Amber Heard's Lawyers Sign Off With Closing Argument As Trial Comes To A Close

Amber Heard’s lawyers have now delivered their closing arguments, meaning the $50 million defamation trial can now be handed to the jury.

Heard is being sued by ex-husband Johnny Depp over an op-ed she penned in 2018, claiming she had been the victim of domestic abuse.

While it did not specifically name the Pirates of the Caribbean star, Depp argued that it damaged his career and went on to launch a defamation case against Heard – who in turn countersued him for $100m.

Today (Monday 27 May), each side was given two hours to share their closing arguments before the case could be handed over to the jury to begin their deliberations, which are expected to continue into next week.

Depp’s team went first, with lawyer Camille Vasquez saying it is now up to jurors to ‘hold Miss Heard accountable for her lies’.

After a recess, J. Benjamin Rottenborn and Elaine Bredehoft presented Heard's closing arguments.
Credit: Law and Crime Network
Rottenborn told the jurors: "In Mr. Depp's world, you don't leave Mr. Depp. And if you do, he will start a campaign of global humiliation against you. A smear campaign that lasts until this very day."

He also played a video to the court showing Depp slamming cupboard doors and swearing, introducing the clip by saying: "Let's see the monster. Let's see the monster in the flesh."

Rottenborn argued that anything Depp had lost was 'the result of his own choices', adding: "Stand up for freedom of speech. Stand up for the First Amendment. This trial is about so much more than Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard."
Credit: Law and Crime Network
Bredehoft then went on to say: "He's going after Amber for nothing, because he wants to put her though this again, the third time. So we're fighting back and that's the counterclaim. She finally has said enough. We're asking you to finally hold this man responsible."

Both sides were then given a rebuttal, with Depp's team allotted 39 minutes and Heard's team six.

During the rebuttal, Rottenborn said: "The evidence shows Miss Heard did not commit abuse hoaxes... The evidence shows that she was being abuse exactly how not only she, but her witnesses who support her claims, say she was."

He added: "Give Amber Heard her voice back."

The jury will now move into deliberation, with Judge Penny Azcarate reminding jurors that this is an 'important case'.

Earlier today, Azcarate announced that the identities of the jurors will be sealed for one year ‘due to the high-profile nature’ of the trial – something that had not previously been the case.

Azacarate also shared instructions with the jury – a copy of which would be allowed inside the deliberation room – including telling jurors they must read Heard’s entire op-ed, explaining that they must not seize on any ‘one word, phrase or image’.

As reported by Law and Crime Network’s Sierra Gillespie, in order to side with Depp on these points, Azacarate said jurors must find that Heard acted with knowledge that the statement was false or wilful disregard for the truth.

To reach a favourable verdict for Heard, she said the jury must determine the statements made by Adam Waldman were done so with actual malice.

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