Johnny Depp rests case in defamation trial as Amber Heard prepares to take the stand

Johnny Depp’s legal team has rested its case in the actor’s defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard.

After 13 days of testimony, much of it by Depp and others detailing his contentious relationship with Heard, Depp’s lawyers hammered home the idea that Heard had damaged Depp’s career and reputation.

Depp sued Heard over a 2018 Washington Post article in which she described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse”.

The trial is being held in Fairfax County, Virginia, because the Washington Post’s online servers are in that county.

Depp, 58, is suing for $US50 million ($70 million), which is a portion of what he and some of his expert witnesses has claimed Heard’s article has cost him — including $US22 million ($31 million) for a sixth Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

Forensic accountant Mike Spindler testified Depp has lost about $US40 million ($56 million) since the article’s publication.

Heard is countersuing for $US100 million ($141 million).

Heard, 36, has accused Depp of physical and sexual abuse.
The actor has denied the allegations and testified that she was frequently violent with him.

After Depp’s lawyers rested their case, Heard’s counsel asked federal Judge Penny Azcarate to dismiss, arguing that Depp had not proven he had lost money and suffered a hit to his reputation.

However, before adjourning for lunch, Judge Azcarate ruled that the trial could continue.

Heard is expected to begin presenting her case after the break and to take the stand as soon as Wednesday.

Among the first witnesses for Heard will be psychologist Dawn Hughes, an expert in abusive relationships.

Earlier in the day’s proceedings, a former nurse of Heard’s, testifying in a prerecorded deposition presented by Depp’s lawyers, detailed Heard’s history of mental illnesses, including bipolar disorder, anxiety, ADHD and co-dependency.

She also said she was unable to determine if photos of Heard’s discoloured face were photos of bruises but did say she once saw Heard with a bloody lip, which the actress said was from a fight with Depp.

“I have a generalised memory of there being jealous and anxiety issues, including mistrust within the relationship,” Erin Falati said.

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