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For 3 weeks, Virginia jurors have heard Johnny Depp and a parade of his witnesses depict the actor as an ideal gentleman who served as one thing akin to a human punching bag for his ex-wife, Amber Heard.
However on Tuesday, Depp’s authorized workforce ended their defamation case in Fairfax County Court docket, the place the actor is suing Heard for $50 million, by returning to the crux of his lawsuit: Heard allegedly “devastated” his profession with a 2018 Washington Publish article figuring out herself as a home violence survivor. (She had sought a restraining order towards Depp two years earlier.)
In response to a forensic accountant who testified Tuesday, that “devastation” reached an eye-popping sum.
“I concluded that Mr. Depp suffered misplaced earnings of roughly $40 million,” Michael Spindler advised jurors because the final witness to testify on Depp’s behalf.
Echoing a earlier witness, Spindler stated that amongst Depp’s monetary setbacks was his elimination from the sixth Pirates of the Caribbean installment, which allegedly value the actor $22.5 million alone. The witness added that in 2017, Depp made an estimated $17.5 million, which was described to him as a “typical” yr for the actor. At that price, together with the lack of the foremost Disney deal, Spindler stated his calculation—which included accounting data, depositions, and different knowledge—concluded the actor would have earned about $40 million extra by now have been it not for his picture tanking.
In cross examination, nonetheless, Heard’s attorneys insisted that Depp’s financial loss was not his ex-wife’s fault however his personal, thanks partially to a “worsening efficiency on the field workplace” for his movies previous to the op-ed.
The forensic accountant’s testimony is essential on condition that jurors are finally tasked with figuring out whether or not Heard defamed Depp and broken his profession.
Heard’s workforce has claimed the op-ed primarily served as a discussion board for the actress to induce victims to talk out about an issue that impacts tens of millions of individuals. Terence Doughtery, common counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), testified to jurors through video deposition final week about how the nonprofit labored with Heard to write down and publish the column that “didn’t refer on to Ms. Heard’s relationship with Johnny Depp.” He went on to notice that Heard’s attorneys particularly “eliminated references to her marriage and divorce.”
On Thursday, Heard’s attorneys pressed their counterattack, grilling Spindler about how Depp’s financial struggles might have been impacted by different components. Amongst potential sources of injury to Depp’s repute and thus his funds, legal professional Benjamin Rottenborn advised, was a 2018 article from The Solar that referred to as Depp a “spouse beater.”
Depp finally sued the British tabloid over the alleged mischaracterization, however misplaced in November 2020, when a London choose discovered that there was “overwhelming proof” that Depp had assaulted Heard repeatedly all through their marriage.
“I’m not acknowledging any of this being correct, I’m simply saying that wasn’t a part of my calculation,” Spindler stated in regards to the tabloid piece, noting that he additionally didn’t account for the affect of Heard submitting for a short lived restraining order in 2016.
Depp’s workforce rested their case after Spindler’s testimony, that means Heard’s attorneys will now have the ground to inform their facet of the story.
Earlier than jurors took their Tuesday lunch break, nonetheless, Heard’s workforce filed a movement to dismiss the go well with—a reasonably routine step in a civil case—arguing that Depp’s workforce didn’t current sufficient proof to justify their case and the actress needs to be awarded a abstract judgment.
The movement prompted a fiery response from Depp’s lawyer Benjamin Chew, who argued the actor was properly inside his rights to pursue a defamation go well with and that many witnesses and audio recordings confirmed that Heard was the true abuser within the relationship.
“Nobody was concerned with what she needed to say except she was defaming Johnny Depp,” Chew stated, referring to Heard’s op-ed, earlier than arguing that Depp’s “harrowing” testimony proved his case. ‘Now we have Ms. Heard’s personal admission to hitting Mr. Depp.”
“Let’s hear from Amber Heard,” Chew added.
Decide Penney Azcarate finally sided with Depp’s workforce—that’s, allowed the trial to proceed—putting all of Heard’s motions besides one, which she saved beneath advisement.
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