A recently released document dump rekindled the craze surrounding the highly publicized trial as Amber Heard and Johnny Depp both plan to appeal the judgment in their mudslinging defamation cases.
Even when taking into consideration the fact that people would naturally be interested in two high-profile celebrities washing their dirty laundry, the commotion surrounding the six-week trial, which Depp deliberately demanded be televised, was almost unheard of. Even before the decision was made, Depp had won the public’s support. Supporters had gathered outside the Virginia courtroom in the hopes of catching a wave from the Pirates of the Caribbean actor.
However, two months after the trial’s verdict, Depp supporters and others with an interest in the issue are still keen to learn more about it. So much so that last weekend, with their assistance, more than $10,000 was raised in a short period of time to pay for the $3,300 price of freshly revealed trial records.
Four legal experts tell Rolling Stone that what people are seeing is all the explosive allegations and potentially embarrassing claims that Depp’s lawyers successfully kept out of the trial, despite the fact that an initial analysis of the document dump’s more than 6,600 pages doesn’t seem to do Depp any favors.
Without a doubt, Johnny had it worse, according to Brett Ward, a family lawyer in New York. Some significant pretrial court judgements were gained by Johnny Depp’s team. Overall, the evidence that he withheld from the jury affects him more because he received favorable decisions during the case’s pre-trial phase. He now sees the content as a whole in a worse light.
Legal analyst Emily D. Baker believes it would have been naive for anyone to believe all of these motions would simply have favorable things to say about Johnny Depp and unfavorable things to say against Amber Heard. Because pretrial motions are usually just both sides throwing dirt at each other, that’s what I always assumed it would be.
After that trial, people already had their opinions about the two of them, says entertainment and media litigation attorney Dan Rozansky. From what I’ve seen so far, I don’t think anything is really making a difference in how the public perceives things.
The money was raised by Washington state attorney Andrea Burkhart, who had 50,000 YouTube subscribers thanks to programming that was mostly focused on following the trial. Burkhart said in a statement given to Rolling Stone that she gave the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and Art of Elysium $7,000 of her leftover funds.
Last month, Judge Penney Azcarate issued an order requiring the release of all previously sealed records, effectively allowing all the explosive claims that both parties had sought to introduce into the trial. Both parties sued each other in this case, exposing them to the public courtroom of a jury trial. Public information includes court records, according to Azcarate.
The vast majority of the documents are from pretrial discovery motions, in which the parties argued over which evidence would be admitted into the trial. Depp prevailed on several important points of contention, including the exclusion of information about his friendship with shock rocker Marilyn Manson.
In addition to his claimed drug use with Manson, Heards team reportedly made an effort to obtain additional messages between the men, in which Manson referred to his current wife as a “Amber 2.0.” In light of the serious allegations of physical and sexual abuse against the musician, Depp’s lawyers had sought to keep any reference of Manson out of the case, arguing Heard was attempting to malign Mr. Depp through the use of a guilty by association approach.
In addition, the court documents provided more information about Depp’s tense relationship with Disney, which existed long before the studio fired him from Pirates of the Caribbean 6 in 2018. When Depp purportedly appeared on TV stoned and intoxicated, his former agent Tracey Jacobs claimed in a deposition that a Disney official called her and demanded to know what the heck was wrong with her client.
In the end, both Jacobs and Depp’s ex-girlfriend Ellen Barkin gave testimony concerning the actor’s behavior. Barkin detailed Depp’s alleged usage of drugs during their late 1990s relationship. According to the released records, however, a claim she made in a 2019 deposition concerning Depp allegedly giving her a Quaalude the first time they had sex never made it to court.
According to Barkin in her deposition, the man approached me in my living room and pulled me onto his lap while saying something like, “Oh, come on Ellen, or whatever.” I objected a little at first, but not much. That ended the matter. He handed me a Quaalude and asked if I wanted to fuck, he later added.
According to the court documents, Heard attempted to use Depp’s drugs to imply that he had erectile problems while Depp’s team tried to convince the judge to allow the use of nude images of Heard and a discussion of her background as an exotic dancer.
Baker, who had been following the trial closely on her YouTube channel, was surprised to see that Depp’s purported drugs had been revealed after Judge Azcarate had kept both parties’ personal information, including their medical histories, sealed.
The defense team for Depp fought hard in pretrial motions to prevent having him undergo a psychiatric evaluation, which Heard had already had, according to Los Angeles attorney Ryan Baker. This gave the defense team for Depp the impression that they had the upper hand.
Because Amber Heard raised the topic of emotional discomfort or post-traumatic stress, she was required to undergo a psychiatric examination, he claims, referencing a clinical psychologist testifying that she had diagnosed Heard with borderline personality disorder. That is really indicting. Then you’re waiting for the other person to stand up and say “something” about Johnny Depp, but Depp was never tested because he was never required to participate and didn’t raise any issues regarding emotional distress or post-traumatic stress.
The same is true of Depp’s alleged alteration of images of his bruises and distribution of edited audio recordings by Heards’ team. the court heard how the actress allegedly edited images of her injuries allegations that Depp did the same thing during the trial never received the same traction. Despite being used in Depp’s unsuccessful libel case against British newspaper The Sun, texts between Heard and Depp’s former assistant Stephen Deuters concerning Depp reportedly kicking Heard in 2014 weren’t allowed into court.
Each of these victories helped Depp’s team successfully mould the case to their advantage months before the trial began. According to Ward, a lot of court cases ultimately depend on the caliber of legal counsel. They both had excellent reputations, in my opinion, but I believe that Johnny Depp benefited from a few pretrial releases.
While acknowledging that such specifics were strictly and narrowly circumscribed, Baker claims that Heards team achieved some significant victories by withholding information about more damaging testimonies and statements from the court, including those from Jennifer Howell and Whitney Heard.
All of the attorneys agree that the legal battle between Heard and Depp will continue because both have informed the court that they intend to appeal their respective verdicts. It is also likely that Heard will use portions of her pretrial discovery that were excluded from the trial as the basis for her appeal.
Heard has already voiced her displeasure over the fact that my doctor, to whom I was reporting the abuse, had collected notes from the beginning of our relationship in 2011 that were removed from her and were later ruled inadmissible at trial. Heard questioned how the jury could have rendered a verdict or failed to reach that determination.
Both parties have until September 5 to submit their official appeals, and until they discover if their appeals will proceed, their award payments will be suspended. Heard has made clear that she cant afford to pay Depp the $10 million in damages recently liquidated her California residence.
Depp has joined TikTok and joined Jeff Beck on tour to promote their new collaborative album 18, reveling in his redemption. There are still no indications that Depp will make a formal acting comeback. According to Rozansky, this may not be resolved in the eyes of the general public or, more significantly, the employers of “Depps.”