Jurors in Johnny Depp’s libel lawsuit in opposition to ex-wife Amber Heard heard a snippet of testimony Tuesday contradicting one in every of Heard’s key witnesses, however a lot of the context was stripped away. Jennifer Howell — who as soon as employed Heard’s sister, Whitney Henriquez — testified briefly Tuesday within the six-week civil trial via a recorded deposition.

Depp is suing Heard for libel in Fairfax County Circuit Court over a December 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post describing herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” His attorneys say he was defamed by the article despite the fact that it by no means talked about his title.

Depp has denied he ever struck Heard, and says she was the abuser within the relationship. Heard has testified about greater than a dozen separate cases of bodily abuse she says she suffered at Depp’s fingers.

Howell testified that she despatched an e-mail in 2020 to Henriquez begging her to inform the reality.

Jurors, although, didn’t see the letter, nor did Howell clarify in what manner she thought Henriquez was being untruthful. The edited deposition performed in court docket for lower than quarter-hour — Howell appeared to stroll out of the deposition earlier than attorneys had accomplished their questioning.

Jennifer Howell is seen on a display testifying in a beforehand recorded video on the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Va., Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (Jim Watson/Pool picture by way of AP)

In a court docket doc, although, Howell goes into a lot larger element. She provides a four-page declaration by which she says Henriquez confided in her that Heard was the aggressor within the battle and Henriquez allegedly mentioned she thought Heard “was going to kill Johnny.”

Howell additionally says within the declaration that Henriquez instructed her and others of their office that Heard minimize off Depp’s finger in a battle the couple had in Australia. The severed finger has been some extent of dispute all through the trial. Depp says the finger was severed when Heard lobbed a vodka bottle at him. Heard says Depp did it to himself on an evening when he was in a drunken rage and sexually assaulted her with a bourbon bottle.

Henriquez is the one one in every of Heard’s witnesses who testified within the six-week trial that she personally witnessed Johnny Depp bodily assault Heard, in a battle the place she mentioned every landed blows on the opposite whereas she was caught between the 2.

It’s not fully clear why Howell’s testimony was so restricted. Throughout the trial, although, Judge Penney Azcarate has strictly enforced guidelines limiting rumour proof, and Howell’s description of what Henriquez instructed her would seemingly be a traditional instance of rumour except Depp’s attorneys might declare some kind of exception to the rumour rule.

In Howell’s declaration, she acknowledged that she was upset when she discovered that Heard had pledged thousands and thousands of {dollars} to the American Civil Liberties Union and a kids’s hospital, when Howell thought the cash might do extra good at The Art of Elysium, the nonprofit she ran and that had employed Henriquez.

The restricted nature of Howell’s testimony makes it unclear if jurors will draw the connections that Depp’s workforce hopes to make.

Howell testified as a rebuttal witness for Depp after Heard rested her case Tuesday morning with out calling Depp to the stand — Heard’s attorneys had initially instructed they might name Depp as a witness.

Jurors should hear extra from Depp. His workforce has indicated they might name him to the stand Wednesday.

Both Depp and Heard have every testified extensively already about particulars of their poisonous relationship.

Also Tuesday, the movie star information web site TMZ filed an emergency movement in search of to dam the testimony of a former worker, Morgan Tremaine.

TMZ mentioned it’s involved that Tremaine is ready to testify Wednesday for Depp and violate a pledge of confidentiality that the information outlet supplied to a supply who gave TMZ data associated to the couple’s high-profile divorce.

Heard has denied that she tipped off information shops to the truth that she obtained a short lived restraining order after submitting for divorce from Depp in 2016. Heard alleged Depp abused her in that utility, and Heard was photographed by paparazzi leaving the courthouse with an obvious bruise on her cheek.

Depp’s attorneys have mentioned she sought publicity about her abuse allegations to falsely harm his repute.

Also Tuesday, Judge Penney Azcarate rejected a movement from Depp’s attorneys to toss out a $100 million counterclaim she filed in opposition to Depp. The counterclaim alleges Depp’s then-lawyer, Adam Waldman, defamed Heard when he known as her abuse allegations a hoax.

Azcarate mentioned the bar for tossing out a declare earlier than it goes to the jury is exceedingly excessive, and mentioned there may be sufficient proof to permit it to go ahead. She had already dominated Depp may very well be held liable for statements made by his lawyer, a precept Depp’s workforce disputes.

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