The jury in the trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard split on Tuesday without reaching a unanimous decision. This is to determine if the actor was defamed by his ex-wife, who claimed to have suffered domestic violence during their marriage.
The seven jurors, five men and two women, began to deliberate on Friday, at the conclusion of six weeks of proceedings before the court in Fairfax, a small town in the American state of Virginia, near Washington, the federal capital. But more than 9 hours of discussion have so far not resulted in any decision and they will resume their deliberations this Wednesday morning, in the afternoon Paris time.
Johnny Depp flew to the United Kingdom after the end of the debates on Friday to participate, Sunday and Monday, in two concerts by Briton Jeff Beck in Sheffield and London. Contacted, a spokesperson for Amber Heard did not want to confirm “at this stage” if the actress would be present for the statement of the verdict. The hundreds of fans, mostly Johnny Depp, who gathered outside the court also disappeared on Tuesday.
Filmed live on television, the debates cast a harsh light on the common life of the two actors. The star of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” saga is suing his ex-wife for defamation, who wrote in a column published by the Washington Post in 2018 to be “a public figure representing domestic violence”, without naming Johnny Depp. He claims 50 million dollars (about 47.5 million euros) in damages, believing that the platform destroyed his career and his reputation.
The scabrous details of their life together
Amber Heard, who appeared in particular in “Justice League” and “Aquaman”, counterattacked and asked for the double. The 36-year-old actress claims to have exercised her right to freedom of expression by writing this column. According to her, Johnny Depp’s complaint is “futile” and prolongs “the abuse and harassment” he subjected her to. She accuses a former lawyer for the actor of having defamed her by claiming in the press that her allegations of domestic violence were “false”.
The jury must answer several questions and rule unanimously on the two complaints before determining the amount of any damages. Since April 11, the jury has heard dozens of hours of testimonies and audio or video recordings which have revealed the shocking details of their life together, far from the glamor of Hollywood, between 2011 and 2016. The actress told that Johnny Depp was becoming a “monster” under the influence of an explosive cocktail of drugs and alcohol and not undergoing rehab. He would have raped her with a bottle of alcohol in March 2015, a month after their marriage, in Australia where the actor was filming episode 5 of “Pirates”. That day, Johnny Depp had the end of a finger severed and was hospitalized. He claims it’s because of the glare from a bottle thrown by Amber Heard. She says he hurt himself.
After a final argument, during which Johnny Depp allegedly threw a phone in her face in May 2016, she had filed for divorce for domestic violence, after a little over a year of marriage. Since then, she says she became the target of a social media smear campaign that wiped out her career. But the 58-year-old actor denounced “staggering” accusations and assured that it was on the contrary his wife who was violent. “No human being is perfect, certainly not, none of us, but never in my life have I committed sexual violence or physical violence,” he said on the stand.
The comedian has already lost a first defamation lawsuit in London in 2020, against the tabloid The Sun who called him a “violent husband”. The two actors each claim to have lost between 40 and 50 million dollars in fees since the publication of the tribune.
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