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Johnny Depp and Amber Heard issue duelling statements as court takes week break

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard have issued duelling statements sharing confidence in the trial as the Virginia court proceeding takes a week’s break.

Following incendiary testimony by Ms Heard on Thursday, in which she claimed Mr Depp sexually assaulted her, a spokesperson for Mr Depp said in a statement released to media outlets that “as Mr Depp’s counsel correctly predicted in their opening statements last month, Ms Heard did indeed deliver ‘the performance of her life’ in her direct examination”.

The defamation trial between Mr Depp and Ms Heard began on Monday 11 April in Fairfax, Virginia following Mr Depp’s lawsuit against his ex-wife in March 2019. Mr Depp is arguing that she defamed him in a December 2018 op-ed published in The Washington Post titled “I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change”.

“While Ms Heard’s stories have continued to grow new and convenient details, Mr Depp’s recollections have remained exactly the same throughout the six painful years since her first allegations were made,” Mr Depp’s spokesperson added, according to People magazine. “His truth — the truth — is the same no matter the environment in which it has been presented.”

“The upcoming cross-examination from Mr Depp’s team will be most telling, and will certainly highlight the many fallacies Ms Heard has now attempted to pass off as fact throughout her convoluted testimony,” the spokesperson finished.

A spokesperson for Ms Heard told The Independent that “as evidenced by the statement just released, Mr Depp’s defamation claim is falling apart so rapidly that his counsel are turning from prosecutor to persecutor”.

“They boast that Mr Depp’s story has not changed. If so, since he lost the Domestic Violence Restraining Order and he resoundingly lost the libel case in the UK, perhaps he should consider a new strategy rather than the recycled approach of attacking the victim, and refusing to take responsibility for his own conduct,” the spokesperson added.

“If Mr Depp was truly innocent, why has he repeatedly apologized to Ms Heard and promised to put the ‘monster away for good.’ One of Ms Heard’s disappointments is Mr Depp’s inability to distinguish fact from fiction – a malady which appears to have spread to his legal team,” the Heard spokesperson alleged.

“That same team is so panicked they are fighting tooth and nail to prevent compelling evidence and photos from being introduced. Small wonder Mr Depp does not have the fortitude or courage to even look at Ms Heard at all throughout the proceedings – as he could not in the UK trial – and, instead he doodles and snickers,” the spokesperson said.

“Mr Depp’s behavior in this trial has been as pitiful as it was in their marriage. Apparently, they feel they must double-down on their demonstrably losing two-part strategy: distract the jury and demonize the victim,” the Heard spokesperson concluded.

US actress Amber Heard testifies at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia, on May 5, 2022.

(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The actress said that during a violent argument Mr Depp held her by the throat and smashed glass bottles (Jim Lo Scalzo/AP)

(AP)

In her 2018 op-ed, Ms Heard wrote that “like many women, I had been harassed and sexually assaulted by the time I was of college age. But I kept quiet — I did not expect filing complaints to bring justice. And I didn’t see myself as a victim”.

“Then two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out,” she added at the time.

Mr Depp is suing the Aquaman star for libel over a 2018 article she wrote in The Washington Post (Jim Lo Scalzo/AP)

(AP)

While Mr Depp isn’t named in the piece, his legal team argues that it contains a “clear implication that Mr Depp is a domestic abuser”, which they say is “categorically and demonstrably false”. Mr Depp is seeking damages of “not less than $50m”.

Ms Heard has filed a $100m counterclaim against Mr Depp for nuisance and immunity from his allegations.

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