The Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial captivated viewers with a glimpse into the tumultuous marriage of two movie stars, but believe it or not, the trial could have been even more sensational.
The unsealing of a treasure trove of 6,000 pages of documents showed how both sides fought bitterly over what could and could not be allowed during the discovery phase of the process. Things were so acrimonious between the parties that there was even a lengthy exchange between lawyers about the Covid safety precautions to be taken during Heard’s testimony.
From Heard’s point of view, Judge Penney Azcarate ended up keeping too much out of the jury’s eyes and ears. After the jury awarded Depp $10.4 million in damages, her attorney Elaine Bredehoft appeared today and complained that the panel did not hear other evidence in the case, which was admitted to Depp’s British trial, where he lost his case against The Sun over a story that identified him as a “woman-beater”. “We had an enormous amount of evidence that was suppressed in the UK in this case,” Bredehoft said.
Heard won a $2 million judgment against Depp, and both sides are appealing their respective verdicts.
Neither the Depp nor Heard camps responded to requests for comment on the mass unsealing when contacted by Deadline today.
Among the details in the unsealed documents:
metadata. While a Depp team witness indicated in court that Heard’s photos of their injuries may have been edited, consistent with the conclusion that they were treated, Heard’s team also drew a similar conclusion to the photos submitted by Depp, questioning the authenticity of the documents In particular, Heard’s team pointed to the “limited metadata revealing the ‘Creation, ‘Modification’, ‘Received’ and ‘Sent’ dates of July 22, 2019, although Mr. Depp claimed this image was recorded in March 2015.” Depp’s team called the claims “irrelevant” and baseless. The judge denied the Heard team’s requests to pursue the matter further.
Tasty photos. Heard’s team alleged that Depp’s attorneys attempted to bring in “irrelevant personal matters” such as nude photos of Heard and “Amber’s brief stint as an exotic dancer years before she met Mr. Depp and Mr. Depp that attempted to frivolously and maliciously suggest or imply.” that Ms.. Heard was once an escort.” They claimed the allegations that she was an escort were “baseless, inflammatory, irrelevant and intended to harass and humiliate Amber Heard.” Depp’s team wrote in March that they did not anticipate providing such evidence, but that it is “possible to envision a scenario where such photos could become very relevant in the context of this case, attributing, for example, the lack of visible injuries demonstrate”. They also cited evidence of Heard’s activity as a stripper “or rumors that she was an escort early in her career.
“However, Mr. Depp reserves the right to use such materials to the extent they become necessary for the rebuttal and in each case the process is a fluid process and these issues are all potentially relevant and should be the final decision.” reserved in the process.”
They were kept out of the process.
Marilyn Manson lyrics. Depp’s friendship with Marilyn Manson was cited during the trial, but his attorneys worried about “guilt by association”. According to the New York Post, unsealed records show that Manson texted Depp in 2016 saying he was in an “Amber 2.0” situation. Depp wrote back: “I’ve read LOTS of material on this and sociopathic behavior…it’s freaking real bro!! “MS. Heard’s attempt to smear Mr. Depp with a connection to Mr. Manson is more prejudicial than conclusive,” Depp’s attorneys argued. The texts were withheld from the trial. Manson is embroiled in his own defamation lawsuit after suing ex-fiancé Evan Rachel Wood and others over their abuse allegations.
Depp’s medical history. The actor’s team acknowledged his history of substance abuse, but there were other pieces of his medical history they wanted to rule out. They argued that his medical condition was “minor or without probative value.” An example: Evidence that Depp took Valtrex, Nexium and Cialis.
If Heard won. Testifying in November 2020, Depp was asked by Heard’s attorney if he would react if the jury found in his ex-wife’s favor and if he considered it merely “the opinion of seven people.”
“No, I’m not going to say that’s the opinion of seven people. Look, it can be one man’s opinion, it can be 200 people’s opinion, it can be a thousand people’s opinion, and they might believe that I did these things that I wasn’t a part of which Ms. Heard accuses me. It’s all fiction, so I can only hope that people will hear the truth and understand that it’s the truth, but I don’t think they – the young soldiers who stormed the beaches of Normandy – I don’t think they said hey, let’s have pizza tonight. I think they knew what they were getting themselves into.”
“So what I’m saying is if — if this comes out, the ruling in this particular case goes in favor of … Ms. Heard, then that’s going to happen, but that’s not going to make me go, oh my god, I must have done it.”