Jurors in Amber Heard and Johnny Depp’s defamation trial heard Thursday from Adam Waldman, certainly one of Depp’s attorneys, whose remarks in 2020 led Heard to countersue Depp for alleged defamation — one of many complexities in a trial that’s now ending its fifth full week on the Fairfax County Courthouse in Virginia, because the film stars supply differing accounts of their tumultuous relationship and marriage. Waldman, who was known as to the stand by Heard’s protection group, didn’t reply many questions, citing attorney-client privilege.
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Depp sued his ex-wife Heard for $50 million, alleging defamation over a 2018 op-ed she revealed in The Washington Put up wherein she referred to herself as a public determine representing home abuse. Although she didn’t title an abuser, Depp claimed the article ruined his repute and profession. He denied all allegations of abuse and as an alternative mentioned Heard was abusive towards him.
Heard countersued Depp for $100 million after Depp’s legal professionals mentioned her allegations had been false. The countersuit particularly revolves round a number of claims made to the media by Waldman, who characterised Heard’s accusations as a hoax. She claimed these statements led to the lack of profession alternatives.
Waldman testified by way of a video deposition on Thursday however refused to reply most questions, together with these about his interactions with the media. He did, nonetheless, rebut a declare that he first contacted Rolling Stone journal to put in writing a 2018 function story about Depp’s lawsuit towards his former monetary managers. He mentioned Depp first contacted the journal.
He confirmed that he made a number of statements within the media, resembling telling the Day by day Mail, partly, “Amber Heard and her mates within the media use faux sexual violence allegations as each a sword and defend, relying on their wants.” However he declined to reply any additional questions on his statements. He additionally testified that he launched two audio recordings to the Day by day Mail, although he didn’t supply additional particulars concerning the recordings.
Throughout cross-examination, he defined why he says he believes Depp didn’t abuse Heard — partly by repeating the testimonies of a number of witnesses who mentioned they didn’t see bruises on Heard.
One other of Thursday’s witnesses, laptop programmer and social media forensic knowledgeable Ron Schnell, testified that greater than 2 million damaging tweets towards Heard had been posted from April 2020 and Jan. 31, 2021, and that 1 out of 4 of these tweets referenced Waldman in some method — and that damaging tweets towards Heard proceed to reference Waldman. He additionally mentioned he discovered a correlation between spikes in usages of damaging hashtags towards Heard and the publication of the audio Waldman leaked.
Heard’s position within the 2018 blockbuster “Aquaman” wasn’t the boon for her profession because it traditionally ought to have been, agent Jessica Kovacevic testified Thursday, suggesting that damaging protection triggered Heard to lose alternatives. “Nobody goes to say to me, ‘We will’t rent her due to these tweets,’ or no matter. They simply don’t need somebody who has unhealthy press round them from these accusations,” Kovacevic mentioned. “Nobody desires that affiliation with their mission.”
The protection additionally known as Detective. Marie Sadanaga, who serves because the Los Angeles Police Division’s home violence coordinator, to emphasise an allegation Heard’s group made early within the trial — that police had been negligent in not creating an incident report after responding to a home dispute at Depp and Heard’s penthouse in Los Angeles.
Sadanaga mentioned that officers ought to create incident reviews, even when there isn’t any crime, if one of many events is in worry of hazard. “We all know with home violence, there’s often a sequence of incidents that occur and never all of these are crimes,” she defined. “We doc these so sooner or later, if there’s a crime, we are able to return and say, ‘There have been all these different incidents.’”
Earlier within the day, the protection known as a number of former mates and colleagues of Depp who mentioned there have been adjustments in his habits as his drug and alcohol use elevated.
Bruce Witkin, brother of Depp’s first spouse, Lori Anne Allison, mentioned the 2 had been “brothers” till 4 years in the past, when Depp all of a sudden ended their almost 40-year friendship. He “despatched me a bizarre textual content saying I stabbed him within the again,” Witkin mentioned, including that Depp by no means defined why he ended the friendship. He mentioned he presumes it was linked to his testimony in earlier lawsuits.
“He terminated primarily everybody in his life, so I used to be alongside for the journey,” mentioned Tracey Jacobs, an agent who represented Depp for many years and was fired in 2016. Jacobs described Depp as being at one time “the most important star on the planet” however mentioned his “star had dimmed” up to now 10 years as he started regularly displaying up late to units and required an earpiece to feed him strains. She additionally testified that Depp demanded $20 million from his expertise company in 2016.
Joel Mandel, Depp’s former enterprise supervisor, additionally testified that the actor’s elevated drug and alcohol use, starting round 2010, strained their skilled relationship. He additionally mentioned Depp had monetary troubles that reached a head in 2015. Depp fired Mandel in 2016 and filed swimsuit towards his firm, alleging it managed his cash fraudulently and improperly for 20 years, which Mandel denies. The events reached a settlement in 2018.
The protection additionally offered a couple of temporary prerecorded video depositions, together with former Heard lawyer Michele Mulrooney, who testified that an inebriated Depp fired her on Heard’s behalf whereas hurling profane insults at her; and psychiatrist Alan S. Blaustein, who mentioned Depp expressed to him points with nervousness and substance abuse.
Tina Newman, manufacturing government for the Walt Disney Corp., mentioned she didn’t know whether or not Depp was being thought of for a possible sixth entry of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie franchise, and mentioned she had not heard of any decision-makers at Disney — or exterior it — who’ve mentioned they received’t take into account Depp for a film due to Heard’s op-ed.
Actress Ellen Barkin, a former buddy and sexual accomplice of Depp’s, described the actor as “drunk on a regular basis … quite a lot of the time” on purple wine throughout their mid-Nineteen Nineties relationship and remembered Depp’s assistant, who the actor known as “pig.” She additionally testified that Depp threw a wine bottle throughout a resort room at a bunch of individuals, together with her, throughout a combat.
“He’s only a jealous man,” she mentioned. “Controlling. … I had a scratch on my again as soon as that obtained him very, very offended as a result of he insisted it got here from me having intercourse with an individual who wasn’t him.”
Testimony is scheduled to renew Monday.
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