Johnny Depp lawyer calls Amber Heard’s domestic abuse claims ‘an act of profound cruelty to true survivors’

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Camille Vasquez delivered closing arguments on behalf of Johnny Depp in his $50m defamation trial against Amber Heard  (YouTube/Law&Crime)
Camille Vasquez delivered closing arguments on behalf of Johnny Depp in his $50m defamation trial against Amber Heard (YouTube/Law&Crime)

Johnny Depp’s lawyer Camille Vasquez said it was an “act of profound cruelty... to true survivors” for Amber Heard to “hold herself out as a public figure representing domestic abuse.”

In her closing arguments on Friday (27 May) at Virginia’s Fairfax County circuit court, Ms Vasquez told the jury: “The mountain of evidence that Mr Depp abused Ms Heard is simply not there.

“What we have is mountain of unproven allegations that are wild, over-the-top, and implausible. And you can’t pick and choose which of these wild allegations to believe, and which ones to disregard,” she continued, adding, “You either believe all of it, or none of it. Either Mr Depp sexually assaulted Ms Heard with a bottle in Australia, or Ms Heard got up on that stand, in front of all of you, and made up that horrific tale of abuse.

“Either she’s a victim of truly horrific abuse or she’s a woman who’s willing to say absolutely anything.”

Addressing the jurors on the final day of the multi-million dollar defamation trial before it goes to jury deliberation, Ms Vasquez said it was “disturbing” that Ms Heard would “make up the horrific tales of abuse that she testified to in the courtroom.”

“But this case doesn’t come down to whether you believe Ms Heard or Mr Depp,” she continued, adding, “This case comes down to whether you believe Ms Heard or you believe Mr Depp, [sister] Christi Dembrowski, [bodyguard] Sean Bett, Malcom Connelly. Travis McGivern, Starling Jenkins, Keenan Wyatt, Dr Kipper, nurses Debbie Lloyd, and Erin Falati, Tara Roberts, Ben King, Kate James, Kate Moss, Dr Colbert, Morgan Knight, Morgan Tremaine, [LAPD] Officers Melissa Saenz, Tyler Hadden, Officer William Gatton, and Beverly Leonard.”

After listing the witnesses who had appeared for Mr Depp in the trial, Ms Vasquez claimed: “What Ms Heard testified to in this courtroom is the story of far too many women. But the overwhelming evidence, weight of that evidence, shows that it’s not her story. It’s not Ms Heard’s story.

“It was an act of profound cruelty, not just to Mr Depp, but to true survivors of domestic abuse for Ms Heard to hold herself out as a public figure representing domestic abuse,” she finished.

Mr Depp is suing his ex-wife for defamation over a 2018 op-ed she penned for The Washington Post where she described herself as a “a public figure representing domestic abuse”.

The Pirates of the Caribbean actor is not named in the article, which is titled “I spoke up against sexual violence – and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change”.

However Mr Depp claims that it falsely implies that he is a domestic abuser – something that he strongly denies – and that it has left him struggling to land roles in Hollywood. He is suing for $50m.

Ms Heard is countersuing for $100m, accusing Mr Depp of orchestrating a “smear campaign” against her and describing his lawsuit as a continuation of “abuse and harassment”.

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