Johnny Depp-Amber Heard faceoff: Fans flock to court to watch real-life Hollywood drama
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s latest legal fight in a Virginia court reportedly has everyone hooked to see who will win this time, especially after the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean' star’s loss in the UK libel case. The $50 million defamation trial that kicked off on Monday, April 11, “could prove to be the biggest roles of the former couple’s careers,” according to one article. The feuding ex-partners will defend themselves in-person while their fans who have flocked from different parts of the world will cheer for them.
Speculations point to Depp taking the stand first to present his side during the trial. Deadline Hollywood reported that on the first day of the trial at the Fairfax County Courthouse, several of the 58-year-old’s fans gathered to get seats to witness the high-profile drama live. One of the fans was an Australian named Jacintya Gillespie, 52, who said: “I took leave to come and stand by Johnny’s side, mostly after the UK farce because I was really disgusted by that outcome. I looked at all of the evidence that he had and it was so obvious to me what happened in that situation, but that judge just ignored all his evidence and I felt that was disgusting.”
Gillespie added: “I believe Johnny Depp is a pure soul, and I believe he always tells the truth. So that is why I am here to support him because I don’t think somebody’s reputation should be ruined on the basis of lies, which I think is what Amber Heard has perpetrated.”
Another fan was 59-year-old Cindy Lewis, who reportedly came from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Lewis also expressed her anger towards Heard by saying she was “very sad that he had to endure what she did to him. And she needs to pay for what she did, what she said. All of it. Angry. He never deserved any of that. Nothing.” Tiffany Lunn, who traveled from St. Mary’s County in Maryland, to witness the legal fight between the ex-pair was reportedly seen carrying a neon pink sign that said, “Wish he never Heard!!”
The recent trial is the result of a 2018 Washington Post op-ed written by the ‘Aquaman’ actress, where she claimed herself to be a domestic violence survivor. The essay, titled — ‘I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change’ — stated: “Like many women, I had been harassed and sexually assaulted by the time I was of college age. But I kept quiet — I did not expect filing complaints to bring justice. And I didn’t see myself as a victim. Then two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.”
Depp's name was not included in the op-ed article but his legal team alleged that the piece held a “clear implication that Mr Depp is a domestic abuser.” They then sued Heard in 2019 demanding “not less than $50m” as compensatory damages. In response, the 35-year-old actress countersued her former husband in 2020.
Speaking about the April 11 trial, which is expected to go on for six weeks, a source close to Heard and her team told Deadline, “He threatened to ruin her career and inflict global humiliation upon her, and after losing in the UK, this is his last gasp attempt. A jury verdict against Johnny will send a message to the millions of women out there who suffer from intimate partner violence every single day, that they can move safely on with their lives. And it will allow Amber to move on as well.”
However, an insider familiar to Depp’s team noted: “He’s not trying to punish her and humiliate her. He just wants the truth to come out. He wants to clear his name, and this is the forum in which he has chosen to do so, in a court of law, where she is a party, and in the UK, she was not a party in that.”