Depp's representatives are calling it "false accusations" and that Heard is putting on a "performance of a lifetime."
The Johnny Depp - Amber Heard lawsuit is underway. Heard's lawyers have accused the actor of sexually assaulting her in an attempt to disprove the defamation charges against her. Heard's lawyer, J. Benjamin Rottenborn said the evidence will show that Depp physically and sexually assaulted Heard on multiple occasions.
Depp is suing his ex-wife for defamation following the Washington Post op-ed she wrote about being a victim of domestic abuse. She had not mentioned Depp by name in the article, however, The Pirates of the Caribbean actor claimed the article defames him indirectly and that he has never abused her. Heard had countersued alleging a harassment campaign against her.
In the opening statements, Rottenborn said, “You’re going to see who the real Johnny Depp is — behind the fame, behind the pirate costumes. Because Johnny Depp brought this case, all of this is going to come out.” He went on to state that the WaPo op-ed was Heard exercising her First Amendment rights, writing about the broader subject of domestic abuse as an advocate. He then pointed out that abuse allegations against him already existed since 2016, preceding the pair's divorce. “This man’s poor choices have brought him to this point,” he said of Depp's supposed spiraling career which turned him to alcohol and drugs. “Stop blaming other people for your own self-created problems.”
He reiterated that his name was never mentioned in the op-ed. Depp's lawyer, Benjamin Chew, acknowledged this fact and added, "It didn’t have to...Everyone in Hollywood knew exactly what she was talking about." He called this "defamation by implication." Rottenborn maintained that his client was abused and that it was "tragically true." He went on to add, "Amber did suffer sexual violence at the hands of Depp. ... You will hear in the most graphic and horrifying terms about the violence that she suffered. You'll hear that straight from her. She will get on the stand and she will tell you that. It happened."
#AmberHeard's attorney said the reason #JohnnyDepp sued his ex-wife instead of the Washington Post, where she published her 2018 op-ed, was to make her life hard and destroy her. @LawCrimeNetwork pic.twitter.com/iHQVtS31vC— Law&Crime Network (@LawCrimeNetwork) April 12, 2022
Speaking to People, a spokesperson for Depp stated: "These fictitious claims were never made at the onset of Amber's allegations in 2016, and only advantageously surfaced years later once she was sued for defamation after noting in her op-ed that she was a victim of 'sexual violence.' Words are key in a defamation case and conveniently, this allegation only came after that." They also added. "This follows a pattern of her elaborate, erroneous claims which have continued to change and evolve over time for the purpose of Hollywood shock value of which Amber has mastered and used to exploit a serious social movement."
Amber Heard Accuses Johnny Depp of 'Sexual Violence' at Defamation Trial, He Calls Claim 'Fictitious' https://t.co/iSg6uzhbN5— People (@people) April 12, 2022
Depp's representatives have in the past called these "false allegations." Camille Vasquez, another lawyer of Depp's claims Heard has dug herself in deep with the lies and can't back out now and admit that she has lied. “She can’t back down. She has been living and breathing this lie for years,” Vasquez said. “She’s going to give the performance of a lifetime in this courtroom.” The court proceedings are set to be "a six-week, mudslinging soap opera" as noted by Heard's lawyers.
Heard opening: Mr. Depp will have to prove that the words Heard used were about him and that they were false.— Cathy Russon (@cathyrusson) April 12, 2022
Depp's team is going to try to distract you and turn this case into a soap opera. The evidence isn't pretty for Mr. Depp.#JohnnyDepp #AmberHeard @LawCrimeNetwork pic.twitter.com/dSoz1vRUMT