After weeks of watching on in morbid fascination as Amber Heard and Johnny Depp revealed the intimate details of their dysfunctional marriage in court, the closing arguments have been made against Depp.
Depp is suing The Sun for allegedly defaming him in an article that outlined Amber Heard’s claims that he was abusive while they were together.
Instead of vindication, Depp seems to have inadvertently given tabloids and news sites around the world more article fodder than they were privy to before he filed the case.
The Sun has been reporting on every sordid detail of the trial. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Depp was first to give his testimony, claiming that Heard physically abused him.
Heard followed on with tales of repeated abuse, including the time he tore up and then wrapped her nightgown around a steak.
Their testimonies combined painted a picture of something more akin to a Quentin Tarantino film than a relationship.
We are now, it seems, near the end of the fiasco, with The Sun’s lawyers presenting their closing arguments at the High Court on Monday.
Let’s break it down, with Sky News:
Evidence suggests the 57-year-old actor is “a hopeless addict who repeatedly lost his self-control and all ability to restrain his anger” with Heard, the defence team claimed.
Sasha Wass QC, for NGN, told Mr Justice Nicol that evidence of Depp’s “drug and alcohol-fuelled lifestyle provides a backdrop to the events” outlined by The Sun.
“Firstly, it demonstrates that the claimant was subject to irrational mood swings and abnormal behavioural patterns, which would not have been present when Mr Depp was clean and sober, and Mr Depp has a name for this metamorphosed entity, namely ‘the monster’,” she said.
“The other aspect which is important in terms of substance abuse is Mr Depp’s recollection of his own disgraceful conduct, which is so severely impaired by drug misuse that he may not even have been aware of the extent of his violence and terrifying behaviour which, on more than one of these pleaded incidents, put Ms Heard in fear of her life.”
Well, that’s horrifying.
Ms Wass went on to remind the court that Heard was a victim, and that gone are the days where a victim is required to corroborate her claims before the courts accept her testimony.
Testimony from a person who makes a complaint of domestic violence is “sufficient to prove the case”, the barrister said, “provided that the complainant – Ms Heard in this case – gives credible and reliable evidence”.
In this particular case, there is a “wealth of evidence” – including text messages and emails as well as medical evidence – supporting 34-year-old Heard’s claims, Ms Wass argued.
The defence is relying on 14 allegations made by Heard of violence, all of which Depp denies.
Heard has accused Depp of verbal and physical abuse from early in 2013 until their break-up in May 2016, including screaming, swearing, punching, slapping, kicking, headbutting and choking her, as well as “extremely controlling and intimidating behaviour”. She claims he threatened to kill her “many times” and that she was “terrified” of “the monster” he would sometimes become.
Ms Wass concluded by saying that Depp has “done what he wants for most of his adult life” and was not about to change for Heard, and told the court she believes the actor to be “a wife beater” – the crux of this libel case.
I wish this was the end of the madness but Depp is also suing Heard in a separate libel case in the US over a December 2018 column in the Washington Post, which did not mention the actor by name, but said the actress received “the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out”.
NewsAU reported on a final blow from Heard, read in the closing arguments in the London trial, in the form of an unsent email in which she described Depp as such:
“A real man doesn’t need to be cared for like a baby … I watch as other grown men have to wipe you, basically,” Heard wrote of the “enablers” she claimed Depp paid to help cover up his issues.
“If someone filmed you while you were in this state you would be mortified,” Heard said. “It’s embarrassing just watching it happen.
“You can’t know because people (friends?) keep smiling to your face and then turning their heads and rolling their eyes at how ridiculous they feel and look picking a grown man up from his p*ss and vomit, knowing he’ll never be able to realise how bad he looks.
Depp’s lawyers are scheduled to close today.
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