The legal team representing Johnny Depp has slammed Amber Heard’s “performance” on the witness stand last week. However, analysts have revealed that this would not be enough to win his libel suit against her. In fact, despite enormous social media support, legal experts predict Johnny Depp’s $50 million defamation case against Amber Heard may fail. Here’s why:
Amber Heard’s testimony paints her as an abuse victim:
Depp marched his supporters through the Virginia courthouse for the first three weeks, all declaring him a gentleman and Heard a fraud. When Heard entered the stand on Wednesday, something shifted. According to trial consultant Jill Huntley Taylor, her evidence has elevated the risks of the case. Heard testified that Depp would go on days-long drug-fueled episodes and often hit her. She also detailed the injuries she said she sustained as a result of these attacks. “Amber Heard has taken a riskier approach. Her claims of abuse are very extreme. If the jurors believe her, she should see a windfall to award her and punish Depp,” Huntley Taylor told Insider.
Johnny’s behavior in court may backfire:
To be fair, Johnny’s calm and pleasant attitude in court is what has helped him garner a lot of support on social media. However, some believe that Johnny may lose the case due to his deadpan expressions. The Pirates of the Caribbean star’s witty quips and jokes in court, according to Lee Berlik, a well-known Virginia attorney, might make him look ‘unsympathetic’ to the jurors.
“In a normal case where no one knows the parties and someone is suing his wife for $100 million, you don’t want to see that person giggling and chuckling to himself and making (expletive) comments on the witness stand,” he explained. “You want the jury to sympathize with your client, and they must be likable in order to do so. If you act as if this is all for fun and games, you may turn off a lot of people,” he continued.
The op-ed does not mention Johnny by name:
“When a public figure sues, it’s much more difficult to win,” said First Amendment lawyer George Freeman. “He has to prove what was going on inside her head, that she knew she was lying”. According to Heard’s attorney, Ben Rottenborn, Depp must also establish that the op-ed was really about him. Furthermore, if he does so, the jury just needs to find that Depp yelled at her once to charge him guilty and lose the defamation suit. As per attorney Marilyn Chinitz, the appeal will come down to Heard’s cross-examination and if Depp’s legal team can cast enough doubt on her reliability for the jury to disregard everything she says.