Lawyers heard to focus on Depp’s drug and alcohol use – The Journal
Amber Heard’s lawyers focus on Johnny Depp’s drug and alcohol use as they defend her against Depp defamation allegations
Lawyers for Amber Heard, the ex-wife of Johnny Depp, focused on the movie star’s drug and alcohol use on Wednesday as they defended her against Depp’s allegations that she had falsely described as a domestic abuser.
Heard’s attorney, J. Benjamin Rottenborn, resumed his cross-examination of Depp’s older sister, Christi Dembrowski, focusing on a February 2014 text exchange between Heard and Dembrowski.
“Mrs. Heard says, ‘JD is on a bender,’ and your response is, ‘Where are the kids? – Correct?’ asked Rottenborn.
Dembrowski said that was okay. She also confirmed an email exchange she had in 2014 with a doctor who was treating Depp’s addiction to painkillers.
“Do you think your brother needed help with drugs and alcohol?” asked Rottenborn.
Dembrowski responded that she was concerned about Depp’s use of medication, but did not believe he had a problem with drugs or alcohol in general, or that he had idealized drug culture.
Depp is suing Heard for defamation in Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia after she wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post in 2018 referring to herself as a “public figure representing domestic violence.”
Depp says the article indirectly defamed him by referring to allegations of abuse made by Heard in 2016. Depp denies assaulting her.
Heard’s lawyers argued that Depp had no credibility when he denied abusing Heard because he drank and used drugs frequently to the point of passing out and not remembering what he was doing. did.
In Tuesday’s opening statements, Rottenborn said evidence will show Depp physically and sexually assaulted Heard on multiple occasions.
He also argued that Heard was exercising her First Amendment rights as an advocate when she wrote the article, which largely focused on the broad subject of domestic violence.
Depp’s team says the article is an example of “implied defamation”. In the December 2018 article, Heard wrote that “two years ago I became a public figure representing domestic violence, and I felt the full force of our culture’s anger for women who ‘express’.
Depp’s attorney, Benjamin Chew, said it was a clear reference to a restraining order Heard sought in May 2016 – just after Depp told him he wanted a divorce – in which she claimed to have been physically assaulted.
Depp and Heard are expected to testify at the trial, scheduled for six weeks, alongside actors Paul Bettany and James Franco and tech entrepreneur Elon Musk.
A seven-member civilian jury, plus four alternates, was selected on Monday to hear the case.
Heard’s attorneys had sought to have the case tried in California, where the actors reside. But a judge ruled Depp was within his rights to bring the case to Virginia because the Washington Post’s computer servers for its online edition are located in the county. Depp’s attorneys said they took the case to Virginia in part because the laws here are more favorable to their case.