Legal experts say Johnny Depp’s lawyers were given a gift when his blatant defamation lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard ended this week.
But some also noted that the break could boost Heard’s side, as jurors have several days left to chew through his hard-hitting testimony.
New York-based family law and divorce attorney Sandra Radna said Monday that without immediate cross-examination to challenge her credibility, Heard’s story “remains in her mind, and is probably reinforcing … This is what happened and this is the truth.” ,
Radna said of the jurors, “Maybe whatever Johnny Depp’s team does later, she can’t replace them, because they’ve been sitting with him for a week now.”
However, expert trial adviser Jill Huntley Taylor said the gap would give Depp’s lawyers “ample time” to testify for Heard and “really carefully plan their cross-examination”.
“I think there’s a real strategic advantage”, Huntley Taylor told The Post.
The trial was halted on May 5 after Heard was on the stand the second day of the hearing, when he reportedly described some extreme abuse at the hands of Depp.
Her testimony will resume on May 16, when Judge Penny Azkart returns from a pre-arranged convention.
In the meantime, Depp’s attorney “will be able to find things to ask that would discredit his testimony,” said Mitra Ahorian, a California entertainment attorney.
“Johnny’s team is going to pivot based on what they hear in his testimony,” Ahorien told The Post.
A source close to Depp told The Post that his lawyers “definitely see it as an advantage to have a week and a half to prepare for cross-examination and analyze Ms. Heard’s direct examination testimony so far.”
Still, attorneys for the stars Michelle Silberberg and Jeffrey Movitt of Knupp said that a legal team “generally wants to present its entire case without interruption, rather than having to cut and split it over time.”
“While the jury has time to consider Ms Heard’s testimony, they may forget parts of it,” Movit said. “Furthermore, his testimony will differ significantly from the testimony of other witnesses in support of his case.”
Depp, 58, has sued Heard, 36, for $50 million for defamation over a 2018 op-ed she wrote in the Washington Post in which she described herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse” Is.
The “Pirates of the Caribbean” star was not named in the piece, but says it nonetheless ruined his reputation, damaged his career and cost him hundreds of millions of dollars in work.
Heard’s lawyers are not allowed to consult with the actress this week as she is still on the stand, something Huntley Taylor, the trial adviser, described as a “challenge for and for her.”
The jury, which has not been indexed, also risks hearing about the case at its end of the week, given how much attention it has received, experts warned.
Bottom line, Radna said, “you never know what’s going through the minds of the jurors.”
Additional reporting by Elizabeth Rosner.