Legal professionals for Hollywood star Johnny Depp on Tuesday gave a jury an outline of his U.S. defamation case towards his ex-wife Amber Heard, the newest chapter in a long-running authorized struggle between the 2 Hollywood stars. Opening statements kicked off in a Virginia courtroom in a lawsuit Johnny, 58, introduced towards Amber, 35, for $50 million in 2018. Additionally Learn| Johnny Depp’s $50 million defamation go well with towards ex-wife Amber Heard begins; Elon Musk, James Franco might testify

Johnny alleges Amber defamed him when she penned a December 2018 opinion piece within the Washington Submit about being a survivor of home abuse. The article by no means talked about Johnny by title, however his lawyer Benjamin Chew advised jurors on Tuesday that it was clear Amber was referencing the Hollywood main man.

Benjamin advised jurors Amber revealed the piece on the eve of the discharge of “Aquaman,” her largest movie but, to drum up publicity and advance her profession. “By selecting to lie about her husband for her personal private profit, Amber Heard eternally modified Mr. Depp’s life and his status,” Benjamin stated. “You’ll hear him let you know the dreadful influence it has had on his life.” Amber’s piece within the Washington Submit “devastated” Johnny’s profession, Benjamin stated.

“Hollywood studios do not need to take care of the general public backlash from hiring somebody accused of abuse — even somebody with the unimaginable physique of labor and document that Mr. Depp might be happy with,” Benjamin stated.

J. Benjamin Rottenborn, a lawyer for Amber, stated in his opening assertion that Johnny was attempting to mislead the jury with “loopy conspiracy theories.” Rottenborn stated Amber was telling the reality about “horrific” abuse she endured, however the case is absolutely a few slender authorized query: whether or not Heard’s opinion piece was free speech protected by the U.S. Structure’s First Modification.

“That’s the query, and that’s what you’re being requested to resolve,” Rottenborn advised jurors. “Mr. Depp’s crew goes to attempt to flip this case right into a cleaning soap opera,” Rottenborn stated. “Why? I am not likely positive, as a result of the proof is not fairly for Mr. Depp.”

One other of Amber’s attorneys, Elaine Bredehoft, stated that in a visit to Australia in 2015, Johnny dragged Amber throughout the ground, punched her, kicked her after which “penetrated her with a liquor bottle.” Johnny shook his head “no” within the courtroom when Elaine made the assertion to jurors.

A state court docket choose in Fairfax County, Virginia, is overseeing the trial, which is predicted to final six weeks. A jury was chosen on Monday. Lower than two years in the past Johnny misplaced a libel case towards The Solar, a British tabloid that labeled him a “spouse beater.” A London Excessive Courtroom choose dominated he had repeatedly assaulted Heard and put her in concern for her life.

Within the U.S. case, Johnny and Amber each submitted lengthy lists of potential witnesses they might placed on the stand. Amber’s checklist consists of her ex-boyfriend and Tesla Chief Government Elon Musk, with whom she texted about Johnny. Additionally on the checklist of potential witnesses is actor James Franco.

The Washington Submit just isn’t a defendant within the case. Johnny’s attorneys have stated they filed the case in Fairfax County, outdoors the District of Columbia, as a result of the newspaper is printed at a facility there. Amber unsuccessfully tried to switch the case to Los Angeles, the place she and Johnny lived.

The US is a troublesome discussion board for libel plaintiffs, particularly public figures like Johnny, who faces a number of hurdles within the Virginia case. Johnny should show by clear and convincing proof that Amber knowingly made false claims. Johnny and Amber met whereas making 2011 movie “The Rum Diary” and married 4 years later. Amber accused Johnny of home abuse after submitting for divorce in 2016.

Amber is understood for her roles in “Aquaman” and “Justice League.” She has introduced her personal libel declare towards Johnny, saying he smeared her by calling her a liar. Amber’s counterclaim shall be determined as a part of the trial. She is in search of $100 million in damages from Johnny, in response to court docket papers.

In her proof to the London Excessive Courtroom, Amber stated Johnny would flip right into a jealous alter ego, “the monster,” after binging on medication and alcohol and had threatened to kill her. She detailed 14 events of utmost violence when she stated the actor choked, punched, slapped, head-butted, throttled and kicked her. The London choose accepted 12 of those accounts as true.

Following the November 2020 ruling within the London libel trial, Johnny was changed with Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen within the third movie within the “Incredible Beasts” franchise, a spin-off from the “Harry Potter” books and movies.

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