Judge Benny Azcaret told jurors that their verdict must be unanimous before being sent to deliberate Friday afternoon.
“I know this trial was a huge sacrifice for all of you and it took from your life for weeks on end here,” Azcaret told the jury. “I know I speak for all of us associated with the case and I want to thank you for your service on this matter.”
In this regard, in 2018, Heard’s op-ed was published in the Washington Post identifying herself as a “public figure who represents domestic violence,” which Depp said falsely portrayed him as an abusive and cost him work in Hollywood. Heard hit back at Depp, claiming his attorney’s statements that her allegations of abuse were a “hoax” that tarnished her and tarnished her once thriving career.
Shortly before deliberations began, the jurors heard closing arguments from both Heard and Depp’s attorneys.
Heard’s attorney, Ben Rothenborn, told jurors that if Depp failed to prove he did not offend Heard, she wins the case.
“Mr. Depp simply cannot prove to you that he did not offend Amber once,” said Rothenborn. “The judgment against Amber here sends the message that no matter what you do as a victim of abuse, you always have to do more. And no matter what you document, you always have to document more. No matter who you tell, you always have to tell more people. No matter how honest you are about your flaws. And your shortcomings in a relationship, you have to be perfect for people to believe you. Don’t send that message.”
Earlier on Friday, Depp’s lawyers argued that Heard was the abuser and not Depp.
“What Ms. Heard witnessed in this courtroom is the story of so many women,” said attorney Camille Vasquez. “But the overwhelming and weighty evidence of this evidence, shows that it is not her story. It is not Mrs. Heard’s story. It was an act of profound cruelty, not only to Mr. Depp, but to true survivors of domestic violence. .I heard she presents herself as a public figure who represents domestic violence.” It was a mistake, it was defamatory and causes irreparable harm.”
For six weeks, jurors heard more than 100 hours of testimony from witnesses who offered often contradictory perspectives on aspects of the former couple’s private lives — from movie deals to accounts of violent quarrels — either in person, remotely, or through edited taped affidavits.
If the jury does not reach a verdict on Friday, deliberations resume next Tuesday.
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