Johnny Depp’s $50million libel lawsuit against Amber Heard kicks off today with battle lines drawn and a circus atmosphere in the air

UPDATE, 12:25 p.m.: A jury in the Johnny DeppAmber Heard defamation lawsuit was initiated after a rather quick selection process.

Eleven members have been selected for the trial, which is expected to last six weeks. Seven members will ultimately deliberate, with four members randomly selected to serve as alternates at the end of testimony and argument.

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The judge asked jurors to take notes or rely on their memories, warning them that transcripts of testimony will not be allowed to be read back to them during their deliberations.

The trial will take place from Monday to Thursday and will take place on Friday. There will also be a break from May 9-12 as the judge attends a court conference.

PREVIOUSLY: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard watched – but didn’t appear to make eye contact – as their lawyers interviewed potential jurors.

One problem is pre-trial media publicity and, in some cases, potential jurors who have heard strong opinions about the case.

As the judge and attorneys interviewed potential jurors who had heard of the case, a man shared this morning that he texted his wife about the possibility of him being assigned to the Depp- Heard. When questioned, the man read his wife’s response: “Amber is psychotic. If a man says a woman beat him, they never believe him.

When asked by Heard’s lawyers if he could still be impartial, despite what his wife had said, the man replied that he could. “She tends to exaggerate.” The man was also asked if his wife would be mad at him if he sided with Depp. “She gets mad at me all the time,” he said. But he said his wife would understand if he explained the circumstances of the case once it was all over.

He was left in the pool.

A potential juror has been dismissed after saying he heard general details that Depp was “beating her and lying about things”. When asked if he could keep an open mind, he replied, “I’ll try.”

Several would-be jurors said they sought information about the case in recent days because they were curious as to why it was taking place in Fairfax, near their home. One woman said her colleagues were talking about the trial but, knowing she was a juror, she walked away. “It was just more of the excitement of a trial in Hollywood.” She was kept in the pool.

PREVIOUSLY: Over the next six weeks, Johnny Depp’s $50 million libel lawsuit against Amber Heard which begins today could prove to be the most important role of the former couple’s careers.

With the intention of choosing a jury by the end of the day and opening arguments before Virginia Judge Penney Azcarate tomorrow, the already well-covered case will almost certainly be quickly appealed, regardless of who wins in this. long delayed turn. Like fired fantastic beasts star Depp tries to figuratively return his Loss in the UK in November 2020 in a libel suit for “wife beater” against Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid The sunHeard also has a $100 million countersuit looming.

Among a vast and a bit starry list of witnesses Submitted to the Fairfax County docket, Depp and Heard are set to testify with the Pirates of the Caribbean the actor should come first. In suits and boots, Depp and Heard slipped into the Fairfax County Courthouse this morning

Also at the courthouse today, around 20 spectators, mostly Depp fans, lined up to get one of the seats to watch the trial.

Among them was Jacintya Gillespie, 52, who said she arrived last night after traveling from her home in Brisbane, Australia. She said she rented an AirBnB and planned to stay for a month.

“I took time off to come and stand by Johnny, mainly after the British prank because I was really disgusted by that outcome,” she said, referring to Depp’s case against The Sun. “I looked at all the evidence he had and it was so obvious to me what happened in that situation, but this judge just ignored all his evidence and I thought it was disgusting. “

She added: “I believe Johnny Depp is a pure soul and I believe he always tells the truth. That’s why I’m here to support him because I don’t think anyone’s reputation should be ruined based on lies, which I think Amber Heard perpetrated.

Tiffany Lunn of St. Mary’s County, MD, held a neon pink sign that read “Wish he had never heard!!” The blue side of the sign featured a picture of Depp behind bars and the words “Justice for Johnny.” Some onlookers were holding tiny pirate flags in the shape of skulls and bones in support.

Cindy Lewis, 59, said she traveled from Sioux Falls, SD. She said she was “very sad that he had to endure what she did to him. And she has to pay for what she did, what she said. All. Angry. He never deserved any of this. Nothing.”

Inside the courthouse, sheriff’s deputies chatted a bit about the impending celebrity presence. “Johnny Depp – hey, Jack Sparrow!” a colleague was told in anticipation. The county has carefully prepared for possible large crowds, with media assigned to a location across from the entrance to the post-modern courthouse.

This bitter battle between Depp and Heard, who divorced in 2016 amid restraining orders and a media frenzy, began when the former sued the latter. March 2019 in the Old Dominion for late 2018 Washington Post editorial on domestic violence and the consequences that victims may suffer. The ACLU ambassador’s article on women’s rights never mentioned Depp by name, but in his subsequent filing, the Oscar-nominated actor claimed the play cost him lucrative roles and had “devastated” his career. Claiming he was in fact the deceived party, the highly contentious Depp said Heard’s allegations against him were “part of an elaborate hoax to generate positive publicity for Ms Heard and further her career”.

Ever since the spring 2019 lawsuit, which originally featured the WaPo, owned by Jeff Bezos, as a defendant, the two sides have fought tooth and nail, getting very outspoken in court and in the court of public opinion. . Heard even tried to get the American deal thrown based on the UK libel case. Heard was not a party to the damning UK libel case, which Depp failed to appeal. Yet she testified in the high-profile UK action and received praise for her character from the judge in the UK case.

Prior to that, having failed to have the lawsuit moved to California or dismissed, Heard countersued Depp in 2020. In the countersuit, Heard’s attorneys claimed that the close associate of his ex-husband and former lawyer Adam Waldman had defamed her in remarks to the press. There’s also the issue of private communications like Depp’s texting to avengers alum and expected witness Paul Bettany exclaiming a desire to “drown” and “burn” Heard. “I’m going to fuck her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure she’s dead,” Depp added of Heard to his sometimes bawdy pal. These texts were read aloud to varying degrees of reaction in the case of the United Kingdom.

“He threatened to ruin his career and inflict global humiliation on him, and after losing in the UK, this is his last attempt at breathing,” a source close to the Heard camp told Deadline before the start of the match. procedure today. “A jury verdict against Johnny will send a message to the millions of women who suffer from domestic violence every day that it is safe to get on with their lives. And it will also allow Amber to move on.

Although Heard’s Elaine Charlson Bredehof-led legal team is also certain to say the UK case is relevant to the Virginia case, Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Azcarate followed the precedent and excluded much of it. jury, at least for now. Of course, under US law, the onus is on Depp to comprehensively establish that Heard defamed and damaged him with his op-ed — no easy task.

“He’s not trying to punish her and humiliate her,” said a source close to Brown Ruddick LLP who represented Depp. “He just wants the truth to come out. He wants to clear her name, and this is the forum he chose to do that in, in court, where she’s gone, and in the UK she wasn’t.

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