S., April 25, 2022. Steve Helber/Pool via REUTERS

Depp fails in libel lawsuit against The Sun

In 2020, Depp also sued the newspaper The Sun for libel in the UK, over a 2018 article that described him as a “wife beater”. He lost the case, however, after the court found that The Sun had proven the contents of the article to be “substantially true”.

Actor Amber Heard returns from a break during the ex-husband Johnny Depp's defamation trial against her at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia, U.S., May 18, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/Pool

Depp v Heard: possible outcomes

After the lawyers for both sides have presented their closing statements in the case the jury will go off to deliberate their verdict.

They will decide whether, on the balance of probability, Heard did defame Depp in the 2018 Washington Post article.

If they decide she did, she will be ordered to pay Depp damages. He is seeking $50m (£40m) in compensation, but the jury may recommend he is awarded more or less than this amount.

If they rule in favour of Heard she will not have to pay Depp any money and Heard will not go to prison even if the jury decides in Depp’s favour as the case is a civil trial, not a criminal case.

Actors Amber Heard and Johnny Depp watch as the jury leaves the courtroom at the end of the day at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Va., Monday, May 16, 2022. Steve Helber/Pool via REUTERS

Depp claims Heard's allegations cost him "everything".

Johnny Depp, once among Hollywood's biggest stars, said Heard's allegations cost him "everything." A new "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie was put on hold, and Depp was replaced in the "Fantastic Beasts" film franchise, a "Harry Potter" spinoff.

Heard's attorneys have argued that she told the truth and that her opinion was protected free speech under the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment.

Closing arguments are scheduled for May 27.

Less than two years ago, Depp lost a libel case against the Sun, a British tabloid that labeled him a "wife beater." A London High Court judge ruled that he had repeatedly assaulted Heard.

Depp's lawyers filed the case in Fairfax County, Virginia, because the Washington Post is printed there. The newspaper is not a defendant.

Johnny Depp v Amber Heard trial live: Breaking news and updates today

Depp accountant worried over 2015 financial situation

Josh Mandel, Depp's former manager, said he was "extremely concerned" about the actor's financial situation in 2015.

There were "constant" conversations for him to reduce his spending, but "that never happened," he added.

"Over time it became clear that there were problems with alcohol and drugs" and "that translated into more erratic behavior," he detailed.

At one point, Depp was spending $300,000 a month on full-time staff and another $100,000 a month on a doctor and nurses to ensure his sobriety, he said.

Mandel estimated that Depp earned about $600 million during the decades he represented him.

A three-time Oscar nominee, the actor in 2016 fired Mandel, who filed a lawsuit, though the two settled in 2018.

 

Actor Johnny Depp talks with his attorney Ben Chew during his defamation case against ex-wife, actor Amber Heard, at Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Virginia, U.S., May 19, 2022. Shawn Thew/Pool via REUTERS

Depp v Heard defamation lawsuit at the Fairfax County Circuit Court

Depp's "star had dimmed" because of "unprofessional behaviour" - former agent

Also among the witnesses to testify on Thursday was Tracey Jacobs, Johnny Depp’s former agent. Jacobs was brought in by Amber Heard’s legal team to support their argument that it was the actor himself, rather than Heard’s Washington Post op-ed, who damaged his career.

Jacobs, who represented Depp for 30 years before he fired her in 2016, said the star’s “unprofessional behaviour” had made it more difficult to find him acting work in the decade before the pair parted company.

“[Depp was] showing up late to set consistently, on virtually every movie,” Jacobs said. “I would get yelled at. I never said to him, ‘You’re a difficult client.’ I never used those words. But I was very honest with and said, ‘You’ve got to stop doing this. This is hurting you.’ And it did.”

She added: “His star had dimmed due to it getting harder to get him jobs given the reputation that he had acquired due to his lateness, and other things.”

Ellen

Depp was jealous, controlling and frequently drunk claims Barkin

Johnny Depp was jealous, controlling and frequently got drunk, said his ex-girlfriend and actress Ellen Barkin, in pre-recorded testimony Thursday in the trial of the actor's defamation lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard.

Heard (36), who in May 2016 filed a restraining order against Depp (58) alleging domestic violence before filing for divorce, wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post in December 2018 in which she described herself as a "public figure who represents domestic abuse," without mentioning her former husband.

The "Pirates of the Caribbean" star sued her for $50 million in damages for insinuating that he was an abuser.

The actress, a native of the state of Texas (south) and star of "Aquaman" filed a counterclaim for 100 million dollars, alleging that she suffered "physical violence and rampant abuse" by her ex-husband.

During his four days of testimony, Depp denied hitting Heard and claimed she was the one who was frequently violent.

Barkin, 68, said she had a brief "sexual relationship" with the actor in the 1990s.

Barkin said that during the several months they were together, Depp "was drunk most of the time."

"He's a jealous, controlling man: 'Where are you going, who are you going with, what did you do last night,'" she added.

Actor Johnny Depp waves after returning from lunch break during his defamation case against ex-wife, actor Amber Heard at Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Virginia, U.S., May 19, 2022. Shawn Thew/Pool via REUTERS

Depp v Heard defamation lawsuit at the Fairfax County Circuit Court

The Depp v Heard case was originally set to end last week, but the verdict won’t be due until the end of the month because of the amount of evidence that has and still needs to be given.

AS USA's Oli Povey on the revised schedule of the trial.