Johnny Depp LIVE trial: Jury chosen as Amber Heard and actor face off in $50 million defamation case

Johnny Depp LIVE trial: Jury chosen as Amber Heard and actor face off in  million defamation case

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard arrive at the High Court as libel hearing continues

Johnny Depp’s multi-million libel lawsuit against his ex-wife, Amber Heard, began in Virginia on Monday morning with jury selection. Seven jurors and four alternates were chosen to hear the case.

It claims a 2018 article written by Heard in The Washington Post – in which she spoke about domestic violence against women – implied that Depp, her former husband, was an abuser.

Although the 35-year-old didn’t name the actor, Depp’s lawyers say Heard’s allegations have made it difficult for the 58-year-old to land the roles he had before.

Depp is known for starring in films such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Sweeny Todd and Charlie and the chocolate factory. Heard has appeared in titles such as Aquaman and driving angry.

He is seeking $50m (£38.2m) in damages at the trial in Fairfax County Courthouse. Heard has meanwhile filed a libel counterclaim against Depp, whom she divorced in 2017, for nuisance.

Depp has already lost a UK libel case against a British newspaper The sun regarding the claims in Heard’s 2018 article.

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Why is the trial taking place in Virginia when Heard and Depp live in Los Angeles?

Although the couple both live in California, Depp’s libel case against his ex-wife is set in Virginia, where the trial will take place in the Fairfax County Courthouse.

Online editions of The Washington Post are published through servers located in Fairfax County, which is believed to be one of the reasons Depp’s attorneys decided on the location.

Another is due to Virginia’s anti-Slapp law, which is not as broad as California’s. The provision allows a person to claim protection from legal action when speaking on matters of public interest.

Lawyers for Heard, who filed a counter-libel suit, are expected to use the anti-Slapp law during the trial. He comes four years after her Washington Post article titled: I spoke out against sexual violence – and faced the wrath of our culture. This must change.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press

Olivier O’ConnellApril 11, 2022 10:45 p.m.

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Heard and Depp pictured leaving the courthouse after the first day of the trial

(AFP via Getty Images)

(EPA)

Olivier O’ConnellApril 11, 2022 10:35 p.m.

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Opening statements will begin Tuesday morning

Olivier O’ConnellApril 11, 2022 10:28 p.m.

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Heard: “I’ll be away for a few weeks”

Here is the statement Amber Heard posted on her Twitter and Instagram accounts on Saturday, in which she tells fans that she will be “offline for the next few weeks.”

She also thanked her fans for their support, saying “in these next few weeks, I’ll be leaning on it more than ever.”

Heard also addressed Depp’s claim that she defamed him in a 2018 article in The Washington Postand said she continues to “pay the price” for speaking out on the issue of domestic violence.

Depp denies any wrongdoing.

Olivier O’ConnellApril 11, 2022 10:06 p.m.

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Judge Heard Rules Can Use Anti-Slapp Provision

Heard may argue during the trial that she is exonerated from liability because her Washington Post 2018 article on domestic violence was an important issue in the public interest.

Depp’s attorneys had argued for the court to refuse to allow Heard to use the law, known as the anti-Slapp (strategic lawsuit against public participation) provision, because it was a civil case.

The two will testify at the trial, which will see the Fairfax County District Court assess Heard’s counter-libel claim against Depp.

Olivier O’ConnellApril 11, 2022 9:47 p.m.

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Heard said in 2020 that she wanted to be ‘left alone’

Appears as a witness in Depp’s trial against a British newspaper The sun in 2020, Heard said she wanted to be “left alone” and wanted her ex-husband to end the domestic violence lawsuit to “save her embarrassment.”

“I didn’t want to do this, I didn’t want to expose the full extent of what really happened to me,” Heard told the Royal Courts of Justice in London. “I didn’t want to talk about everything that happened in our marriage and in our relationship.”

While Depp denies the allegations, Heard told the court of 14 allegations of “abuse” by Depp between 2013 and 2016, in places such as a rented house in Australia, his private island in the Bahamas and a private jet, such as The Associated Press reported two years ago.

The judge ruled against Depp, who accused the publisher of The Sun of defaming it with a headline including the words “battered woman”. His lawyers later called the judge’s decision “perverse.”

Olivier O’ConnellApril 11, 2022 9:28 p.m.

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Who could testify during the trial?

Ahead of the trial set to begin today in Virginia, Depp and Heard each released a list of witnesses their teams may wish to call, writing The Independents Clemence Michallon.

They have each filed lists of objections to some of the other side’s witnesses, so the final group of witnesses will become clearer and can evolve as the proceedings progress.

Some of the people named as potential witnesses so far include Tesla founder Elon Musk and actor James Franco…

Olivier O’ConnellApril 11, 2022 9:09 p.m.

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The jury has been selected

An eleven-person jury, including four alternates, has been selected to hear Johnny Depp’s libel case against his ex-wife Amber HEard.

Olivier O’ConnellApril 11, 2022 9:05 p.m.

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This isn’t the first time Heard and Depp have appeared in court.

This isn’t the first time Depp and Heard have appeared in court after failing to sue the publishers of The sun newspaper for defamation in 2020.

A judge ruled that the title of an article written by That of the sun editor Dan Wootton in 2018 was “essentially true”. He described the actor as a “wife beater”, which he denies.

Depp, whose lawyers called the judge’s decision “perverse”, was also not allowed to appeal the ruling.

He also denied claims made in the article and by Heard, who spoke in court as a witness in the case at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

While Depp says he was forced to step down from his role in the film Fantastic Beasts – a Harry Potter spin-off – after the trial, he attended a number of film events and won a lifetime achievement award from the San Sebastian film festival in Spain. The decision proved to be very controversial.

Olivier O’ConnellApril 11, 2022 8:50 p.m.

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Why is the trial taking place in Virginia?

Although the couple both live in California, Depp’s libel case against his ex-wife is set in Virginia, where the trial will take place in the Fairfax County Courthouse.

Online editions of The Washington Post are published through servers located in Fairfax County, which is believed to be one of the reasons Depp’s attorneys decided on the location.

Another is due to Virginia’s anti-Slapp law, which is not as broad as California’s. The provision allows a person to claim protection from legal action when speaking on matters of public interest.

Lawyers for Heard, who filed a counter-libel suit, are expected to use the anti-Slapp law during the trial. He comes four years after her Washington Post article titled: I spoke out against sexual violence – and faced the wrath of our culture. This must change.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press

Olivier O’ConnellApril 11, 2022 8:31 p.m.

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