- Holly Honderich
- BBC News, Washington
Amber Heard’s team will not call Johnny Depp to testify, a source close to the American actress has assured, marking a strategic 180-degree turn in the final days of the high-profile scandal.
Heard’s team planned to subpoena Depp to testify again on Monday, but, without explanation, there was a change in strategy.
Depp, 58, sued his ex-wife for defamation for $50 million over a column she wrote in 2018 for Washington Post in which he claimed to have been a victim of domestic abuse without citing names.
In turn, Heard, 36, filed a counterclaim.
It is expected that this week the phase of testimony and arguments of both parties will conclude. The jury will then deliberate until a verdict is reached.
long list of witnesses
British supermodel Kate Moss, who was romantically involved with Depp, is among the group of witnesses who will testify this week.
On Monday, the Fairfax court, in the state of Virginia, heard several witnesses requested by Heard’s team, among whom was the psychologist David Spigel.
Dr. Spiegel testified that Depp “has behaviors consistent with someone suffering from a substance use disorder, as well as a perpetrator of intimate partner violence.”
Between 40% and 60% of intimate partner violence cases occur under the influence of alcohol or substance use disorders, Dr. Spiegel told the jury.
On cross-examination, Depp’s lawyers focused on dismissing this testimony, arguing that Dr. Spiegel had reached these conclusions without having had direct contact with Depp.
Also testifying on Monday was a hand surgeon who said it was unlikely Depp’s finger had been severed during a fight with Heard in Australia as he claimed.
Depp has said that his index finger was injured when Heard threw a bottle of vodka at him.
The jury saw graphic images of Depp’s injured finger while the doctor Richard Moore assured that the damage was more consistent with a wound generated by the closure of a door. Doctor Moore did not check on Depp at the time of the injury.
Heard’s team is expected to close their case early in the week, after which Depp’s team will have their last chance to try to convince the jury.
The interventions by Drs. Spiegel and Moore were just two in a long line of expert testimony. A psychologist, summoned by Depp’s team, testified that Heard suffered from two personality disorders.
Another, summoned by Heard’s team, rejected the argument and claimed that Heard suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome.
Both Heard and Depp have testified during this weeks-long court battle, giving radically different visions of their brief and tempestuous marriage.
Heard said that Depp was prone to “excessive use of alcohol and drugs, easily exploited by feelings of jealousy and was often consumed with violent rages”.
Depp, in turn, claimed that he had been the victim of the volatile character changes, telling the jury that he had routinely endured “verbal, emotional and physical abuse” from the actress.
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