by Matthew Barakati
FALLS CHURCH, VA ( Associated Press) – May 27, 2016, was the day the marriage of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard turned from private misery to a public, career-killing spectacle.
Heard, who had just filed for divorce, arrived at a Los Angeles courthouse that day to obtain a temporary restraining order, with a visible scar on her face, which she says Depp says. had provoked him during a fight six days ago. Photographers captured the scene, and the allegations became tabloid fodder around the world.
Depp says he never hit her, and is now suing Heard for defamation in Fairfax County Circuit Court. On Wednesday, jurors in the case heard from police officers, who responded to the couple’s penthouse shortly after the fight. No officer saw the red mark that was so prominent six days later.
Officer Tyler Haden, one of the officers who responded at the couple’s penthouse apartment on May 21, 2016, said Heard declined to speak to officers and there were no signs of injury, although he acknowledged that She was crying and was red-faced.
“Just because I see a woman with rosy cheeks and pink eyes doesn’t mean something happened,” he said in a recorded statement played to jurors on Wednesday.
By the time officers arrived, Depp had left the penthouse. Officials said they had no idea who Heard was, or whether she was married to Depp. He said that neither Heard nor anyone in the penthouse complex was willing to tell him or other officials who Heard’s husband was.
Juries heard similar testimony Tuesday from an officer who accompanied Hayden to the penthouse.
An officer who made a follow-up visit that night, William Gatlin, testified on Wednesday that he did not see any injuries, although he acknowledged that his visit was brief and that he was no closer than 10 feet (3 m) from Heard. He said his check was a flawed one because it appeared that the call was simply a duplicate of one that Hayden had already answered.
The jury viewed a bodycam video of Gatlin’s reaction, which was less than two minutes long. could be heard from afar.
Heard’s lawyers have suggested in their questions that Heard could have covered up her injuries with makeup, as she still wanted to protect Depp at the time. He also asked the authorities why they had not conducted a more thorough investigation into a possible domestic violence case.
Officers’ testimony is some of Depp’s best evidence that Heard fabricated the charges against her ex-husband. This complements earlier testimony from witnesses who say they saw Heard and his sister practicing mock punches in the days following the attack.
However, it is far from certain. Heard’s lawyers have yet to hold their case, and some of his friends say they were in the penthouse when Depp allegedly attacked him.
And even though jurors may conclude that Depp never assaulted his wife on May 21, they have heard evidence of other alleged assaults before and during the couple’s brief marriage.
Depp sued Heard for defamation in 2018 after writing an op-ed piece in The Washington Post referring to himself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” The article does not mention Depp by name, but his lawyers say the article defames him because it is a clear reference to the highly publicized allegations when he filed for divorce in 2016 and also received a temporary restraining order.