The defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard is raging on, and Heard’s legal team has suffered a huge blow to its case, as they attempted to submit a picture of the actress with a cut lip as a key piece of their evidence against Depp. However, the presiding judge, Judge Penny Azcarate, has not allowed this key piece of evidence to move forward, as the picture had not been submitted during the “discover phase” before the trial had commenced. This is the third loss that the actress’s legal team has suffered in this case.
The picture in question showed Amber Heard with a cut lip, and her legal counsel claimed it was right after a fight that had occurred with Johnny Depp. Heard claimed that Depp struck her with the back of his hand, which resulted in her biting down on her lip, causing the injury. Her legal team also claimed that because Depp wears so many rings, the force from those rings caused Heard to bite down on her own lip. Depp’s legal team has claimed that this picture had been fabricated, with Heard’s countering that they are being stopped from submitting many pictures into evidence that are to prove Depp has been abusive towards her.
However, it is standard practice in any trial that the discovery phase must take place before a trial can commence. During this phase, both legal counsel parties exchange evidence and information so that both parties can prepare to defend the evidence that is being presented to the best of their abilities. This is enacted so that neither legal team is “ambushed” or “bombarded” with new evidence that they were not made aware of. Amber Heard and their legal team seem to be trying to take risks they think will fly in court but have been shut down by the presiding judge.
Two of those other risks, which total the three losses, are attempting to have the cast thrown out twice. Amber Heard and her legal team first attempted to get the defamation case thrown out back in 2020 before the trial could commence. Fairfax County Chief Judge Bruce White shot down this request in Virginia back then. Also, at the beginning of this trial, Heard’s legal team once again tried to get the case dismissed. However, the current presiding judge also shot down this request after hearing the evidence presented by Johnny Depp’s legal team. The fact that Heard’s legal team is trying so hard and failing could mean that they are worried about the evidence that has been submitted against them so far.
Johnny Depp is suing Amber Heard for the sum of $50 million, as part of this defamation lawsuit. Depp and his team claim that Heard has lied about this entire abusive relationship, and her op-ed piece in The Washington Post led to his firing from the Fantastic Beasts franchise and Pirates reboot. Though Heard had not named Depp in her piece outright, it has been inferred by the piece and her legal team. Heard is also countersuing Depp for $100 million for the alleged abuse that she has gone through. The trial is currently on break as Judge Penny Azcarate had a prior engagement that she must attend, but the circus will certainly start again early next week.