Legal Experts Claim Johnny Depp's Courtroom Behavior Could Jeopardize His Chances Of Winning Case

Over the past few weeks, Johnny Depp's courtroom antics have been a source of much amusement for his fans.
Credit: REUTERS / Alamy
The Pirates of the Caribbean star is currently embroiled in a $50 million defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard, who he claims wrecked his career and reputation by claiming to be a domestic abuse survivor in a 2018 op-ed for The Washington Post.

During the high-profile trial, Depp's conduct hasn't exactly been what you'd expect to see in a courtroom drama. The 58-year-old star has been spotted giggling to himself, doodling during testimonies, and eating gummy bears.
A pile of gummy bears and candy sit on a table in front of actor Johnny Depp during a defamation trial against Amber Heard. Credit: REUTERS / Alamy
He's also made no secret of his weariness with Heard's legal team, snapping at them during cross-examination and appearing to joke with his attorney when they slip up. As for his ex, Depp has avoided looking her in the eye for almost the entire time she has been on the witness stand.

While his behavior may have won the hearts of fans, legal experts have warned that it may have cost him the case.

Virginia defamation lawyer Lee Berlik said in an interview with MailOnline that Depp's conduct could sway jurors in his former partner's favor.

"In a normal case where nobody knows the parties and you have somebody suing his wife for $100 million, you don't want to see that person giggling and chuckling to himself and making smart-ass comments on the witness stand," he explained, adding: "You want the jury to sympathize with your client and they have to be likable for that."

"If you're acting like this is just fun and games that could turn a lot of people off," he added.

Berlik allowed that - while this may be the case for most people - there is a chance that Depp's celebrity status might mean that different rules apply.

"I don't know how Johnny Depp being Johnny Depp changes that. Normal people aren't met by 100 screaming fans as they enter the courtroom," he said.

Meanwhile, another Virginia defamation lawyer Steven Krieger made a similar criticism of Depp's conduct, saying: "You don't want to appear to a jury that you're making jokes, snickering, or not taking this seriously."

The trial has been on temporary hiatus this week, but will resume on Monday, 16 May, when Heard will continue to testify against her ex-husband.

Closing arguments are scheduled for Friday, 27 May.

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