Each side delivers scathing closing arguments

Actor Johnny Depp and his attorney Camille Vasquez look on during Depp's defamation case against ex-wife, actor Amber Heard

Actor Johnny Depp and his attorney Camille Vasquez look on during Depp’s defamation case against ex-wife, actor Amber Heard. (Photo: Reuters)

Johnny Depp violently abused Amber Heard more than a dozen times during their four-year relationship. Or, the 36-year-old actress orchestrated this hoax to extort Depp during their contentious 2016 divorce and “ruin him” for leaving her. That’s, in part, what a jury will have to decide when deliberations begin in the pair’s defamation trial — there’s little middle ground in the he-said, she-said case.

On Friday, the sixth anniversary of when Heard filed for a temporary restraining order, the actors are in a Virginia courtroom hoping for vindication. Each side will offer closing arguments to the jury wrapping up a seven-week media circus. Depp’s internet famous lawyer Camille Vasquez, who handled Heard’s tough cross-examinations, was the first one to deliver final remarks. She implored the jury to “give Mr. Depp his life back” and “hold Ms. Heard accountable for her lies.”

“[Heard] ruined his life by falsely telling the world she’s a survivor of domestic abuse at the hands of Mr. Depp,” Vasquez declared. “There is an abuser in this courtroom and it is not Mr. Depp.”

Depp sued Heard for $50 million over a 2018 op-ed she wrote in the Washington Post about surviving sexual violence and abuse. Specifically, the actor claims three statements she made are defamatory as he’s steadfast in his assertion that he never abused the actress.

Vasquez said it was Depp who suffered “persistent verbal, physical and emotional abuse by Ms. Heard during their relationship.” She called the actress a “deeply troubled person, violently afraid of abandonment” and that Heard “was violent, she was abusive and she was cruel.” Vasquez played audio clips in which Heard admits to hitting Depp. In another, Heard seemingly taunts her ex that no one would believe he’s the victim of domestic abuse.

Vasquez claimed Heard put on a performance in court — but not a good one. She cited the Aquaman star’s acting coach who said Heard had difficulty fake crying. “Ms. Heard sobbing [on the stand] without tears… it was a performance.”

“Either Mr. Depp sexually assaulted Ms. Heard with a bottle in Australia, or Ms. Heard got up on that stand in front of all of you and made up that horrific tale of abuse,” Vasquez continued. “Either she’s the victim of truly horrific abuse, or she’s a woman who’s willing to say absolutely anything.”

Depp’s attorney, Ben Chew, spoke after Vasquez about the harm the actor suffered as a result of Heard’s “defamatory” remarks.

“This is ‘#MeToo’ without any ‘#MeToo,'” he said. “No woman ever, before Amber Heard, ever claimed that Mr. Depp raised a hand to her in his 58 years.”

Chew walked the jury through why her statements in the op-ed are defamatory, noting the implications are “clear” she is referring to Depp, although the actress never mentioned him by name in the article.

Even though Depp is entitled to monetary damages, according to Chew, that’s not what the actor cares about.

“This case, at least for Mr. Depp, has never been about money. Nor is it about punishing Ms. Heard. It’s about Mr. Depp’s reputation and freeing him from the prison in which he has lived for the last six years,” he said. “Six years to the day.”

A source close to Amber Heard tells Yahoo Entertainment: “We’ve been watching the clock being turned back for women in court. The Depp team has been trying to misdirect the jury’s attention to look at sensational, salacious stuff — anything except what this case is about: Freedom of speech. We hope that the jury is not distracted by noise and nonsense.”

After unsuccessfully getting Depp’s defamation lawsuit tossed, Heard countersued the actor for $100 million over statements his lawyer, Adam Waldman, made to the media in 2020. Waldman called Heard a liar and was acting on Depp’s behalf, the actress’s lawyers argued. Heard’s lawyers will deliver their closing remarks at the end of this morning’s break.

Yahoo Entertainment will continue to update this story.

MORE: Ex-TMZ employee claims Amber Heard staged photo-op and leaked video of Johnny Depp ahead of divorce settlement

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