Johnny Depp’s legal team began wrapping its case Friday with closing statements delivered by attorney Camille Vasquez, who distilled weeks of testimony into a blistering attack on the credibility of defendant Amber Heard.
Vasquez noted that the trial’s conclusion was happening exactly six years to the day since Heard showed up at court to file a restraining order against Depp, a dark bruise shading one side of her face, “and in doing so, ruined [Depp’s] life by falsely telling the world” that he’s an abuser.
“The scene was a setup,” the now-viral lawyer said. “She tipped off the paparazzi, knowing they would be waiting. What the paparazzi did not know was the dark mark on Heard’s face appeared six days after she last saw Mr. Depp … the world only saw what she wanted them to see.”
Vasquez focused on several incidents where Heard’s version of events was contradicted by witness testimony or evidence, and replayed several audio recordings of Heard admitting to physically and emotionally abusing Depp, including apologies for violence. The attorney noted that Depp, who says he has never hit Heard or any woman, frequently apologized in text messages – but only for the words he used, never for violence.
“There is a victim of domestic abuse in this courtroom. And it is not Ms. Heard. … Mr. Depp experienced persistent physical, verbal and emotional abuse. … she said it in her own words,” Vasquez said “She is a deeply troubled person, violently afraid of abandonment.”
Later in the day, Heard attorney Ben Rottenborn made his closing argument, focusing on the “Aquaman” actress’ First Amendment rights and suggesting that the jury could decide the case on that alone – even if there were no proof of the heinous abuses she alleged. Read all about Heard’s closing argument here.
Team Depp’s closing strategy seemed to indicate that the “Pirates” star’s motivation for the defamation case isn’t the $50 million he’s seeking – but preservation of his reputation. During her time on the stand, Heard described horrific scenes of abuse, sexual assault and constant terror and anxiety at the hands of Depp, and is counter-suing for $100 million.
“We ask you to give Mr. Depp his life back,” Vasquez said, “and hold Ms. Heard accountable for her lies.”
Vasquez called out Heard’s “lies upon lies upon lies,” saying every word she said in court was “the performance of a lifetime.” She noted that Heard’s acting coach said she had trouble crying tears while acting.
“You saw it,” Vasquez said. “Ms. Heard sobbing without tears. It was a performance. … She told you what she thinks you need to hear to convict this man as a domestic abuser and a rapist.”
Vasquez also put several images on the screen showing Heard, some with Depp out in public, without marks or bruises at times when she alleged she’d recently been abused. She also noted that Heard’s sister Whitney is “the only person” whose testimony supports Heard’s abuse claims, and the only witness to claim she saw Depp be the aggressor in a physical fight.
Heard’s accusation were “an act of severe cruelty,” Vasquez concluded, “not just to Mr. Depp, but to real victims of domestic abuse.”
This story is developing …