Depp lawyers question Heard over knife and love notes in defamation case
By Lisa Richwine
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Lawyers for Johnny Depp tried to discredit allegations of abuse by Amber Heard during the former couple’s libel trial on Tuesday, presenting a knife she gave the star as a gift of “Pirates of the Caribbean” and the loving notes she wrote to him.
At the start of Tuesday’s proceedings, attorney Camille Vasquez asked jurors to examine the knife Heard purchased for Depp in 2012. Heard, best known for her role in “Aquaman,” testified that Depp had already become violent towards her at that time.
“Is that the knife you gave to the man who would get drunk and violent towards you?” asked the lawyer.
“It’s the knife I gave him as a present, yes,” she said, adding that she didn’t think he would stab her with it.
Depp, 58, is suing Heard for $50 million, claiming she defamed him when she claimed to have been the victim of domestic violence.
Heard, 36, countersued for $100 million, arguing that Depp smeared him by calling her a liar.
Depp testified that he never hit Heard and maintained that she was the aggressor in their relationship. He said she threw a bottle of vodka at him in early 2015, cutting the top of his right middle finger.
Heard said she did not cause the finger injury and only hit it to defend herself or her sister.
On Tuesday, Depp’s attorney read entries from a diary Heard said the couple kept to share love notes.
“True love is not just about the madness of passion or instead of choosing the safety of peace. No, it’s about both,” Heard wrote in May 2015, two months after the finger injury. by Depp.
“I still want, maybe more than ever, to rip you apart and devour you and savor the taste,” she added.
In another excerpt after their July 2015 honeymoon aboard the Orient Express train, Heard said she “couldn’t imagine a more magnificent honeymoon” and added, “I love you more and more each passing day”.
Heard told jurors on Monday that Depp assaulted her and wrapped a T-shirt around her neck during the trip.
A month later, Heard wrote that Depp was “my cornerstone, my heart, my everything.”
“You are my life. I hate it when we fight. I hate that I hurt you. I love you more than anything,” she wrote.
Asked about the nominations, Heard said she tried to “nurture as much peace as possible” and that “when things were going well, they were really good”.
The actors tied the knot in February 2015, and their divorce was finalized about two years later.
The court case centers on a December 2018 opinion piece by Heard that appeared in The Washington Post. The article never mentioned Depp by name, but his attorney told jurors it was clear Heard was referring to him.
Depp, once among Hollywood’s biggest stars, said Heard’s allegations cost him “everything”. A new “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie has been put on hold, and Depp has been replaced in the “Fantastic Beasts” film franchise, a “Harry Potter” spin-off.
Heard’s lawyers argued that she had spoken the truth and that her opinion was protected by free speech under the First Amendment to the US Constitution.
Oral arguments are scheduled for May 27.
Less than two years ago, Depp lost a libel case against the Sun, a British tabloid that called him a “wife beater.” A High Court judge in London ruled that he assaulted Heard on several occasions.
Depp’s attorneys filed the case in Fairfax County, Va., because The Washington Post is printed there. The newspaper is not accused.
(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Leslie Adler and Mark Porter)