Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's defamation trial has entered its twilight zone, with only jury deliberations impending after lawyers from both parties delivered their closing arguments on Friday, May 27, 2022. The case, which has been one of the most followed social media events, will see the jury resume their deliberations on Tuesday, May 31, 2022, at 9.00 AM ET.
The seven-person jury from Fairfax County Circuit Court was sent home after the trial concluded on Friday, May 27, for the Memorial Day weekend. The court case began in April and dragged on for over six weeks, with the final verdict awaited.
The defamation case between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard has been termed the "trial of the century."
How did the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial go down?
The six-week-long trial had many critical moments that will live forever in the observers' memory, from Depp laughing in the court to a vaping witness to alpacas coming out to support Johnny. But despite the fun parts, both parties threw numerous severe accusations across the room, some involving graphic and gruesome details of physical and emotional violence.
Though it is hard to decipher which side is correct, the trial may have more significant repercussions, especially for domestic abuse victims in the future. The defense team of Amber Heard said to the jurors:
"Think about the message that Mr Depp and his attorneys are sending to Amber and victims of domestic abuse."
Benjamin Rottenborn, Amber Heard's defense lawyer, further said:
"If you didn’t take pictures, it didn’t happen...If you didn’t seek medical attention, you weren’t injured. [Depp] cannot and will not take responsibility … it’s all somebody else’s fault...If Amber was abused by Mr Depp even one time, then she wins … and we’re not just talking about physical abuse, psychological … s*xual abuse."
While the accusations have escalated throughout the lengthy trial, with multiple testimonies pouring in, the case initially began with Amber Heard's article in The Washington Post, where she claimed to be a survivor of domestic abuse. This article allegedly led to production companies cutting ties with Johnny Depp, whom Amber Heard indirectly mentioned in the article.
Though she never used his name in the post, Johnny Depp believed this led Disney to terminate his contract with the famous Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. He sued her for defamation over this article. Heard counter-sued Depp later when his attorneys allegedly claimed that Heard falsely accused Mr. Depp.
Rottenborn, Heard's defense attorney, said in the trial:
"We’re not running from the fact that when she discussed becoming a public victim representing domestic abuse, Amber was speaking of her experience reporting domestic abuse against Johnny Depp...But that doesn’t make the article, or the statements, about Johnny Depp."
The judge also announced that the jurors' names would be sealed for one year after the trial in accordance with a last-minute request by Amber Heard.
When will the jury give out the verdict?
With the pile of new evidence that came out in the previous week, the jury may need time to reach an agreement. They have so far only deliberated for two hours before the holiday set in. So, as the trial resumes on May 31, 2022, it shouldn't be long before the final verdict. In theory, however, the jury can take as long as they want, but generally, verdicts are delivered quickly in cases like these.