Yesterday, the Judge denied Johnny Depp’s motion to strike Amber Heard’s $100 million defamation counterclaim.
This came after Ben Chew argued Depp’s case to the Judge in the courtroom.
Scroll on to find out why.
Now, we all know Johnny Depp has been through a lot these past couple of years…
The Kentucky-born actor, who has been renowned in Hollywood since the 1990s, has been embroiled in a highly publicized domestic abuse scandal with his ex-girlfriend, Amber Heard, for the last 5 years.
At first, this coupling seemed to be at the start of a promising relationship.
After meeting on the set of The Rum Diary in 2011, the actor started dating Texan actress and model, Amber Heard, shortly after calling it quits with his long-term partner, Vanessa Paradis.
They announced their engagement in 2014…
And, not ones to waste any time, they hastily tied the knot just one year later in February 2015.
However, it was here when things started to go a little ship-shaped.
Their honeymoon period was rather short-lived as, just months after their marriage, Depp reportedly suffered a hand injury as a result of “smashing bottles and windows” during a heated argument with his wife.
For the next year, various reports of abuse between the pair continued to surface…
So it came as no shock when Heard filed for divorce in March 2016, just fifteen months after the couple had initially exchanged their “I do”s.
At first, the divorce seemed unsuspicious…
Many news outlets reported that Heard had cited “irreconcilable differences” while filing the divorce petition.
But, only a few months into their separation…
Heard filed a restraining order against Depp, claiming that he had previously assaulted her.
It was a big allegation to make…
So people were confused when Heard retracted her allegations just one day before the hearing was due to be held.
But this didn’t stop the world from turning against Depp.
Heard had alleged that the actor had hit her on several occasions, and even provided video footage of him flinging a glass of wine across the room in a fit of rage.
And, in 2018, the actress penned an article for The Washington Post where she opened up about her experience with domestic abuse and violence.
Though she didn’t explicitly name Depp in her op-ed, she did allude to the time period when, “two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.”
There was an outpour of support for Heard…
Who was even made the American Civil Liberties Union’s “Ambassador for Women’s Issues.”
And, despite profusely denying all the allegations against him…
Depp found his career taking a hit as a result of the ongoing scandal.
Fewer and fewer directors were hiring Depp for roles…
And his appearance in J.K Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts sequel, The Crimes of Grindelwald, was heavily criticized.
And, in 2018, he was dropped from his iconic role as Captain Jack Sparrow.
In a career-shattering announcement just 4 days after Heard’s damning article, Disney announced that the actor would no longer be a part of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
Though they didn’t directly cite Heard’s abuse allegations…
It was widely assumed that Disney, who has earned over $4.5 billion at the box office from the Pirates franchise, was trying to distance themselves from the actor and the scandal surrounding him.
But then, there was a sudden change in events.
Depp filed a $50-million defamation case against Heard and presented evidence that he was the one on the receiving end of the abuse, not the other way around.
Shockingly, the actor alleged that he was the victim all along.
Depp’s defamation lawsuit read: “The op-ed [Heard’s article] depended on the central premise that Ms. Heard was a domestic abuse victim and that Mr. Depp perpetrated domestic violence against her.”
The lawsuit also stated that all of Heard’s claims were “categorically and demonstrably false”…
And listed down incidents of Heard’s alleged abuse since the start of their marriage, including punching and kicking, as well as staging her attacks.
The allegations are difficult to read.
“She hit, punched, and kicked me. She also repeatedly and frequently threw objects into my body and head, including heavy bottles, soda cans, burning candles, television remote controls, and paint thinner cans, which severely injured me.” His lawsuit read.
And, to tarnish the actress’ reputation and credibility even further…
Audio obtained by the Daily Mail was released that heard her admitting to attacking Depp.
As per the audio clip, she could also be heard taunting him…
“You are such a baby. Grow the f*** up, Johnny. You poke an animal enough, it is eventually, it doesn’t matter how friendly it is, it’s not cool,” Heard can be heard saying.
The case was grueling…
Depp then went to court for his libel case against The Sun newspaper – whom he is suing over a 2018 article in which he was described as a “wife-beater.”
The pair were in court as part of the 3-week long trial.
While in court, both parties played pretty dirty, revealing compromising photographs of each other which have blown everything out of the water, yet again. And of course with the evidence came more allegations.
But things didn’t go Depp’s way…
And he lost the case.
Of course, this massive loss was terrible for the actor’s name…
But he isn’t giving up his fight.
Depp and his legal team were determined to prove that the pictures Heard shared in the case were forged…
To make it look like he was repeatedly abusing her, when in fact, according to Depp it was the other way around.
As per Page Six, lawyers working on the case claim that Heard altered photos making her appear to have 2 black eyes…
Alleging she was attacked by him in 2015.
Depp’s lawyer, Benjamin Chew claimed: “Ms. Heard’s counsel has repeatedly used these phony photographs at deposition.”
He also shared that he believes the LA Police Department “disavowed the photographs” that were previously given to the court and “did not depict what they saw.”
Chew revealed that the LAPD “found no injury upon Ms. Heard and no disruption to the penthouses” upon inspection…
“Ms. Heard and her friends then fabricated photos that she used to obtain an ex parte TRO [temporary restraining order] and a $7 million divorce settlement which Ms. Heard falsely testified in London she gave to the ACLU and, more scandalously, to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles; sick children with cancer,” he added.
Chew concluded that someone “doctored those photographs.”
“So, Ms. Heard or someone on her behalf doctored those photographs three years later. When that came up in her testimony in London, Ms. Heard falsely denied it. In short, Your Honour, without forensic imaging Mr Neumeister cannot properly assess or verify Ms. Heard’s data,” Chew added.
Since Chew exposed Heard’s alleged false claims, the court has granted Depp and his lawyers access to her phone records…
They will also be analyzed by Brian Neumeister, who is a tech expert.
And, we’ve seen some huge celebrity names in the defamation case between the two actors.
There are many more who have been dragged into the defamation case.
Paul Bettany will be a witness for Depp.
And, according to Cinemablend, Heard’s legal team will use Bettany’s texts with Depp against them, displaying violent language targeted at Heard.
Heard’s exhibit list includes names we’re all familiar with…
There will be text messages and email conversations between Heard, Jason Momoa, and James Wan, as per the news outlet.
There are also emails logged from author JK Rowling and guitarist Jack White.
Who else is involved?
Ellen Barkin, an American actress, will be on Heard’s witness list, and she has spoken up about Heard’s allegations in the past.
“Amber Heard was never enough of a victim,” she wrote.
“And we never will be… Unless we’re dead,” she continued.
Depp is suing Heard for defamation, claiming that his reputation has been tarnished because of the things she has said during their battle.
And Heard is countersuing him, which is why so many big names have been dragged into the case, as well.
Now, since the case began, a lot of people have taken to the stand…
And on April 19th, it was Depp’s turn.
Depp took to the stand at Fairfax County courthouse where he described Heard’s claims as “heinous and disturbing,” LADbible reports.
He said that her allegations were “criminal acts against me that were not based in any species of truth.”
Depp went on to deny striking Heard and any woman in his life.
“Never did I myself reach the point of striking Miss Heard in any way, nor have I ever struck any woman in my life,” he told the court. “Since I knew there was no truth to it whatsoever, I felt it my responsibility to stand up, not only for myself in that instance, but stand up for my children.”
Depp then further detailed the effect that the allegations had on his children.
“I thought it was diabolical that my children would have to go to school and have their friends or people in the school approach them with the infamous People Magazine cover with Miss Heard with a dark bruise on her face,” he said.
Describing himself as a “very private person,” the actor said that for him “to come up here and sit before you all and spill the truth is quite exposing, and it’s unfortunate that it’s not only exposing for myself, it’s exposing for my family, it’s exposing for Miss Heard, it never had to go in this direction.”
He also added that his goal is “the truth” and that he isn’t embarrassed because “I know I’m doing the right thing.”
Depp returned to the stand where he has revealed more about his time spent with his ex-wife, Amber Heard.
There have been admissions about his severed finger, audio recordings of fights, and text messages revealing horrific desires.
After thirteen days, Depp’s legal team rested their case on May 3rd.
However, in a shocking turn of events, Heard’s legal team tried to have the case dismissed.
On May 3rd, Heard’s legal team argued for the case to be dismissed.
According to the Independent, the dismissal was argued on the grounds that Depp’s legal team had not proven malice and that headline for The Washington Post op-ed was not written by Heard.
But, despite the attempts for dismissal, it was denied.
The outlet reports that Judge Penney Azcarate denied Heard’s attempt to dismiss the case striking 2 motions while keeping one under advisement.
Subsequently, the trial continued, and on May 4th, it was Heard’s time to take to the stand.
Heard took to the stand to give detail about the alleged abuse where she recalled a number of alleged incidents of violence.
With the trial well and truly underway, people around the world including experts have been sharing their opinions.
Trial consultant, Jill Huntley Taylor, told Insider that Heard’s testimony may have raised the stakes of the trial.
“Her claims of abuse are very extreme,” she said. “If the jurors believe her, she should see a windfall to award her and punish Depp. However, if jurors do not believe her, they will punish her. For that reason, her credibility seems paramount to the jurors’ decisions.”
Brett Ward, co-chair of the matrimonial and family law practice at Blank Rome, also spoke with Insider about his thoughts on the trial sharing that in Heard’s testimony she goes from “victim to actress.”
“Unfortunately when she talks about actual incidents of violence, her comments go from victim to actress and that’s a real big problem for her,” Ward said.
Referring to Heard comments such as noticing her dirty carpet when Depp allegedly slapped her, knocking her to the floor, Ward said that Heard’s description sometimes sounded “like a soliloquy.”
Heard had taken to the stand once again, following the week-long break.
And she revealed that she never actually donated the $3.5 million to charity despite previous claims that she had.
Heard blamed Depp for her being unable to pay the $7 million divorce settlement to charity.
However, back in 2018, she spoke out on a Dutch talk show where she said, “$7 million in total was donated – I split it between the ACLU and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. I wanted nothing.”
But in court on Monday she said that she wasn’t about to fulfill her pledge “because Johnny sued me for $50 million in March of 2019.”
Heard said, “I fully intend to honor all of my pledges. I would love for him to stop suing me so I can.”
According to Terence Dougherty, the ACLU Chief Operating Officer, and General Counsel, Heard has only donated $350,000 directly in December 2018 and nothing has been given since.
Another $500,000 donation was made on her behalf. Dougherty “believed it was a fund set up by Elon Musk.”
Heard said when asked about the settlement money: “I didn’t care about the money. I was told if I didn’t agree to a number it could be overturned, we would never settle. I took far less than what they were offering and what I was entitled to.”
However, Depp’s accountant and business manager Edward White testified that Heard demanded $4 million, later jumping to $7 million in 2016.
White also alleged that Heard told Depp she would file a public restraining order if he didn’t carry on funding her lifestyle after the divorce.
And on Monday, Depp’s lawyer Camille Vasquez questioned Heard on her lack of donation, as well as her alleged injuries.
Vasquez first brought up Depp’s “big, chunky rings,” and that if she was physically abused by Depp, she would have needed to seek medical treatment for her injuries.
This was in response to claims that Depp assaulted her before the 2015 Met Gala, where she turned up with Depp looking totally unharmed.
She was allegedly “whacked” in the face by Depp. “I suspected I had a broken nose,” she said.
Heard later changed her previous claims, saying: “I’m not sure if it was broken, for the record, but you should see what it looked like under the makeup.”
“And makeup covers up swelling?” Vasquez questioned, to which Heard responded that ice did.
She then brought up the Australia fight stating there were no medical records showing abuse, “I did not seek medical treatment after Australia, no. I did not want to tell anyone,” said Heard.
Vasquez then asked Heard about her donations to ACLU and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, or lack of.
That’s when the cross-examination got fiery.
Heard said: “I didn’t want anything and I didn’t get anything.” Vasquez responded: “You wanted Mr. Depp’s money.”
Heard said: “Didn’t get it, wasn’t interested in it. I loved Johnny, that’s why I was with him.”
“You wanted praise for donating the money, right?”
“That’s incorrect,” Heard replied.
Vasquez said: “You wanted good press.”
“In general, one does want good press, yes,” Heard said.
Vasquez stated: “You wanted to seem altruistic, publicly.”
The back and forth discussion was pretty heated.
It’s safe to say that Vasquez impressed many people during the cross-examination faze.
But it seems Heard has had enough of the constant grilling by Depp’s lawyers…
As it appears in a recent video from the court, the actress stormed out.
It came after Vasquez accused Heard’s lawyer Elaine Bredehoft of breaching court rules with her questions to Heard, after which Bredehoft announced she had no more questions.
It seems as though this whole interaction rubbed Heard up the wrong way.
Because after the Judge told Heard she could take a seat next to Bredehoft, Heard decided she’d leave the courtroom instead.
Something that’s pretty disrespectful as the judge and jury is supposed to leave first.
Hundreds of users on TikTok have highlighted the move, with some even calling the actress “entitled.”
One TikToker wrote: “She already knows she lost.”
While another commented: “The level of disrespect.”
You can watch the clip here.
Even though last week got to Heard quite a bit…
The actress was not the one gaining the internet’s sympathy at the minute.
In fact, Elaine Bredehoft, her lawyer, is somebody people across the internet were sympathizing with.
As she tried to fight Heard’s case last week, she could be seen finding it difficult to redirect shortly after Vasquez had grilled Heard during the cross-examination. This difficulty came as a result of Vasquez objecting to Bredehoft trying to ask Heard questions.
Vasquez objected to ten questions in twelve minutes, with most of her objections being sustained.
At this point, with Bredehoft struggling to ask Heard a question that won’t breach court rules, she looked up to the ceiling and said “I’m trying, I’m trying.”
After this, she said that she had no more questions to ask, and this is when Heard walked out of the courtroom before the Judge and Jury, even though she was instructed to sit with her attorney.
People then took to social media to share how they felt sorry for Bredehoft…
In a TikTok video that has recently gone viral, somebody displayed a video of Bredehoft along with a caption saying: “I am really starting to feel for Elaine, she is so drained and I bet she has no clue how she can come back from this.”
Thousands of people took to the comment section to share their thoughts on the matter…
“I feel like something happened between amber and her lawyers… everything seems so off lately,” someone said.
“She’s actually pretty good lawyer, I think it’s the case, not her. Let’s be honest, it’s hard to defend someone who’s guilty and has hidden SO MUCH,” another wrote.
“And there is no telling what kind of verbal abuse she is getting from Amber,” said somebody else.
“Although after the trial no matter the outcome she needs to be respected cause at the end of the day is her job,” said another.
“Wow she looks tired,” another wrote under the comment section.
However, some other people in the comment section said that they had “lost respect” for her at a certain point in the trial.
“I’m sorry I’m sure she was great once but I lost all respect when she mocked JD in court. Unprofessional even for the dirtiest lawyers,” one TikTok user wrote.
And another pointed out that “She had a chance to look over the evidence and chose to take the case knowing it was a high profile case and that JD had tons of ppl on his side.”
And after what seemed to be a stressful week for Heard’s team…
Depp wanted to strike Heard’s $100 million defamation counterclaim.
But the motion was denied.
What are the exact parameters of Heard’s counterclaims? You may be wondering…
Well, the counterclaim centers around Adam Waldman, an attorney of Depp’s.
Waldman had previously stated in an interview with the Daily Mail that the allegations the actress had made were fabricated.
And although Chew, Depp’s lawyer, said that by this standard, Heard should be suing Waldman instead of Depp, the Judge denied the motion…
She claimed that there was enough evidence to show that Waldman was acting on behalf of Depp as his agent.
This came not long after Heard’s team tried to pass the motion to strike Depp’s $50 million lawsuits against the actress.
But, both motions have been denied.
“As to actual malice, Mr. Waldman made the counterclaim statements after he met with his client,” the Judge said in regards to there being proof of malice behind Waldman’s statement.
“In addition, there’s evidence Depp was with Mr. Waldman at a meeting in February 2020 with the Daily Mail Online,” she continued.
Many people had opinions about the motion to strike yesterday…
Taking to Twitter, one person said: “Ben Chew really called a motion to strike, knowing it would be denied just so that he could just verbally destroy Amber. And My God, did he destroy her.”
“Don’t freak out guys— it’s common for the judge to dismiss the motion to strike + send it to the jury. It’s not bad for Johnny’s case, it goes to uniformity on the Judge’s rulings—including AH’s motion to strike. #IBelieveJohnnyDepp” another person said.
At the point the motion was denied, people began to think the Judge had taken support for one side over the other, instead of remaining neutral. But, this simply isn’t the case.
Instead, she is determining whether her case so far has passed the threshold to continue on, and, it had.
The trial continues.