Hollywood star Johnny Depp`s attorneys accused his former-wife, Amber Heard, of fabricating home violence claims towards the actor as a way to advance her personal profession, as a defamation trial acquired underway in Virginia.

Depp has sued Heard for $50 million, alleging that she devastated his profession when she revived her allegations towards him in a 2018 op-ed within the Washington Post, studies `Variety`.

Heard`s attorneys, in the meantime, argued of their opening assertion on Tuesday that her allegations are fully true, and that she had a First Amendment proper to precise her views.

Her lawyer Ben Rottenborn argued that Depp is in search of to spoil Heard`s life by pursuing the lawsuit.

“For years, all Mr. Depp has wanted to do is humiliate Amber, to haunt her, to wreck her career,” Rottenborn argued, calling Depp “an obsessed ex-husband hellbent on revenge”.

The trial is anticipated to final about six weeks, as 11 jurors might be requested to type via a mountain of documentary proof and conflicting testimony to resolve who’s telling the reality, studies `Variety`.

Depp`s attorneys – Ben Chew and Camille Vasquez – famous that the Washington Post piece was revealed simply earlier than the release of `Aquaman`, wherein Heard starred, and helped her painting herself as a sympathetic advocate.

“She presented herself as the face of the #MeToo movement – the virtuous representative of innocent women across the country and the world who have truly suffered abuse,” Vasquez mentioned. “The evidence will show that was a lie.”

Heard has accused Depp of quite a few situations of assault, together with occasions when she alleges Depp grabbed her by the neck, threw her towards a wall, kicked her, choked her and punched her.

Her lawyer, Elaine Bredehoft, went via most of the allegations intimately in her opening assertion, together with one event when Depp allegedly sexually assaulted her with a liquor bottle.

That allegation had not been made public earlier than.

In a press release, a spokesperson for Depp denied the sexual assault declare. The spokesperson mentioned it was not a part of the unique allegations surrounding the couple`s divorce in 2016, and emerged solely after Depp filed his defamation go well with in 2019.

“This follows a pattern of her elaborate, erroneous claims which have continued to change and evolve over time for the purpose of Hollywood shock value of which Amber has mastered and used to exploit a serious social movement,” the spokesperson mentioned.

The trial will go into painstaking element about drug abuse, violence and trashed residences. In his opening argument, Rottenborn mentioned that jurors ought to attempt to preserve their concentrate on her op-ed, which doesn’t determine Depp by identify.

“The article isn`t about Johnny Depp,” he argued.

“The article is about the social change she is advocating.”

Rottenborn argued that on the time of the publication, Depp`s profession was in freefall whereas Heard`s profession was taking off. The op-ed, he argued, was her try to maneuver on from the abusive relationship. But by suing her, Depp is refusing to let her transfer on.

“This case isn`t about a day-to-day chronicle of their marriage,” Rottenborn mentioned. “It`s not about who you like more. It`s not about which party can sling more mud… Ultimately what this case is about is the First Amendment.”

Heard has filed a $100 million counterclaim towards Depp, alleging that his lawyer defamed her by accusing her of fabricating a hoax, studies `Variety`.

Chew argued that Heard`s allegations have triggered extreme hurt to Depp`s profession, as a result of Hollywood studios don’t wish to face the backlash that comes with hiring somebody accused of home violence.

“The evidence will show that Ms. Heard`s false allegations had a significant impact on Mr. Depp`s family and his ability to work in the profession he loved,” Chew mentioned. “Ultimately this trial is about clearing Mr. Depp`s name of a terrible and false allegation.”

Depp has alleged that he was dropped from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise after Heard`s op-ed was revealed. But Rottenborn argued that Disney was discussing dropping him months earlier attributable to his erratic behaviour.

“Any damages he suffered in his career were not because of this op-ed,” Rottenborn instructed the jury. “It`s time to make Johnny take responsibility… It`s up to you, ladies and gentlemen, to make him do that.”

Depp misplaced an identical lawsuit in 2020 towards The Sun newspaper within the UK.

The choose in that case discovered that Heard`s allegations had been “substantially true”, and that due to this fact the newspaper didn’t defame him when it described him as a “wife beater.”

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