Defamation case Johnny Depp-Amber Heard: the jury will return on Wednesday to deliberate

As the world patiently awaits the verdict, jurors in the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard case will resume deliberation in Virginia on Wednesday. The multimillion-dollar case has seen the former couple accuse each other of abuse before and during their two-year marriage.

The seven-person jury weighed evidence for about seven hours on Tuesday without reaching a verdict.

Depp, the 58-year-old ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star, has sued Heard for $50 million and claimed she defamed him when she called herself a ‘public figure representing domestic violence ” in an opinion piece.

Heard, 36, has filed a countersuit for $100 million, claiming Depp smeared him when his lawyer called his accusations a “hoax”.

Depp denied hitting Heard or a woman and said it was she who became violent in their relationship.

Depp and Heard met in 2011 while filming “The Rum Diary” and married in February 2015. They filed for divorce after a year of marriage and legally separated a year later.

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The court case is based on an op-ed Heard wrote in December 2018 in The Washington Post about how she had experienced domestic violence. Although the article did not mention Depp by name, his attorneys told jurors it was clear that Heard was indeed referring to him.

During Tuesday’s deliberations, jurors asked Judge Penney Azcarate whether they should consider the entire article or just the headline. The headline said Heard “spoke out against sexual violence — and faced the wrath of our culture.”

Azcarate said she would tell the jury that the headline was the statement they should consider in reaching their verdict.

During six weeks of testimony, lawyers for Heard argued that she had told the truth and that her comments were covered by freedom of speech under the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

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During the six-week trial, jurors were shown tapes of the couple’s fights, graphic photos of Depp’s bloody finger and even Heard’s bruised face. Model Kate Moss, Depp’s ex, also testified in court to dispel rumors that he pushed her down the stairs during a fight, a claim Heard made in court while discussing the argument of Depp and his sister.

Depp meanwhile alleged that the top of his finger was severed when Heard threw a bottle of vodka at him in 2015.

Heard denied injuring Depp’s finger and said Depp sexually assaulted her that night with a bottle of liquor. She said she only hit him to defend herself or her sister.

The testimony was widely streamed live on social media, drawing large audiences to hear details about the couple’s troubled relationship.

Once among Hollywood’s biggest stars, Depp said Heard’s allegations cost him “everything”.

A new “Pirates” movie has been put on hold, and Depp has been replaced in the “Fantastic Beasts” film franchise, a “Harry Potter” spin-off.

Depp lost a libel case less than two years ago against The Sun, a British tabloid which called him a “wife beater”. A High Court judge in London ruled that he assaulted Heard on several occasions.

Depp’s attorneys filed the U.S. case in Fairfax County, Va., because The Washington Post is printed there. The newspaper is not accused.

(With contributions from the agency)

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Post expires at 2:46pm on Saturday June 11th, 2022

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