Experts have shared who they believe is winning, so far, in the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation trial.
One expert claimed that Heard’s testimony has raised the stakes of the trial.
Scroll on to find out what else they said…
Now, we all know Johnny Depp has been through a lot these past couple of years…
The Kentucky-born actor, who has been renowned in Hollywood since the 1990s, has been embroiled in a highly publicized domestic abuse scandal with his ex-girlfriend, Amber Heard, for the last 5 years.
At first, this coupling seemed to be at the start of a promising relationship.
After meeting on the set of The Rum Diary in 2011, the actor started dating Texan actress and model, Amber Heard, shortly after calling it quits with his long-term partner, Vanessa Paradis.
They announced their engagement in 2014…
And, not ones to waste any time, they hastily tied the knot just one year later in February 2015.
However, it was here when things started to go a little ship-shaped.
Their honeymoon period was rather short-lived as, just months after their marriage, Depp reportedly suffered a hand injury as a result of “smashing bottles and windows” during a heated argument with his wife.
For the next year, various reports of abuse between the pair continued to surface…
So it came as no shock when Heard filed for divorce in March 2016, just fifteen months after the couple had initially exchanged their “I do”s.
At first, the divorce seemed unsuspicious…
Many news outlets reported that Heard had cited “irreconcilable differences” while filing the divorce petition.
But, only a few months into their separation…
Heard filed a restraining order against Depp, claiming that he had previously assaulted her.
It was a big allegation to make…
So people were confused when Heard retracted her allegations just one day before the hearing was due to be held.
But this didn’t stop the world from turning against Depp.
Heard had alleged that the actor had hit her on several occasions, and even provided video footage of him flinging a glass of wine across the room in a fit of rage.
And, in 2018, the actress penned an article for The Washington Post where she opened up about her experience with domestic abuse and violence.
Though she didn’t explicitly name Depp in her op-ed, she did allude to the time period when, “two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.”
There was an outpour of support for Heard…
Who was even made the American Civil Liberties Union’s “Ambassador for Women’s Issues.”
And, despite profusely denying all the allegations against him…
Depp found his career taking a hit as a result of the ongoing scandal.
Fewer and fewer directors were hiring Depp for roles…
And his appearance in J.K Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts sequel, The Crimes of Grindelwald, was heavily criticized.
And, in 2018, he was dropped from his iconic role as Captain Jack Sparrow.
In a career-shattering announcement just 4 days after Heard’s damning article, Disney announced that the actor would no longer be a part of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
Though they didn’t directly cite Heard’s abuse allegations…
It was widely assumed that Disney, who has earned over $4.5 billion at the box office from the Pirates franchise, was trying to distance themselves from the actor and the scandal surrounding him.
But then, there was a sudden change in events.
Depp filed a $50-million defamation case against Heard and presented evidence that he was the one on the receiving end of the abuse, not the other way around.
Shockingly, the actor alleged that he was the victim all along.
Depp’s defamation lawsuit read: “The op-ed [Heard’s article] depended on the central premise that Ms. Heard was a domestic abuse victim and that Mr. Depp perpetrated domestic violence against her.”
The lawsuit also stated that all of Heard’s claims were “categorically and demonstrably false”…
And listed down incidents of Heard’s alleged abuse since the start of their marriage, including punching and kicking, as well as staging her attacks.
The allegations are difficult to read.
“She hit, punched, and kicked me. She also repeatedly and frequently threw objects into my body and head, including heavy bottles, soda cans, burning candles, television remote controls, and paint thinner cans, which severely injured me.” His lawsuit read.
And, to tarnish the actress’ reputation and credibility even further…
Audio obtained by the Daily Mail was released that heard her admitting to attacking Depp.
As per the audio clip, she could also be heard taunting him…
“You are such a baby. Grow the f*** up, Johnny. You poke an animal enough, it is eventually, it doesn’t matter how friendly it is, it’s not cool,” Heard can be heard saying.
The case was grueling…
Depp then went to court for his libel case against The Sun newspaper – whom he is suing over a 2018 article in which he was described as a “wife-beater.”
The pair were in court as part of the 3-week long trial.
While in court, both parties played pretty dirty, revealing compromising photographs of each other which have blown everything out of the water, yet again. And of course with the evidence came more allegations.
But things didn’t go Depp’s way…
And he lost the case.
Of course, this massive loss was terrible for the actor’s name…
But he isn’t giving up his fight.
Depp and his legal team were determined to prove that the pictures Heard shared in the case were forged…
To make it look like he was repeatedly abusing her, when in fact, according to Depp it was the other way around.
As per Page Six, lawyers working on the case claim that Heard altered photos making her appear to have 2 black eyes…
Alleging she was attacked by him in 2015.
Depp’s lawyer, Benjamin Chew claimed: “Ms. Heard’s counsel has repeatedly used these phony photographs at deposition.”
He also shared that he believes the LA Police Department “disavowed the photographs” that were previously given to the court and “did not depict what they saw.”
Chew revealed that the LAPD “found no injury upon Ms. Heard and no disruption to the penthouses” upon inspection…
“Ms. Heard and her friends then fabricated photos that she used to obtain an ex parte TRO [temporary restraining order] and a $7 million divorce settlement which Ms. Heard falsely testified in London she gave to the ACLU and, more scandalously, to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles; sick children with cancer,” he added.
Chew concluded that someone “doctored those photographs.”
“So, Ms. Heard or someone on her behalf doctored those photographs three years later. When that came up in her testimony in London, Ms. Heard falsely denied it. In short, Your Honour, without forensic imaging Mr Neumeister cannot properly assess or verify Ms. Heard’s data,” Chew added.
Since Chew exposed Heard’s alleged false claims, the court has granted Depp and his lawyers access to her phone records…
They will also be analyzed by Brian Neumeister, who is a tech expert.
And, we’ve seen some huge celebrity names in the defamation case between the two actors.
There are many more who have been dragged into the defamation case.
Paul Bettany will be a witness for Depp.
And, according to Cinemablend, Heard’s legal team will use Bettany’s texts with Depp against them, displaying violent language targeted at Heard.
Heard’s exhibit list includes names we’re all familiar with…
There will be text messages and email conversations between Heard, Jason Momoa, and James Wan, as per the news outlet.
There are also emails logged from author JK Rowling and guitarist Jack White.
Who else is involved?
Ellen Barkin, an American actress, will be on Heard’s witness list, and she has spoken up about Heard’s allegations in the past.
“Amber Heard was never enough of a victim,” she wrote.
“And we never will be… Unless we’re dead,” she continued.
Depp is suing Heard for defamation, claiming that his reputation has been tarnished because of the things she has said during their battle.
And Heard is countersuing him, which is why so many big names have been dragged into the case, as well.
Now, since the case began, a lot of people have taken to the stand…
And on April 19th, it was Depp’s turn.
Depp took to the stand at Fairfax County courthouse where he described Heard’s claims as “heinous and disturbing,” LADbible reports.
He said that her allegations were “criminal acts against me that were not based in any species of truth.”
Depp went on to deny striking Heard and any woman in his life.
“Never did I myself reach the point of striking Miss Heard in any way, nor have I ever struck any woman in my life,” he told the court. “Since I knew there was no truth to it whatsoever, I felt it my responsibility to stand up, not only for myself in that instance, but stand up for my children.”
Depp then further detailed the effect that the allegations had on his children.
“I thought it was diabolical that my children would have to go to school and have their friends or people in the school approach them with the infamous People Magazine cover with Miss Heard with a dark bruise on her face,” he said.
Describing himself as a “very private person,” the actor said that for him “to come up here and sit before you all and spill the truth is quite exposing, and it’s unfortunate that it’s not only exposing for myself, it’s exposing for my family, it’s exposing for Miss Heard, it never had to go in this direction.”
He also added that his goal is “the truth” and that he isn’t embarrassed because “I know I’m doing the right thing.”
Depp returned to the stand where he has revealed more about his time spent with his ex-wife, Amber Heard.
There have been admissions about his severed finger, audio recordings of fights, and text messages revealing horrific desires.
After thirteen days, Depp’s legal team rested their case on May 3rd.
However, in a shocking turn of events, Heards legal team tried to have the case dismissed.
On May 3rd, Heard’s legal team argued for the case to be dismissed.
According to the Independent, the dismissal wass argued on the grounds that Depp’s legal team had not proven malice and that headline for The Washington Post op-ed was not written by Heard.
But, despite the attempts for dismissal, it was denied.
The outlet reports that Judge Penney Azcarate denied Heard’s attempt to dismiss the case striking 2 motions while keeping one under advisement.
Subsequently, the trial continued, and on May 4th, it was Heard’s time to take to the stand.
Heard took to the stand to give detail about the alleged abuse where she recalled a number of alleged incidents of violence.
And with Heard’s testimony underway, a number of experts have weighed in on the trial…
Giving their opinion on who they think is winning the trial so far.
Trial consultant, Jill Huntley Taylor, told Insider that Heard’s testimony may have raised the stakes of the trial.
Huntley Taylor told the outlet that Heard “has taken a riskier approach” to her testimony in comparison to Depp.
“Her claims of abuse are very extreme,” she said. “If the jurors believe her, she should see a windfall to award her and punish Depp.”
“However, if jurors do not believe her, they will punish her. For that reason, her credibility seems paramount to the jurors’ decisions.”
Brett Ward, co-chair of the matrimonial and family law practice at Blank Rome, also spoke with Insider about his thoughts on the trial.
Ward claimed that in Heard’s testimony she goes from “victim to actress.”
“Unfortunately when she talks about actual incidents of violence, her comments go from victim to actress and that’s a real big problem for her,” Ward said.
Referring to Heard comments such as noticing her dirty carpet when Depp allegedly slapped her, knocking her to the floor, Ward said that Heard’s description sometimes sounded “like a soliloquy.”
And, Ward’s comments were further reiterated by Christa Ramey, a co-founder of civil litigation firm, Ramey Law PC, who told the outlet that victims typically have “fragmented memories.”
Heard remembered the alleged assaults with a level of detail, however, Ramey explained that “your mind works to protect you and so it kind of buries fragments of memories in different parts of your brain and what you recall doesn’t come out normally as a story with a beginning, middle, and end.”
But while Ramey looked at Heard’s level of detail, the founder of HeraldPR, Juda Engelmayer, focused on Depp’s behavior inside the court.
Engelmayer claimed that Depp’s reactions, including him laughing, drawing and eating gummy bears, may be strategic and may be him using “acting skills.”
“If this was something that he thinks he would get called out on, and get in trouble for, he’ll be taken more seriously,” Engelmayer told the outlet.
“His smiling and laughing and almost looking like it doesn’t matter to him, it helps his fan base.”
The way the trial falls give the jury a week in between Heards testimony and cross-examination which Amber Melville-Brown, a media and reputation law specialist at Withers Worldwide, told the outlet could work in two ways for Heard.
Melville-Brown said that if the jury find Heard “credible” they could “dwell on that over the coming days” which may work in Heard’s advantage, however, similarly the time also gives Depp’s team extra preparation time for the cross-examination.
Overall, opinions are very mixed on the trial, however both Ramey and Ward told the outlet that they think Heard will win the case.
But, on the flip side, although they think Depp will loose, they think the trial will help to rebuild his career.
Ramey also said that Depp “has won regardless of whatever the outcome of the trial” as he has “gained his reputation back.”
Engelmayer agreed that the trial has shown that Depp still has a lot of support and fans and therefore he may have a career in more ambiguous roles in the future.
While Huntley Taylor told the outlet that the jury might “send both parties home with nothing” if they believe that “both were culpable for abuse.”
What do you think?