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Orthopedic surgeon testifies Johnny Depp’s severed finger story doesn’t add up

Depp's lawyer questioned the orthopedic surgeon's level of compensation from Heard's team.

Photos by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images and Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images. Remix by Danny Peterson.

An orthopedic surgeon called upon to testify by Amber Heard’s legal team has said that Johnny Depp’s story about his severed finger did not add up, amid a trial of dueling defamation lawsuits.

Dr. Richard Moore’s testimony contradicted Depp’s previous testimony, in which he claimed that a vodka bottle Heard allegedly threw at his hand shattered and ended up severing his finger, Law & Crime Network reports.

While Moore admitted “the medical data is inconclusive,” he also said Depp’s version of events was “not consistent with what we see in the described injury pattern or in the clinical photographs.”

Despite the testimony, Moore said he couldn’t completely rule out Depp’s account, either.

The injury occurred in March 2015 in Australia, while Depp was filming Pirates of the Caribbean 5, but Heard and Depp have presented wildly different accounts of what happened.

Heard maintains she was physically assaulted by Depp, and sexually assaulted with a bottle in Australia. She said she only saw the finger injury after the fact and did not personally witness it happening, but put together that it must’ve been Depp who allegedly cut off his own finger.

On the other hand, Depp claimed Heard was allegedly physically abusing him, and that Depp tried to hide out from her in multiple rooms. The altercation culminated in Heard allegedly throwing a bottle at Depp’s hand, which ended up causing the injury. 

The home in Australia was covered in messages Depp wrote to Heard — in paint and blood — which Depp wrote using his cut-off finger covered in paint.

Moore claimed if Depp’s hand had been laying flat on a countertop, as the actor claimed in his testimony, there would’ve been “both injury to the fingernail and other parts of the finger” from the shattering bottle. Moore said he would’ve expected to see multiple lacerations from such an injury, but that medical records did not show that.

Depp’s lawyer, Camille Vasquez, questioned Moore by bringing up how much he is being compensated by Heard’s team: $1,000 per hour for his work and $5,000 per hour for his testimony.

Vasquez’s line of questioning also seemed to imply he allegedly ignored evidence in Depp’s favor, such as a photo near the bar area where the finger injury allegedly occurred, which seemed to show drops of blood near the bar. Moore said he did not see the photo in question.

The court battle, unfolding in a courtroom in Fairfax, Virginia, centers on an op-ed Heard wrote 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.

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.

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

Depp is also slated to take the stand this week, as called upon as a witness by Heard’s team, after he previously testified on behalf of himself and was cross-examined by Heard’s team last month.

Danny Peterson
About the author

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.'