Depp Libel Trial Jury Hear Closing Arguments, Begin Deliberations

Jurors in the Depp-Heard libel trial heard closing arguments from both sides and began deliberations Friday after six weeks of evidence and testimony.

The actors faced each other once again in Fairfax County, Virginia, Circuit Court after “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor Johnny Depp sued his ex-wife Amber Heard for $50 million over an allegedly defamatory op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in 2018 describing herself as a victim of domestic violence.

The “Aquaman” actress countersued her ex-husband for $100 million in damages and perjury, alleging he orchestrated a campaign to discredit her after his attorney claimed her allegations were a hoax.

Depp’s attorney, Camille Vasquez, told the jury that Heard had “ruined her life by falsely telling the world she was a survivor of domestic abuse at the hands of Mr. Depp.”

Another member of the actor’s legal team, Benjamin Chew, made his closing arguments, saying: “This case for Mr. Depp has never been about money. It is about Mr. Depp’s reputation and freeing him from the prison in which he has lived for the last six years.”

According to both lawyers, Depp has shown the world his truth and hopes the trial will help restore his reputation after being called a “wife beater.”

However, Heard’s legal team said the actor ruined his ex-wife’s life as revenge for publicly accusing him of assault in 2016.

Attorney J. Benjamin Rottenborn stated: “In Mr. Depp’s world, you don’t leave Mr. Depp. If you do, he will start a campaign of global humiliation against you.”

Heard’s counterclaim has not received as much attention at trial, as both parties have fought to prove they have been victims of domestic abuse. However, the actress’s attorney Elaine Bredehoft said the $100-million counterclaim was an opportunity for the jury to compensate Heard for the damage and abuse Depp reportedly inflicted on his ex-wife even after they divorced.

“We’re asking you to finally hold this man responsible. He has never accepted responsibility for anything in his life,” she told the jury.

Seven of the 11 jurors selected for the trial deliberated for a couple of hours on Friday but ended deliberations around 5:00 pm, expecting to resume on Tuesday.