The Pirates of the Caribbean actor is suing his ex-wife for $50 million for an article she wrote in which she claims to be an abuse victim. Heard is countersuing Depp for $100 million.
On Friday, Depp’s attorney Camille Vasquez, who has become a sort of an internet celebrity herself, wrapped up their final arguments.
Addressing the jurors, Camille Vasquez said that in suing Depp for defamation, Heard has to “prove that her abuse claims are not a hoax.” Depp’s lawyer asked jurors to hold Heard accountable for her ‘lies'”.
Heard’s counterclaim is based on statements made by Adam Waldman, who said in statements made to the Daily Mail that Heard’s allegations of abuse were falsified. Heard’s team, in turn, argued it was Depp who is a bully and abuser, not to be trusted.
Vasquez said that there is “clear evidence that Waldman believed that Heard committed a hoax.” Vasquez also tried to undermine Heard’s argument that Waldman’s statements caused her reputational harm, arguing that her negative press coverage had nothing to do with the remarks.
The attorney went on to state that, “This is not a ‘me too’ situation. There are no ‘me toos’. Ms Heard does not deserve to be known as a representative of survivors of abuse. And Mr Depp does not deserve to be known as the representative of perpetrators of abuse. That is what this case is about. It’s not about money, it’s about giving Mr Depp his life back. Six years ago, she took it away.”
On the other hand, Benjamin Rottenborn, a lawyer for Heard, reminded jurors of explicit text messages between Depp and his friends, telling them he wanted to inflict harm upon his former wife. In one message to Paul Bettany, Depp wrote, “Let’s drown her before we burn her!!! I will f*** her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure she is dead.”
“This is a window into the heart and mind of America’s favourite pirate,” Rottenborn said. “This is the real Johnny Depp.”
Vasquez argued that the messages reflected Depp’s “unique style of writing,” modelled on Hunter S Thompson.
Acknowledging that the style is on “everyone’s cup of tea,” Vasquez said, “Using bad language…does not make you an abuser.” She also stated that Heard had put on her best performance till date during the duration of trial.
Depp’s attorney told jurors that Heard’s allegations of domestic abuse does not make sense given that the actor has not been accused by any other woman of physical assault.
“Before Amber Heard, no women ever … claimed Mr. Depp raised a hand to her in his 58 years,” attorney Benjamin Chew told jurors, also noting that no woman since Heard has raised allegations.
Vasquez said the article amounted to a lie which had tarnished Depp’s reputation – though the piece did not directly name him.
Heard’s lawyer, Rottenborn, asked the jury to focus on Heard’s words in the story when making their decision.
The case is “not about who’s the better spouse,” he said. “It’s not about whether you think Ms Heard may have been abusive to Mr Depp”.
“If you think they were both abusive to each other… then Amber wins,” he said. “If Amber was abused even one time, then she wins”.