A jury began deliberations in the defamation trial against Johnny Depp and Amber Heard on May 27, after six weeks of explosive testimony.
As the verdict draws near, here’s everything you need to know about the case:
What are the allegations?
Johnny Depp filed a lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard in March 2019.
He claims Heard defamed him in an op-ed she wrote in 2018 for: The Washington Post.
The op-ed, which appeared in December of that year, is entitled: “I spoke out against sexual violence – and faced the wrath of our culture. That has to change.”
In it, Heard wrote in part, “Like many women, by the time I graduated, I had been harassed and sexually abused. But I kept quiet — I didn’t expect filing complaints to bring justice. And I didn’t see myself as a victim.
“Two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic violence, and I felt the full force of our culture’s anger at women who speak out.”
Depp is not mentioned by name in the op-ed, but his legal team has argued that it contains a “clear implication that Mr Depp is a domestic abuser”, which it says is “categorically and demonstrably false”.
Depp took the stand on the fifth day of the testimony on April 19, calling Heard’s allegations “appalling,” “disturbing” and “not based on any kind of truth.”
“My goal is the truth,” he said of the case.
Depp said he felt exposed to testifying because he was a private person, but added: “I can’t say I’m ashamed because I know I’m doing the right thing.”
Heard began her testimony on May 4, calling the trial the most “painful” she has ever experienced.
What’s at stake?
Depp is seeking damages of “not less than $50 million”.
In August 2020, Heard filed a counterclaim against Depp in response to his libel lawsuit, accusing him of orchestrating a “defamation campaign” against her and describing his own lawsuit as a continuation of “abuse and harassment”.
Heard has asked for immunity from Depp’s complaint and for damages of “not more than $100 million”, stating that this is “twice the amount Mr Depp has filed against Ms Heard”.
Wasn’t there already a lawsuit?
Yes, but in a different jurisdiction and with a different defendant.
In 2018, Depp News Group sued Newspapers, the company that publishes The sunfor alleged libel over an article published in the tabloid newspaper in April of that year, with the headline: “Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be ‘really happy’ casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts movie? “
The case went to court in 2020. Heard testified as a witness for The sun†
Depp lost the fight against libel in November 2020, when Judge Andrew Nicol said the defendants proved their allegations against Depp were “substantially true,” as reported by The Associated Press at the time.