AFP, published on Wednesday April 13, 2022 at 00:01
Accesses of “anger” which culminated in physical and sexual violence: the lawyers of Amber Heard described Tuesday in an American court the hell that the young actress would have lived, victim of her husband Johnny Depp transformed according to them into ” monster” by drugs and alcohol.
The former couple accused each other of defamation during this trial in Fairfax, near Washington, for a column published in the Washington Post in 2018. Amber Heard described herself as a “victim of domestic violence” bullied by society after coming out of silence two years earlier.
Amber Heard “loved the side of Johnny that we see in the movies, charismatic, charming, generous, he’s the man she fell in love with,” her lawyer Elaine Bredehoft told the jurors.
“But unfortunately the monster (…) appeared when he was drinking or taking drugs,” she added, referring to cocktails of alcohol, drugs, cocaine, ecstasy and hallucinogenic mushrooms .
Johnny Depp had in him “a huge anger” which transformed him into a “demon” who “verbally, psychologically, physically and sexually attacked” Amber Heard, explained Me Bredehoft.
She recounted several scenes of violence, notably in March 2015 in Australia where Johnny Depp was filming the fifth episode of “Pirates of the Caribbean”.
– Make-up kit –
The actress never parted with a makeup kit to hide the bruises on her face, said the lawyer, who plans to show the jury “shocking photos” of abuse.
In her column, the 35-year-old actress did not name Johnny Depp, 58, whom she married in 2015. But she did mention the domestic violence charges she had brought against her husband in 2016.
The actress had dropped her charges as part of their divorce, concluded with a bang and a check for $ 7 million in 2017.
After the publication of this forum, the former undercover police officer of “21 Jump Street”, who denies having ever hit his wife, filed a defamation complaint, claiming 50 million dollars in damages.
The actress had in turn filed a defamation suit, asking for 100 million dollars.
Johnny Depp’s lawyer, Benjamin Chew, denounced him for “devastating words when they are false and spoken publicly”.
“Amber Heard forever changed the life and reputation of Mr. Depp, and you will hear him recount the terrible impact it had on his life,” he told jurors.
– “Old fat” –
According to Benjamin Chew, Amber Heard had accused her husband of violence in 2016 to get revenge on him after his decision to divorce.
And two years later, “in the wake of the MeToo movement” denouncing sexual violence and “just before the release of the film Aquaman” in which she played, Amber Heard “chose to remind the world of these venomous allegations in a world-renowned newspaper “, he assured.
Johnny Depp’s sister, Christi Dembrowski, described on the stand a toxic marital relationship with an “always confrontational” young woman, who “greatly exaggerated” her husband’s alcohol and drug problems and called him a “old fat”.
“Dior is class and style, and you have no style”, she would have launched during discussions on an advertising contract with the French perfumer, according to the witness.
The actor filed his lawsuit in the state of Virginia, where the Washington Post is printed and where the legal framework is more favorable to complaints of defamation than in California, where the two actors reside.
The two former spouses attend the trial, broadcast live on television and which should last several weeks. The list of witnesses is worthy of the great Hollywood films: billionaire Elon Musk, companion of the actress after her divorce, actors James Franco and Paul Bettany, and actress Ellen Barkin.
In 2020 Johnny Depp had already lost a defamation lawsuit in London against the publishing company of the daily newspaper The Sun after an article presenting him as an abusive husband.
Amber Heard then claimed to have been the victim of a dozen assaults committed by her husband. He had admitted to using too many drugs and alcohol, but said he had never laid his hand on a woman.
After this setback, the actor’s career took a dive and he was ousted from several projects, including the sixth installment of “Pirates of the Caribbean”.