Johnny Depp plans to show a jury testimony by his supermodel ex-girlfriend Kate Moss and more than a dozen other witnesses for his rebuttal case against Amber Heard, a source close to Depp said.
Moss will not appear in court but will testify via video link.
Heard has been wrapping up her case in chief, defending herself against allegations that she defamed Depp by describing herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse” in a Washington Post editorial in 2018. She is separately countersuing Depp for describing her allegations, through his lawyer, as a “hoax.”
In presenting that case, Heard called one of Depp’s ex-girlfriends, actress Ellen Barkin, to depict Depp as jealous and controlling. Barkin testified that Depp tossed a wine bottle in her direction when she was standing with a group of people. She stopped short of accusing Depp of throwing it at her, and she noted that it never made contact with anyone.
During Heard’s stint on the witness stand, the Aquaman actress claimed that Depp swung at her sister Whitney Henriquez on the stairs of their Los Angeles house in March 2018. Henriquez also claimed that Depp hit her on the staircase, but Heard went farther in describing the alleged incident as reminiscent of what happened to Moss.
“I just, in my head, instantly think of Kate Moss and stairs,” Heard said.
When Heard made that remark, Depp’s attorney Benjamin Chew gave a fist pump to the legal team. Depp’s legal team has argued throughout the trial that Heard’s domestic violence claims are an outlier among the other women in his life, who say the Pirates of the Caribbean star treated them respectfully. Legal experts said at the time that Heard’s testimony may have opened the door to having Moss make that case.
Other names on Depp’s anticipated witness list are familiar.
Shannon Curry, a forensic psychologist who diagnosed Heard with borderline personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder earlier during the trial, is expected to take a second turn on the witness stand. Heard also called psychologist experts to render opinions on Depp, who did not sit for examination by them.
For example, psychiatrist David Spiegel, called by Heard’s legal team, told a jury that Depp was a narcissist but stopped short of formally diagnosing him with narcissistic personality disorder.
Depp himself is on his own witness list. As a witness for his case in chief, Depp described how he transformed from a “Cinderella” in the public eye to a “Quasimodo” after Heard accused him of physical and sexual abuse. Heard’s attorney plans to call him later on Monday as an adverse witness. Depp’s lawyers will give him the last word.
Jennifer Howell, who runs the non-profit group Art of Elysium, is also expected to testify. Frequently working with hospitalized children, the organization has offered workshops at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, which Heard pledged to support via an as-yet-unfulfilled $3.5 million donation.
In a declaration submitted to a U.K. court, Howell contradicted the account of the supposed staircase incident alleged by Heard and Henriquez. Howell said that she had a close relationship with Henriquez, who worked at Art of Elysium and whom she called her “chosen sister.”
In that capacity, Henriquez allegedly confided an account of the staircase incident sharply contrasting the one she told the court.
“First, Whitney came to live in the guest room of my apartment on Wilshire Boulevard, not on my floor but in my guest room,” the declaration states. “Second, when Whitney arrived, she was a mess. Whitney told me she tried to stop her sister Amber from hitting and attacking Johnny on the stairs. Whitney said when she tried to intervene to stop Amber from going after Johnny, Amber nearly pushed Whitney down the stairs. She told me she was worried Amber ‘was going to kill Johnny.'”
A U.K. judge, who examined that declaration, ultimately ruled against Depp and in favor of The Sun, a British tabloid the actor sued for running an editorial calling him a “wife-beater.”
Other anticipated witnesses include a representative of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, in testimony via deposition likely to center on Heard’s unfulfilled pledge; a live metadata expert; and Walter Hamada, the president of D.C.-based film production at Warner Bros. Pictures, is expected to appear via deposition.
(Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
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