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The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

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Depp vs Heard: Part IV

POOL/AFP via Getty Images
TOPSHOT – US actress Amber Heard (L) testifies as US actor Johnny Depp looks on during a defamation trial at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia, on May 5, 2022. – Actor Johnny Depp is suing ex-wife Amber Heard for libel 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 Jim LO SCALZO / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JIM LO SCALZO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) Source:×778.jpg

Weekly Summary

This week was finished off with witness testimonies from Depp’s team, before going into Heard’s testimony for the last two days of Week 4. Depp’s witnesses accounted for the financial losses and career impact that Heard had on him due to the op-ed. Depp’s financial accountant stated that between December 2018 and October 2020, Depp lost 40 million dollars in revenue from the loss of his roles. 

The court then heard more witness testimonies following the events of abuse between Heard and Depp. Heard’s legal team brought on an expert witness, Dawn Hughes, a forensic psychologist specialising in gender-based assault. She rebutted Dr. Curry’s previous diagnosis of Heard, stating that Heard had been diagnosed with PTSD, not a personality disorder. The key difference between Dr. Curry and Dr. Hughes was that Hughes based her diagnosis on self-reporting rather than Dr Curry’s method of test-taking.

Amber Heard finally took the witness stand on day 14 of the trial. She gave a synopsis of Depp and Heard’s early life before their marriage. She stated how when they first met their relationship was wholesome but quickly grew controlling as time went on. By day 15, she gave a testimony regarding the timeline that the case followed more closely in the trial, including Heard’s account of Depp’s alleged sexual assault that took place in March 2015 in Australia. At that time, she stated that Depp’s finger wound had been self-inflicted.

Week Four

Day 12

02 May 2022
Witnesses: Travis McGivern (Depp’s private security guard), Jack Whigham (Depp’s Agent), Richard Marks (Hollywood affairs expert), Doug Bania (Intellectual property damage expert), Erin Falati/Boerum (Heard’s private nurse)
Travis McGivern
McGivern testified his interactions and witness accounts during his time working for Depp. He started his video testimony by giving an overview of how Heard and Depp interacted with one another following the Australia 2015 incident. He noted that there was a change between the two of them after that trip had happened, following increased arguments. 
McGivern was not present during the trip but thereafter they arrived back in LA. He testified that he had not seen any injuries on Heard, but did account for injuries on Depp, including his severed finger. On March 23, 2015, McGivern stated that he and nurse Lloyd were at Depp’s LA penthouse during an incident with Heard, Whitney (Heard’s sister), and Depp. Around 4 a.m. that morning, McGivern went to retrieve nurse Lloyd upon Depp’s request and they witnessed an argument between Heard and Depp, in which he stated started as a peaceful conversation but quickly escalated into verbal insults from Heard, and that she threw a red bull that struck Depp in the back. At that point, Depp went to the top level of the penthouse to throw Heard’s clothes out of her closet, when Heard hit him with a closed fist that contacted the left side of Depp’s face. That’s when McGivern intervened and brought Depp to a safe space on the lowest level of their penthouse.
Jack Whigham
Whigham testified also by video to account for Depp’s career and how the op-ed impacted his career and financial matters. He described that when he started in the fall of 2016, Depp had a very well-known and good reputation among artists and his community. Then he laid out a timeline of Depp’s financial attributes from 2016 to 2019, based on his career. In 2017 he described that Depp was successful and was getting a lot of offers for films and shows, then in 2018 Depp took time off to be with his kids, then upon his arrival back in 2019 he stated that it was hard to get Depp a film role following the publication of the op-ed. He testified that Disney decided not to cast Depp In the new Pirates of the Caribbean film and that he would not be in the next Fantastic Beasts film.
Richard Marks
A transactional lawyer based out of Hollywood; Marks testified to matters regarding Hollywood. These matters include, how damages are perceived by the community and damages to Depp’s reputation. He stated that the negativity surrounding a public figure in entertainment lowers film revenue, so generally production studios are reluctant to work with them. He stated that the most severe cases of negativity in Hollywood include accusations of sexual and domestic violence that end in the cancellation of the actor in projects. 
Marks stated how Hollywood only defines certain publications as impactful to the community which includes the Washington Post, New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. He clarified that after the Sun newspaper published their article calling Depp a wife-beater, it wasn’t impactful to Depp’s career because the Sun doesn’t stand out as a reputable publication. Mark also stated that because Heard published the article in the Washington Post, it caused reputable damage to Depp, impacting his career.
Doug Bania
Bania gave testimony by using Google data analytics to provide insight into evaluations of reputational damages to Depp. From the data that he collected, he stated that overall Depp had always had a high search trend and that there was a decline in data following the op-ed. Searches indicated to contain more specifics regarding Depp’s prior drug usage and alleged violence.
Erin Falati (Boerum)
Erin Falati started her video testimony by recounting her time in Australia in 2015. Falati gave insight into Heard’s mental state during that time. She recounts that Heard was having time after the incident had occurred and had expressed suicidal thoughts but never mentioned why or if Depp had anything to do with these thoughts. She did not report these to Dr Kipper at the time but was given orders to keep Heard and Depp away from one another. She also recounts a specific phone call that took place on December 16, 2015, regarding an argument between Depp and Heard, in which Heard stated that she suffered physical abuse from Depp. She did witness the next day a bloody lip on Heard and referred her to Dr Kipper for an evaluation. (Dr. Kippers earlier testified that Heard called him to treat a headache. The physical taken did not recount any physical injuries of Heard).

Day 13

03 May 2022
Witnesses: Erin Falati/Boerum (Heards Nurse), Michael Spindler (Depp’s Forensic Accountant), Dawn Hughes (Expert in Forensic psychology)
Erin Falati (Boerum)
Finishing her video deposition, Falati testified that Heard had codependence issues and relied heavily on drugs and alcohol. She also stated that she often felt the need to have anger outbursts to cope with her anxieties and issues, which Falati stated stems from early maltreatment growing up. Falati also stated an account in which Heard reported that she had taken MDMA and mushrooms with a male of high status without Depp’s knowledge at the LA penthouse.
Michael Spindler
As for Depp’s financial accountant, Spindler gave testimony supporting the financial losses that Depp suffered because of the op-ed. He stated that between December 2018 and October 2020, Depp lost 40 million dollars in revenue from the loss of his roles. This included 22.5 million dollars from losing the role of Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean and 17.5 million dollars from film endorsements and other non-role-related projects in the film industry.
Dawn Hughes
Hughes was Heard’s first witness testimony from Heard’s defence team. As Heard’s forensic psychologist, her testimony was to address gender-based abuse and behaviours. She gave insight into behaviours within an abusive relationship as well as sexual violence behaviours for both the victim and abuser. She did gender her language during most of her testimony, which insinuated that males are abusers and women are victims despite the fact that  abuse can happen either way. She then went into detail about how Heard had conveyed multiple accounts of sexual assault. Hughes’s diagnosis of Heard was mostly based on information conveyed to her through Heard rather than through a series of tests Dr. Curry had performed.

Day 14

04 May 2022
Witnesses: Dawn Hughes, Amber Heard
Dawn Hughes
Starting with cross-examination from Depp’s legal team, they questioned Hughes’s bias towards male victimization, to which she defended that she has represented males before (in same-sex cases). Hughes then stated that she had not witnessed any sexual assault or abuse firsthand but only by word of mouth from Heard. Hughes then went on to bring up her diagnosis of Heard as PTSD rather than historic or borderline personality disorder based on what Heard accounted to her, then went on to discredit Dr. Curry’s psychological analysis of Heard. 
Depp’s legal team followed up by asking about Heard’s relationship with James Franco and Elon Musk during and after the relationship with Depp. This is a way to Segway into how cheating can be considered a form of abuse within a relationship as well as various other pieces of evidence that based on her definitions of partner violence would also paint Heard as the abuser and Depp as the victim.
Amber Heard
Heard started her testimony by providing background on her life prior before becoming an actor and then following how she became involved with Depp on the set of The Rum Diary. She gave accounts of their interactions with one another during the filming and a bit after. Both Heard and Depp were in relationships at the time with their previous partners during the filming. Heard described a time on set in which she stated that Depp kicked up the back of her set robe and another where she was pinned down by Depp and she had awkwardly laughed off the situation. 
Then she went on to describe how Depp would frequently send her gifts and she would refuse some. Heard then testified how they later fell in love shortly after filming the movie. She accounted that the relationship between them started with Depp acting controlling and abusive in 2012-2013. In 2013, she recounted that Depp had slapped her so hard she fell onto the floor after Depp accused her of cheating on him as well as a series of other multiple accounts in which Depp had abused her following the major instances examined in 2014-2017. Heard then testified that Depp’s usage of drugs and alcohol was what she believed to have caused him to act with violence.

Day 15

*Trigger warning for sexual assault*

05 May 2022
Witnesses: Amber Heard
Heard continued her testimony today following events of abuse, in a similar mannerism as her trial with the Sun newspaper. Her testimony started by highlighting Depp before his drug rehab program in 2014, where she stated that Depp’s behaviours changed from a violent drug rage in 2012 to sleeping and passing out a lot from drugs by 2013. Heard claimed that Depp was often controlling and jealous during their relationship, frequently accusing Heard of cheating. Depp would control her roles as an actress, in what scenes she could and couldn’t do based on the script. Heards’ legal team questioned her about multiple instances on set where Depp was controlling.
In February of 2014, she discussed hiring her assistant Kate James and claimed that she drank on the job to overturn Kate’s testimony that Heard was verbally abusive to her. In March of 2014, during Depp and Heard’s engagement party, she claims that Depp did drugs at the party with her father. She stated later in the trial that she fully supported Depp through his detox program following another altercation he had.
Following shooting a sex scene with James Franco for the Adderall Diaries, Heard claimed an incident occurred between Depp and Heard’s flight back from Boston, Massachusetts to Los Angeles California in May of 2014. Heard testified that Depp had berated her for filming with James Franco and kicked her in the back when she was trying to avoid the conversation. Then she stated that everyone on the plane ignored it and protected Depp instead. This account is significantly different from other witness testimonies given about the account thus far.
In August of 2014, Heard recounted the drug rehab program with Depp in the Bahamas. She described how Depp was having a hard time during the detox and refused to partake in it. She said that Depp was erratic and verbally abusive towards her during their stay there. By December of 2014, she said that Depp continued to be verbally abusive, and she started to fight back during this period. She then briefly accounted for their wedding in February of 2015, where they split the wedding into two groups of men and women where Heard described that her friends and Heard had a “cuddle puddle.” 
Then the trial approached the events of March 2015 in Australia. She describes that they had multiple arguments during their time there. Most of the arguments were due to Depp’s alleged drug and alcohol usage in Australia. Heard testified that during the altercation in the bar of their house, where Depp testified that Heard severed his finger with a vodka bottle, Depp was the pursuer of violence. She stated that during their altercation Depp had been drinking and Heard smashed two of the bottles, and that made Depp upset. She accused herself to the court stating that she couldn’t remember the whole incident because they came in flashes. 
Heard described how Depp started throwing bottles at Heard while she was behind the bar, and when he approached, they had a struggle at the bar in which Heard stated that Depp ripped her nightgown off. She then went into detail about how Depp started to punch the wall with his hands and a nearby phone and how she felt vulnerable in this situation, naked and afraid, slipping on the broken glass. Heard then testified that this was the instance where Depp had raped her with a broken glass bottle.
The next morning after taking sleeping pills, she testified that she surveyed the damage to the house, which she eluded that most of the damage Depp had done while she was asleep. When she found Depp that morning, Heard stated that Depp had self-inflicted his finger injury. Heard stated that after security had taken Depp out of the House that Depp “took out his penis and peed outside of the house” in front of security (security did not testify to seeing this happen). She said that Debbie Lloyd had examined her after the incident.
Heard discussed her engagement regarding signing a prenup in 2016, where she said that Depp was upset about this, which contradicted Depp’s statement that said he was the one who mentioned the prenup and Heard was upset about this.
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