Things are heating up in the courtroom between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, as Depp’s multi-million-dollar defamation lawsuit continues in a Virginia courtroom.
Per The Independent, Heard‘s defense attorney, Ben Rottenborn, claimed Depp would try to turn the defamation cause against his ex-wife into a “soap opera,” but warned that it was a distraction. Rottenborn said the case was about Heard’s First Amendment rights to discuss her experiences and argued that context matters, asking the jury to read Heard’s entire op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post – the article that resulted in the lawsuit – and not just the parts highlighted by Depp.
He then read the article to the jury and asked why Depp did not sue The Washington Post as well as Heard, claiming he wanted to “ruin her life, to destroy her.” As we earlier reported, Heard wrote about surviving domestic violence, not naming Depp by name. However, she did accuse him of domestic violence amid their 2016 split, which he denied. Heard wrote at the time, “I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.”
Depp’s sister, Christi Dembrowski, is being cross-examined in the court as she was his business manager. When asked if she knew about her brother’s drug and alcohol problem affecting his relationship with Heard, Dembrowski replied, “I knew she would say that she had issues with him with drugs and alcohol,” she said of Heard. “I knew she would write me about them, I knew she would try and talk about them, and say they were negatively impacting, I don’t know that was the whole situation they had going on to be honest.” Heard’s attorney then asked her if she had “never believed” Heard’s claims about Depp. “I believe she exaggerated things quite a bit,” Dembrowski said.
Dembrowski was then questioned if she told Heard to not voice any concerns about Depp’s drug concerns, to which she said, “No, she was much more confrontational, always confrontational, and I was trying to say that all these things could be confrontational and to take it down a notch.”