Johnny Depp’s lawyers urge jurors to give him ‘his life back’ in trial closing arguments

Amber Heard & Johnny Depp Getty Images Remix By Keane Eacobellis

Johnny Depp’s lawyers urged jurors “to give Mr. Depp his life back” amid the closing arguments for a trial of dueling defamation lawsuits involving ex-wife Amber Heard by finding her guilty of defamation.

Depp’s lawyer, Camille Vasquez, alleged Heard ruined Depp’s life “by falsely telling the world that she was the survivor of domestic abuse at the hands of Mr. Depp.”

Yesterday, Heard also expressed a desire to find peace from the situation, pleading “leave me alone” during her final testimony and detailing the harassment she’s experienced from Depp’s fervent fan base.

The closing arguments commenced exactly six years after Heard first filed a restraining order against Depp after filing for divorce, with subsequent press coverage effectively making public the domestic abuse allegations that Depp maintains are false.

Even though it was Depp’s hope the trial, unfolding in a courtroom in Fairfax, Virginia, would be a way to restore his image and defibrillate his career, the six-week litigation broadcast via television cameras has turned it into a public spectacle that brought revelations about each actor that doesn’t particularly make either one look good, such as Heard’s unfulfilled pledges to charity and Depp seemingly downplaying his drug and alcohol use in testimony.

Both sides have accused the other of domestic abuse, and both sides have accused the other of orchestrating a smear campaign against them in the press.

While Heard maintains she was abused by Depp, Depp claims just the opposite: he was abused by her and not the other way around.

Another one of Depp’s lawyers, Benjamin Chew, claimed an op-ed Heard wrote compared Depp to the “Titanic” and herself to the “iceberg” that sunk him.

The op-ed in question, at the center of the trial, was one Heard penned for the Washington Post in 2018, in which she describes herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” Though Depp isn’t named in the article, Heard made prior allegations of abuse against Depp in 2016, which he claims are false and are referenced in the piece.

Chew also pointed out no other woman who was in a relationship with Depp has accused him of domestic abuse, and no ever has since. On the contrary, model Kate Moss even testified that she denied an unsubstantiated rumor that Depp ever pushed her down some stairs while they were together, something Heard alluded to on the stand at one point.

Depp is suing Heard for $50 million for defamation for allegedly false domestic abuse accusations she made against him that he said hurt his career. Heard is counter-suing Depp, also for defamation, for $100 million.

The sheer burden of proving defamation in the U.S. makes it an uphill battle for either party to win their respective lawsuits since the accuser is the one who must prove the alleged defamer had “malice intent” with their actions, according to the LegalEagle YouTube channel

Depp previously lost a libel lawsuit in the U.K., where it is the burden of the accused to prove their innocence, making it a potentially easier scenario to win from the plaintiff’s point of view. In that case, Depp sued the newspaper The Sun for describing him as a “wife beater” in an article. A judge ruled the article was not libelous because it was based on credible evidence of abuse submitted by Heard.

Closing arguments are expected to wrap up Friday, with jurors’ deliberations on a verdict possibly continuing into next week.

About the author

Danny Peterson

Danny Peterson

Danny Peterson covers entertainment news for WGTC and has previously enjoyed writing about housing, homelessness, the coronavirus pandemic, historic 2020 Oregon wildfires, and racial justice protests. Originally from Juneau, Alaska, Danny received his Bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Alaska Southeast and a Master's in Multimedia Journalism from the University of Oregon. He has written for The Portland Observer, worked as a digital enterprise reporter at KOIN 6 News, and is the co-producer of the award-winning documentary 'Escape from Eagle Creek.'