'HUGE RISK': Experts warn Amber Heard against bringing Johnny Depp back to the witness stand

The 'Aquaman' actress’s legal team may decide to bring her ex-husband to testify once again as they argue her case in the ongoing legal battle


                            'HUGE RISK': Experts warn Amber Heard against bringing Johnny Depp back to the witness stand
Sources revealed last week that Amber Heard's (L) lawyers may summon Johnny Depp back (R) to the witness stand (Twitter)
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Legal experts have proposed that Amber Heard calling Johnny Depp back to the stand could prove to be a "risk" because of how likable he was during his testimony in the exes' defamation trial.

The 'Aquaman' star's legal team may decide to bring her ex-husband to testify once again as they argue her case in the ongoing legal battle in Fairfax, Virginia, sources close to Heard told the New York Post last week. However, legal experts say the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' star might hurt her case if given a second chance, especially after he came across as believable and likable to the jury the first time around.

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“There is a risk that he is going to have more time being likable on the stand, when it’s actually Amber Heard’s time to present her case," civil attorney Katherine Lizardo told the Post. “Right now we are hearing Amber Heard’s … side of the story. To call her opponent to speak on your behalf sounds counterintuitive," Lizardo added. Bruce Johnson, a Seattle-based defamation lawyer, agreed that Depp's likeability could be a major hurdle for Heard. “That is a huge risk — if he’s a good witness and he’s going to perform well again,” Johnson told the newspaper.

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Johnny Depp steps outside court during his civil trial at Fairfax County Circuit Court on April 25, 2022 in Fairfax, Virginia (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)

 

Criminal defense attorney Halim Dhanidina, who is also a former California judge, said Depp's "very unique personality” likely appealed to the jury the first time he took the stand. “He didn’t really strike me as someone who was putting on an act or fabricating,” Dhanidina told the Post. “The jury is going to want to know whether they can rely on testimony not based on how smart the witness appears, but how sincere they are.” According to the lawyer, Depp could try to take "advantage" of the situation should he get another chance to address the jury. “If he has been landing with the jury and if the jury is liking him, then more time in front of the jury is a good thing for him,” the former judge explained. “It may be something that [Heard] does out of necessity but that [Depp] himself can benefit from.”

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Amber Heard departs court during her civil trial at Fairfax County Circuit Court on April 25, 2022 in Fairfax, Virginia (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)

 

Lizardo noted that jurors will not know why Depp is back on the stand, and that could "confuse" them. “Most of the time when you are doing cross-examination, it sounds hostile,” the civil attorney offered. “A jury might think, ‘Okay, he’s back on the stand. Are they badgering him again?'” Johnson echoed similar concerns, saying Heard's team needed to weigh whether summoning Depp again would stretch the jury's attention, especially after some jurors have reportedly been spotted snoozing during the trial. “You are putting on a performance for a jury and you don’t want to drag it on for too long,” Johnson added. “In any long trial, that is a consideration.”

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Some experts told the Post that Heard's lawyers may try to "get the upper hand" over Depp while questioning him the second time. “I would suspect that they would want to cut [Depp] down to size,” Virginia defamation attorney Jeremiah Denton told the publication. “He did reasonably well in his first appearance on the stand, so I guess they feel they have to necessarily attack his credibility — it might be his memory, his truthfulness [or] covering something that hasn’t been covered." Dhanidina acknowledged that Heard's lawyers might be able to catch Depp off guard by questioning him with "new topics and new areas to cover." Meanwhile, it's also important to consider that Depp may slip up or contradict something he previously said. “The more a witness talks, the more likely it is they will be saying things that could be easily contradicted,” Johnson explained. “Even if they’re trying to be honest, we all have memory lapses.”

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Spectators showing support for Johnny Depp And Amber Heard outside of Fairfax County Circuit Court on April 11, 2022 in Fairfax, Virginia (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)

 

Dhanidina said he couldn't predict which side would benefit more if Depp made a second appearance on the stand. “Buckle up because it’s about to get really, really interesting," he told the newspaper. “Any time you have a party being questioned by the other side, it can be very, very hard to predict who is going to win and whether it resembles a chess match or a knock-down-drag-out fight. And we don’t really know what we are going to get," Dhanidina added.

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