Actor Johnny Depp leaves Fairfax County Courthouse during a break during his trial against actress Amber Heard in Fairfax, Va., on April 13. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo
May 27 (UPI) — A Fairfax County, Va., jury began deliberations Friday in the defamation trial between actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard after about six weeks of testimony and accusations of abuse from both.
The seven-person panel began discussions after several hours of closing arguments, The Washington Post reported.
Depp sued Heard, his ex-wife, after she wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post in 2018 saying she was a survivor of domestic abuse. Though she didn’t name Depp as her abuser in the article, Depp argued it’s clear she was referring to him after obtaining a temporary restraining order against him during their 2016 divorce proceedings.
Heard countersued Depp for $100 million after the latter’s lawyer said her abuse allegations were false.
In closing arguments Friday, Depp’s lawyer, Camille Vasquez, said Heard abused Depp and staged photos to make it seem as though the Pirates of the Caribbean actor physically abused her.
“Today, on May 27, 2022 … we ask you to give Mr. Depp his life back by telling the world that Mr. Depp is not the abuser Ms. Heard said he is and hold Ms. Heard accountable for her lies,” Vasquez told the jury.
Benjamin Rottenborn, Heard’s attorney, said Depp verbally, emotionally and physically abused the Aquaman star. He accused Depp’s team of victim-blaming, NBC News reported.
“The facts are absolutely overwhelming of abuse. One time, that’s all you have to remember,” Rottenborn said. “Mr. Depp simply cannot prove to you that he never once abused Amber. … A ruling against Amber here sends a message that no matter what you do as an abuse victim, you always have to do more.”
The jury failed to reach a verdict by end of business Friday and were dismissed for the weekend. They’re due to resume deliberations Tuesday after the Monday Memorial Day holiday.
In 2020, Depp lost a libel lawsuit against the parent company of The Sun newspaper after the tabloid called him a “wife-beater” in the headline.