A court has heard that Amber Heard’s claim that Johnny Depp was violent towards her is “an act of profound cruelty to true survivors of domestic abuse”.
Awares for the actor said there is a “mountain” of evidence that Mr Depp attacked his former partner “just didn’t” as he made his closing remarks in the high-profile US defamation lawsuit.
The actor is suing his former partner over a 2018 article he wrote in the Washington Post titled: “I spoke out against sexual violence — and faced the wrath of our culture. This has to change.”
The article does not mention Mr. Depp’s name, yet his lawyers say it falsely implies that he physically and sexually abused Ms. Heard while they were together.
Her lawyer, Camille Vasquez, began her opening remarks Friday by reminding jurors that Ms. Hurd filed a restraining order against her former partner on May 27, 2016.
“In doing so he ruined her life by falsely telling the world that she was a survivor of domestic abuse at the hands of Mr. Depp,” she said.
“Exactly six years later, on 27 May 2022, we ask you to give Mr Depp his life back.
“What is at stake in this trial is a man’s life.”
She continued: “There’s an abuser in this courtroom but it’s not Mr. Depp.
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“There’s a victim of domestic abuse in this courtroom, but it’s not Ms. Heard.”
Ms Vasquez told jurors there was no evidence Depp abused Ms Heard, only “a mountain of unproven allegations”.
“The mountain of evidence that Mr. Depp abused Ms. Heard is just not there,” she said.
“We have a mountain of unproven allegations that are wild, over-the-top and impossible, and you can’t choose which of these wild allegations to believe and which to disregard.
“You either believe all of it, or don’t believe in any of it.
“Either she is the victim of really horrific abuse or she is a woman who is willing to say whatever.
She continued: “It is disturbing to think that Ms. Heard will make up the horrific tales of abuse that she testified in this court.
“The testimony that Ms. Heard gave in this courtroom is very much the story of women, but the overwhelming evidence and weight of that evidence is that it is not her story.
“This is not Ms. Heard’s story.
“It was an act of grave cruelty to represent domestic abuse herself as a public figure, not only to Mr. Depp, but to Ms. Heard as a true survivor of domestic abuse.
“It was false, it was defamatory and it caused irreparable harm.”
Recalling her and her colleague Benjamin Chew’s early statements, Ms Vasquez continued: “We told you this will be the performance of her lifetime as a heroic survivor of abuse.
“She came into this courtroom ready to give the performance of her life, and she gave it.”
But he said the court had heard evidence from Ms. Heard’s acting coach, who said Ms. Heard had difficulty pretending to cry while acting.
“You saw it, Ms. Heard crying without tears while spinning detailed, exaggerated, fictional accounts of abuse,” she said.
Mr Chew concluded the closing remarks by telling jurors that Mr Depp’s reputation would be “tarnished forever” by allegations of abuse and that the truth was “worth fighting for”.
“This case … is about restoring (Mr. Depp’s) lost reputation,” Mr. Chew said.
“It’s about showing their kids, Lily Rose and Jack, that the truth is worth fighting for.
Mr. Chew returned to his seat and was seen hugging Mr. Depp.
The actor is claiming $50 million (£40 million) in damages in the lawsuit and says the allegations caused him to lose several high-profile film roles, including in the Fantastic Beasts and Pirates of the Caribbean franchises.
Ms Heard is countering Mr Depp on earlier comments made by her lawyer, Adam Waldman, who allegedly referred to her abuse claims as “hoax”.
The case is being brought to Virginia, rather than California, where the actors live, because online versions of the Washington Post are published through servers located in Fairfax County.
During the trial, held at Fairfax County District Court in Virginia, crowds of fans gathered outside attempting to enter the courtroom and observe the proceedings.
The scores were painted out on the Friday before the closing arguments.