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Johnny Depp v Amber Heard news summary | 17 May 2022

US actor Johnny Depp talks to attorney Ben Chew in the courtroom at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia, on May 16, 2022. - Depp sued his ex-wife Amber Heard for libel in Fairfax County Circuit Court after she wrote an op-ed piece in The Washington Post in 2018 referring to herself as a "public figure representing domestic abuse." (Photo by Steve Helber / POOL / AFP) (Photo by STEVE HELBER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Johnny Depp - Amber Heard Trial: Live Updates

WATCH: courtroom footage from the Depp - Heard trial - 17 May


After a week-long break, both Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are back in court to continue the trial. The case relates to accusation made publicly by Heard regarding their marriage, in a op-ed in the Washington Post, that led Depp to sue for $50 million in damages and has denied ever being physically violent. Heard is counter-suing for $100 million.

Who is Ben Rottenborn? Amber Heard’s lawyer in Johnny Depp trial

The defamation trial brought by Johnny Depp against ex-wife Amber Heard resumed on Monday after a week's break. The trial is expected to reach a conclusion this week, once Depp’s legal team have finished their cross-examination after which the jury will be given time to deliberate on their verdict.

Representing Heard is attorney Ben Rottenborn, who conducted a detailed questioning of Depp and many other witnesses during the first half of the trial. Here's what we know about the Virginia-born lawyer who is taking centre stage in Heard's defence.

Read more

Who is Camille Vasquez? | Johnny Depp’s lawyer in Amber Heard trial

The highly watched defamation case between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard has been criticized as a media distraction that does not allow for a greater conversation over the complexity surrounding domestic violence.

After a week-long break, both sides returned to the court room for what is expected to be the last few days of the trial.

One of Depp’s lawyers, Camile Vasquez, has taken center stage this week as his team began their cross-examination of Amber Heard.Read our full coverage for more on Camile Vasquez and the remaining days of the trial.


Depp vs Heard: key moments

The jury in Virginia is expected to be done hearing this case by late May. Here are some of the key moments in the trial so far:

-- Depp testified that he never hit Heard or any other woman. He said she was the one who became abusive and "bullied" him with "demeaning name calling." "It seemed like pure hatred for me," Depp said. "If I stayed to argue, eventually, I was sure it was going to escalate into violence, and oftentimes it did."

-- During an argument in Australia in early 2015, Depp said Heard threw a vodka bottle that severed the top of his right middle finger. The actor said he went into shock and wrote messages to Heard on the wall using blood from the finger. Heard offered a different account, sobbing as she told the jury that Depp sexually assaulted her that night by inserting a liquor bottle in her vagina. "I was scared," she said. "I had just married him."

-- A few months later, Heard said, Depp broke her nose and ripped out chunks of her hair during another violent encounter.

-- Heard's attorneys introduced photos that they said showed injuries after various arguments, including scars on her arm that were visible as she posed on a red carpet, and redness and swelling around an eye that she said was struck by a phone thrown by Depp. Attorneys for Depp showed images from public appearances that they said were taken around the time of their fights and appeared to show no injuries.

-- Depp testified that feces were found in the couple's bed in 2016. One of his security guards said Heard told him it was "a horrible practical joke gone wrong." Heard denied any involvement and suggested one of the couple's dogs was responsible.

-- Heard said Depp first became physically abusive when he slapped her after she laughed at a tattoo that said "Wino Forever." The tattoo previously said "Winona Forever," referring to Depp's former girlfriend, Winona Ryder.

-- Jurors heard an audio clip of Depp threatening to cut himself with a knife during one of their last in-person encounters. "That's psychologically, emotionally where I was," Depp said. "At the end, I was broken ... I thought the only answer is here, take my blood, that's all I've got left."

-- Heard's lawyers introduced text messages in which Depp called Heard a "filthy whore" and said he wanted her dead. Writing to actor Paul Bettany in 2013, Depp said: "Let's drown her before we burn her" and "I will fuck her burnt corpse afterward to make sure she is dead."

Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard: when is the verdict of the trial?

The Hollywood actors and former husband and wife have been embroiled in an ugly lawsuit for several weeks, but we are edging ever closer to its conclusion.

The trial started on 12 April, but was put on hold by the judge for a week. Both parties returned to the courtroom yesterday to continue the testimonies. Find out more about how we got here.


Johnny Depp - Amber Heard trial: welcome

You can follow the latest from the courtroom in Halifax as the trial between Amber Heard and Johnny Depp continues into another day after a week-long break. 

The case emerges from a 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post, authored by Heard, which is at the centre of Depp's defamation lawsuit. She alleged that Depp was physical violent with her during the course of their marriage, something that he vehemently denies.

Heard wrote: "I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out."

Although the article does not include Depp's name, it was widely assumed that he was the target of portions of the writing.