Johnny Depp & Amber Heard ordered NOT to give autographs, selfies as frenzied fans swarm court amid trial
The order also prohibits fans from 'overnight camping' on the grounds of the courthouse & nearby streets and access to electronic devices within the building
As the Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard defamation trial began in the United States, the actor and his ex-wife have been barred from signing autographs for fans, who were hoping to catch a peek of the couple outside the court. When hundreds of supporters, including a member of a Johnny Depp fan organization, gathered outside, the judge issued the order, warning that she did not want the trial, which is taking place in Virginia, to turn into a circus.
During the trial, Judge Penney S Azcarate, who is presiding over the case, ordered them both not to sign fans' autographs or pose for photographs on the court grounds. In an order placed into the court on March 29, Azcarate stated, "Litigants and their legal teams in this trial will not pose for pictures or sign autographs in the Courthouse or on Courthouse Grounds." The order also prohibits "overnight camping" on the grounds of the courthouse and nearby streets, as well as access to electronic devices within the building.
Depp sued Heard for domestic violence
In 2019, Depp filed a lawsuit in Fairfax County, claiming that Heard defamed him by writing an op-ed for the Washington Post in which she described herself as a victim of domestic violence. Depp's lawsuit claims that even though she didn't mention Depp in the op-ed, any reasonable reader would take the phrase as a reference to him. Moreover, Depp opened up about the violence he went through. He mentioned that during a fight with Heard, she severed his finger by throwing a glass bottle at him.
Heard filed a countersuit on Depp
Heard has responded by filing a countersuit saying that Depp abused her on over a dozen occasions throughout their relationship. She filed a $100 million suit against him for defaming her name and claiming that she has assaulted him. As her witness, various actors, including James Franco, have been summoned to the court. She also slammed Depp for saying that she had an affair with Elon Musk while they were married. She also recently posted on Instagram about her hiatus. Currently, both of their cases are being heard and a huge crowd of supporters is swarming the court.
According to Victoria Bekiempis of Vulture, the selfie prohibition hasn't discouraged Depp admirers from showing out in force. The main courtroom can accommodate 100 spectators, with an overflow room accommodating another 50. Roughly, 30 Depp fans arrived at the courthouse around 5 am. One said she flew 30 hours from Australia to show her support. Another had planned to present Depp with flowers. Notably, Raylyn Otey, who said she drove five hours to attend the trial from West Virginia, told Bekiempis, “Right now I'm just hoping that I'll be able to give him these flowers and that I didn't come for nothing.”