Jurors in Johnny Depp’s defamation lawsuit towards his ex-wife Amber Heard heard a snippet of testimony Tuesday that contradicted one among Heard’s key witnesses, however a lot of the context was eliminated. Jennifer Howell, who as soon as employed Heard’s sister, Whitney Henriquez, briefly testified Tuesday on the six-week civil trial via a recorded assertion.
Depp is suing Heard for defamation in Fairfax County Circuit Court docket over a December 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Put up describing herself as “a public determine representing home abuse.” Her legal professionals say she was defamed by the article despite the fact that she by no means talked about her title.
Depp has denied hitting Heard and says she was the abuser within the relationship. Heard has testified about greater than a dozen separate instances of bodily abuse that she says she suffered by the hands of Depp.
Howell testified that he despatched an e-mail in 2020 to Henriquez begging him to inform the reality.
Nonetheless, jurors didn’t see the letter, nor did Howell clarify how he thought Henriquez was mendacity. The redacted assertion was performed in court docket for lower than 15 minutes: Howell appeared to stroll out of the assertion earlier than attorneys had accomplished their cross-examination.
Nonetheless, in a court docket doc, Howell goes into rather more element. He offers a four-page assertion wherein he says Henriquez confided in him that Heard was the aggressor within the struggle and allegedly stated that he thought Heard “was going to kill Johnny.”
Howell additionally says within the assertion that Henriquez advised her and others at her office that Heard reduce Depp’s finger off in a struggle the couple had in Australia. The amputated finger has been some extent of rivalry all through the trial. Depp says the finger was reduce when Heard threw a bottle of vodka at him. Heard says Depp did it to himself one evening when he was drunk and sexually assaulted her with a bottle of bourbon.
Henriquez is the one one among Heard’s witnesses to testify on the six-week trial that she personally witnessed Johnny Depp bodily assault Heard, in a struggle wherein she stated they every punched one another whereas she was pinned between each.
It is not totally clear why Howell’s testimony was so restricted. Nonetheless, all through the trial, Decide Penney Azcarate strictly enforced guidelines limiting rumour proof, and Howell’s description of what Henriquez advised her would probably be a basic instance of rumour, except the legal professionals for Depp may declare some sort of exception to the rumor rule.
In Howell’s assertion, she acknowledged that she was upset when she discovered that Heard had promised hundreds of thousands of to the American Civil Liberties Union and a youngsters’s hospital, when Howell thought the cash may do extra good in The Artwork of Elysium, the non-profit group he ran. and that had employed Henriquez.
The restricted nature of Howell’s testimony makes it unclear whether or not jurors will make the connections Depp’s crew hopes to make.
Howell testified as Depp’s rebuttal witness after Heard rested her case Tuesday morning with out calling Depp to the stand; Heard’s legal professionals had initially instructed that Depp be referred to as as a witness.
Jurors might but hear extra from Depp. His crew has indicated that he might name him to the stand on Wednesday.
Each Depp and Heard have already testified at size in regards to the particulars of their poisonous relationship.
Additionally Tuesday, celeb information web site TMZ filed an emergency movement to dam testimony from a former worker, Morgan Tremaine.
TMZ stated it’s involved Tremaine is ready to testify Wednesday on Depp’s behalf and violate a confidentiality promise the information outlet supplied to a supply who gave TMZ info associated to the couple’s high-profile divorce.
Heard has denied informing the media about the truth that she obtained a short lived restraining order after submitting for divorce from Depp in 2016. Heard alleged that Depp abused her in that submitting, and paparazzi photographed Heard leaving the tried with an obvious bruise. on his cheek
Depp’s legal professionals have stated he sought publicity about his abuse allegations to falsely harm his popularity.
Additionally Tuesday, Decide Penney Azcarate denied a movement by Depp’s legal professionals to dismiss a $100 million counterclaim he filed towards Depp. The counterclaim alleges that Depp’s then-lawyer, Adam Waldman, defamed Heard when he referred to as the abuse allegations towards him a hoax.
Azcarate stated the bar for dismissing a declare earlier than it goes to the jury is extraordinarily excessive and stated there may be sufficient proof to permit it to go ahead. She had already dominated that Depp may very well be held chargeable for statements made by her lawyer, a precept that Depp’s crew questions.