Johnny Depp sues for defamation


Creative Commons by Muhammet Sager

Image of gavel represents the trial by demonstrating a courtroom setting. The Depp trial has been gaining attention as it progresses.

Camryn Anderson, Business Editor and Distribution Editor

Over the last four weeks, the trial of the year, the Johnny Depp, Amber Heard defamation case has captured the eyes and ears of people and media nationally.

On April 11, the famous Depp and Heard $50 million defamation trial began. The six-week-long trial has just completed Depp’s 13-day-case with testimonies from himself, best friend Issac Burach, Dr. Shannon Curry and more. Heard wrote an article for the Washington Post in December 2018. This article created chaos in the media, which caused Depp his starring role in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

Journalism teacher Laurie Hansen said, “Defamation can happen even if the person is not named. If they are described to the extent that the person is unmistakable, then defamation has occurred, and the person claiming libel has a case.”

Although the trial has been labeled as a defamation case, claims of domestic abuse have been made by both parties. Heard first accused Depp of abuse in 2013. Depp later denied those claims.

According to the Fox News live stream of the trial, Depp spoke up about how Heard “roundhouse punched” him, which resulted in a bruise left under his eye. During that same altercation, Depp testified Heard had pretended to be hurt by the bathroom door. When Depp went to check on her, she had “kicked the bathroom door into my head”.

Senior Gabriella Ryman said that, “men being abused is so overlooked.”

One of Depp’s security guards claims to have taken pictures showing proof of Depp with bruising on his face. In December 2015, and later after Heards thirtieth birthday party in April of 2016, there are pictures of Depp’s injured face.

On, April 26, Depp’s legal team called Dr. Shannon Curry to the stand. Curry, a licensed psychologist, stated she had met with Heard on two separate occasions: Dec. 10, and the 17, for a total of 12 hours, to determine a diagnosis.

Curry came up with two diagnosis, “The result of Ms. Heard’s evaluation supported two diagnoses – borderline personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder.”

Borderline Personality Disorder is a mental disorder characterized by unstable moods, behavior and relationships while Histrionic Personality Disorder is a mental health condition that affects the way a person thinks, perceives and relates to others.

Curry’s testimony also stated, “Over time, the anger, the explosive anger, that they show when somebody is needing space, or when somebody is really not doing anything wrong, because a lot of times they read into things that they perceive as being a slight to them or being somebody intending to harm them that actually isn’t happening. They’ll exaggerate it, and they’ll explode.” Not only is the disorder difficult for the person dealing with it but for the people around them as well.

“Those with borderline disorder can appear charming and socially sophisticated, but they can also blow up and be unaware of problems in their thinking” Curry. Amanda Mckellips also added, “People with BPD deal with a lot of emotional distress and suffering.”

Along with the announcement of Heard’s diagnosis, Curry provided a few examples of how they may have affected Heard and her behavior. “desperate fear of abandonment”, which may lead to trying to keep that significant other close, and behavior may become extreme.

I struggle to find the words to describe how painful this is. This is horrible for me to sit here for weeks and relive everything.”

— Amber Heard

Fourteen days into the trial, Heard’s testimony began. Heard started off by explaining her history with Depp, and the abuse she went through. “I struggle to find the words to describe how painful this is. This is horrible for me to sit here for weeks and relive everything,” Heard said.

The first time Heard recalled Depp being abusive was in May 2013. Depp allegedly accused heard of being too “affectionate” towards her female friends. Depp then took Heard home to conduct a “cavity search”. He had taken her clothes off to search for drugs he presumed may have been taken by her. Heard said the whole situation “made no sense”.

While being on the stand, Heard reminisced her time spent with Depp. She spoke of the first time they met on the set of “The Rum Diary” and how Depp made her feel as though she was “the most beautiful person in the world”.

Throughout the trial thus far, there has been multiple people testifying for both parties. Everyone plays a valuable roll in this case, by providing information the judge and jury need to make the final decision May 19.

“Johnny Depp’s testimony was extremely important as it allowed him to tell his story, which he hasn’t attempted to do publicly before. Dr. Curry’s testimony was mainly introduced to debunk Heard’s claim to have PTSD. The diagnosis of BPD and HPD helps the jury to understand why Amber can’t be trusted and explains Amber’s behavior during the recorded fights. His security guard provided witness testimony of injuries to Depp”, Mckellips said. These are all just a small amount of what goes into the work of the trial and testimonies.

Heard’s striking testimony has already been a shock to people everywhere. Supporters of Depp have swarmed the surroundings of the Fairfax County Courthouse cheering and carrying gifts such as flowers as he enters each day.

No matter who it is, people need to be held accountable for their actions. People deserve respect. No matter the age, race, gender or social status, everyone deserves justice, love and respect.