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The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

Heard vs Depp: Part III: Money over Mind
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Weekly Summary

The court also heard from multiple witnesses that saw Heard being verbally and physically abusive towards Depp. His Chauffeur, Mr. Jenkins also confirmed that Heard was the one who defecated in Depp’s bed. Depp ended his witness stand with a key piece of evidence, where Heard admitted that the temporary restraining order (TRO)  was a set up and that her credibility was at stake if she admitted that to the public. Heard stated on the recording:

 “Tell the world, Johnny. Tell them, Johnny Depp. “I, Johnny Depp, a man; I’m a victim, too, of domestic violence.”

Ben King, Depp’s house manager then essentially laid out the crime scene evidence in the Australia 2015 evidence, stating that he was the one who found the severed finger in the home as well as cleaned up after the dispute. He confirmed that Vodka bottles were smashed in the bar kitchenette. 

All witnesses this week that were involved in the alleged abuse locations did not see any injuries on Heard but multiple witnesses did account that Depp had injuries to his persons on multiple occasions. The court also heard from multiple LAPD officers that surveyed the scene following the May 2016 incident, none of whom reported any sign of domestic abuse, nor did they find any injuries on Heard. The body cam footage also suggested that there was no evidence of a dismantled apartment or injuries on Heard.

Forensic Psychologist Shannon J. Curry gave her expert opinion on Heard’s mental state. She stated that Heard did not show any symptoms of PTSD from abuse experiences but rather diagnosed her with two different personality disorders. Then she went on to state the symptoms of these disorders, which she described as an exaggeration of behaviour, and externally reflecting their issues onto others. 

From the ACLU representative witness, it was also revealed  that Heard never donated the full amount of $3.5 million to their charity from her divorce settlement, but rather only donated 950,000 (mostly on the behalf of others including Depp and Elon Musk). 

ACLU also co-wrote the op-ed with Heard because they wanted Heard to be their ambassador for gender-based domestic violence. Heard and the ACLU were aware of the non-disclosure agreement that Depp and Heard had signed, so they left Depp’s name out of the op-ed. Depp’s talent agent then confirmed that Depp was dropped from films after the op-ed because studios don’t want to be associated with actors going through legal issues of this calibre.

Weekly Three

Day 8

April 25, 2022

Witnesses: Johnny Depp and Ben King (Depp’s house manager and assistant)

Depp finished up his witness stand by finishing his cross examination. In this cross, audio evidence of Depp yelling at Heard was played and tied to the argument that Heard and Depp had in the Bahamas during his rehab program. Heard’s legal team finished with questions addressing Depp’s claims against Heard and that the events of abuse before 2016 weren’t relevant to this case (even though their legal team spent a fair amount of time addressing Depp’s drug dependencies following 2016). 

On redirect, Depp clarified the evidence against him by stating that he dealt with his trauma through dark humour. He also clarified text messages about burning Heard’s dead body, which was a parallel to a Monty Python reference. Depp ended his testimony with an audio recording of Amber Heard telling him that the jury wouldn’t believe him if he testified in court because he’s a man, and because she’s already set up the narrative of Depp being an abuser. John C. Depp, II/4-25-2022/Plt357A-CL20192911-042522.mp4

Ben King
Ben King gave his testimony for credibility of his time working as a house manager for Depp. King was a key witness in the events of March 2015. King laid out a timeline of when he managed houses for Depp as well as the state of both houses before and after alleged violence took place in the estates. Particularly focusing on incidents in Australia, King described that when the couple first arrived there, their demeanour was friendly and honeymoon-like. 

He accounted serving Heard wine throughout the trip, and that she would go through about one to two bottles of red wine a day. As time went on, King described that they would often get into verbal disputes, quoting that Heard’s demeanour was that of a spoiled child and Heard would often start altercations. 

King was also in charge of cleaning up the house after the severed finger incident took place and confirmed that the house was damaged and in a state of disarray. He also confirmed finding the broken vodka glasses smashed around the bar, as well as the tip of Depp’s finger at the end of the kitchenette bar island. He accompanied Heard back to Los Angeles, California following the incident, and that he didn’t see any physical injuries on Heard, but three evenly spaced scratch marks on her left forearm, which he believed were self-inflicted.

Day 9

April 26, 2022

Witnesses: Tara Roberts (Manager of Depp’s private island in the Bahamas), Shannon J. Curry PsyD (Forensic Psychologist), Officer Melissa Saenz (LAPD officer)

Tara Roberts
Roberts gave credibility as a manager for Depp’s private Island. She gave account to her interactions with Depp and Heard on the island during the detox program and the wedding. She recalled a shift in their relationship throughout their time on the island. Additionally, she witnessed an argument between them where she noted that Heard may have thrown a can at Depp before pulling him into their estate to finish their dispute. Roberts said that Heard had been grabbing at Depp and noticed a mark across the bridge of his nose which she treated with ice. Roberts saw no sign of injuries on Heard but suggested that if Heard was wearing makeup it was very natural.

Shannon J. Curry
As an expert opinion witness on the stand, Curry gave her formal assessment of what she speculated was Heards mental state. Depp did not have to undergo the same assessment, mainly because in Heard’s counterclaim to Depp she stated that the abuse she suffered from Depp had caused her severe PTSD, and Depp already had a formal mental health diagnosis from Dr. Kippers that did not include any personality disorders.

Curry concluded that Heard did not have PTSD but instead had histrionic and borderline personality disorder. She then went on to state the symptoms of this disorder, which connected all the dots in Heards behaviour towards Depp. This testimony dismissed Heard’s claims and instead showed that Heard is manipulative, cruel, exaggerative and often externalises her own problems onto others, often panicking when abandoned. She didn’t attest that these symptoms are completely synonymous to all individuals with a personality disorder but did say that these are specific to Heard in particular. 

Officer Melissa Saenz
Officer Saenz, one of two officers, gives her testimony for a 911 first responder dispatch on May 21, 2016, to Depp and Heard’s LA Penthouse. They reported no disturbance on the premises and no sign of domestic violence that had occurred when searching the house. Saenz claimed that Heard didn’t have physical injuries on her persons and only had a red face that was adjacent with crying and no swelling. 

Day 10

April 27, 2022

Witnesses: Officer Tyler Hadden, Officer William Gatlin, Alejandro Romero (Front Desk Clerk at LA Penthouse), Christian Carino (Depp and Heards talent agent), Laura Wasser (divorce lawyer)

LAPD Officer Tyler Hadden and Officer William Gatlin
Both LAPD officers confirmed what Officer Melissa Saenz on day nine of the trial had stated. Both officers showed up at the scene with no evidence of violence. Both officers said they did not see any injuries on Heard, but they did note that they were farther away from Heard than Officer Saenz. Body cam footage from the officers confirmed that the house was in a kept state and that there was no evidence of glass or wine on the floor. They also noted that Heard did not speak or provide any further information for the officers present, so they did not make a formal report due to no evidence of domestic violence. Officer Gatlin stated that the original call for the domestic abuse was called in from NYPD, where Heard’s friend called in the assault. (I must note that these officers left before Isaac Baruch entered the penthouse around 9-10 p.m.).

Alejandro Romero
Romero started his deposition by lining out his duties as a desk clerk at the LA penthouse. Romero claimed he saw Heard on May 25, 2016, following the prior incidents that occurred in the penthouse. Romero claimed that he also did not see any injuries on Heard, nor did he believe that she was wearing any makeup. 

Christian Carino
Carino clarified his time as Heard and Depp’s talent agent. During his stand, he testified that Depp had a very successful career prior to Heard’s op-ed. Post op-ed, Carino clarified that two days after the op-ed was published, it was announced that Depp would no longer be working on the sixth Pirates of the Caribbean film due to the negative press and litigation. Carino also disclosed that Heard wanted Carino to arrange a meeting between Depp and Heard, to which he did, but didn’t understand why Heard intentionally broke her own temporary restraining order against Depp for the meeting. 

He arranged the meeting in San Francisco and made it known legally to the parties involved that they would be meeting to not violate the TRO unlawfully. This tied into the evidence played on Day 8, concluding Depp’s trial in which Heard stated that her credibility would be at risk if she admitted to the public that the restraining order was a setup. 

Laura Wasser
Through video deposition, Wasser testified about her experiences as Heard and Depp’s marriage lawyer from December 2015 to the finalisation of the divorce in 2016. Wasser started her testimony by giving some background to California state laws regarding divorce. 

She stated that Heard intentionally wanted to make the divorce details available to the public, to clear the controversy regarding the divorce. She also stated that Heard’s attorney didn’t want to resolve Depp and Heard’s issues out of court after going public, so they did not discontinue the restraining order against Depp. This insinuated that Heard did it as a legal strategy to lay claims to the credibility of domestic violence she said she experienced when going public.

Day 11

April 28, 2022

Witnesses: Terence Dougherty (ACLU representative), Edward White (Forensic/public accountant), Malcolm Connelly (Depp’s bodyguard), Starling Jenkins (Depp’s Chauffeur)

Terence Dougherty
Dougherty, the general counsel for the ACLU gave his testimony regarding the donations made to their foundation. He testified that Heard wanted to donate $3.5 million but had only directly paid the ACLU $350,000, and the rest was indirectly paid to the foundation on her behalf. This included $100,000 paid by Depp, $500,000 from Vanguard set up by Elon Musk, and $350,000 from a donor-advised fund at Fidelity. 

Dougherty then went on to state that the ACLU was also involved in co-writing the op-ed published in the Washington Post. The ACLU coordinated with Heard to become a gender-based violence ambassador, since she already spoke freely about the abuse she suffered. The article was reviewed and drafted a multitude of times with the ACLU and Heard due to the non-disclosure agreement between Depp and Heard. Therefore, the op-ed never mentioned Depp by name, but parties involved both knew that the op-ed was about Depp.

Edward White
White started his witness testimony by giving background on his education and job resume to prove his credibility. As Depp’s financial accountant, White’s testimony focused on his finances to prove that the defamation also caused financial loss. White started to discuss the content of the meeting that Depp attended on April 21, 2016, during Heard’s 30th birthday party from about 7 p.m.-9:30 p.m. He stated that Depp was very involved in the meeting and stepped out a few times to talk to Heard on the phone. 

White also stated that he was involved financially through their divorce, and that Heard started the divorce negotiation at $4 million then steadily increased to $7 million. She also wanted Depp to pay half a million for her attorneys, as well as community liabilities, which in its entirety would cost Depp 14,250 million dollars as a tax free. This required Depp to earn back $30 million dollars. The negotiations arranged that Heard was supposed to donate the $7 million settlements to charities. Depp also donated $100,000 to the ACLU and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles on his own accord. All the payments to Heard were filed by 2018. White also talks about Depp’s Wine Budget that was approximately 160,000, and by the end of the marriage the wine budget was all gone due to Heard.

Malcolm Connelly
Connolly stated that he’d been a protection officer for about 25 years. He was a bodyguard to Depp’s children for about two and a half years, then became one of Depp’s personal guards. He described that after becoming Depp’s security guard, that Heard and Depp started seeing one another not long after. He described their relationship as very happy and the typical in-love couple. Connelly said that when their relationship changed, Depp started to become quieter and more internal, while Heard became more assertive. He stated that he never witnessed any physical violence, but rather heard arguing often. He recounted a time that Head threw a soda can a few feet from Depp, hitting his TV and leaking its contents about his penthouse. Connelly also testified that throughout the years he’d seen multiple injuries on Depp that had gotten worse after their marriage but none on Heard. He recounted the Australia incident in 2015 where he helped take Depp to the hospital. He also touched base with Depp’s drug usage throughout the years, where Depp’s behaviours never changed violently or aggressively but rather would allow him to calm down and focus on music. 

Starling Jenkins
Jenkins had been Depp’s chauffeur and security detail for over 30 years. He started working for Depp in 1993, and described that upon working for Depp, Heard was very nice and respectful. He stated that he recalled observing two arguments during their relationship, mainly in the car. He recalled that Heard was the initiator in these instances. 

On the day of Heard’s birthday party on April 21, 2016, Jenkins recalled that he was working security in the LA penthouse that night. The following day, he stated that he was informed that Heard and Depp got into an altercation, in which Heard threw his personal belongings over the balcony into the streets of ninth and Broadway (which I believe Depp also did in a prior incident to Heard’s belongings). He stated that did not see any injuries on Heard that morning or through the course of the upcoming weeks. After retrieving Depp’s belongings, he then walked Heard to the car for her trip to Coachella, then went back to the penthouse to retrieve the dogs for transport as he accompanied Heard (as her guard) until April 25th. Jenkins did recall a conversation they had later that evening where Heard stated that she defecated in Depp’s bed before leaving. He also stated that he tended to Heard the morning of their departure after she consumed Shrooms and red wine on an empty stomach.
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