Depp-Heard libel trial: A look at the celeb witnesses who still have to testify

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As witnesses continue to take the stand or testify via video in the pending defamation trial of Johnny Depp-Amber Heard, it was recently revealed that two celebrities — James Franco and Elon Musk — will no longer testify in the case.

The witness list for the trial, which is expected to last six weeks, originally included Musk and Franco. However, Musk’s attorney confirmed to Fox News Digital that the Tesla CEO would not take the position. A source with knowledge of the trial confirmed to the New York Post that Franco would not testify either.

On Monday, Depp concluded a grueling four days on the witness stand, calmly telling the jury that he had filed his libel suit against his ex-wife because it was his best chance at reclaiming his reputation. The “Pirates of the Caribbean” star filed suit over a 2018 op-ed.

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Now that Franco and Musk are out, there are still a few Hollywood figures who can take the stand, including Ellen Barkin and Paul Bettany. Heard also has to testify.

Here’s a look at which celebrities we might hear about in the process:

Amber heard

Amber Heard will reportedly be the first witness for the defense and will take the stand next week.

Amber Heard will reportedly be the first witness for the defense and will take the stand next week.
(John Phillips/UK Press)

Amber Heard will testify in person. According to Deadline, Heard will be the first witness for the defense and will take the stand next week.

Depp sued Heard after she wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post. It was revealed in court on Thursday that an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) employee had written Heard’s piece, describing herself as a “public figure who represents domestic violence.”

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Heard’s op-ed never mentions Depp by name, but he claims he was nevertheless vilified because parts of the piece clearly refer to abuse allegations she made in 2016 when she filed for divorce and was given a temporary restraining order.

Paul Bettany

Johnny Depp and British actor Paul Bettany arrive for the premiere of their new movie 'Mortdecai' at the Zoopalast cinema in Berlin, Germany, January 18, 2015.

Johnny Depp and British actor Paul Bettany arrive for the premiere of their new movie ‘Mortdecai’ at the Zoopalast cinema in Berlin, Germany, January 18, 2015.
(Stephanie Pilick/photo alliance via Getty Images)

Paul Bettany, a friend of Johnny Depp’s, was on the witness list and is expected to appear “via a video link.”

Communications between Bettany and Depp have also been included as evidence in the trial.

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During the first week of the trial, text messages were shown between the two. Depp also admitted to texting Bettany about drowning and burning his then-girlfriend Heard.

Depp claimed the lyrics were a reference to the movie “Monty Python.”

Ellen Barkin

Johnny Depp and Ellen Barkin in 1994.

Johnny Depp and Ellen Barkin in 1994.
(Barry King/WireImage)

Ellen Barkin is also reportedly involved in the process through a statement.

Barkin previously testified in the British trial of Depp that the actor once threw a bottle of wine at her head while they were dating in the 1990s.

At the time, Depp tried to discredit her by saying she held a “grudge” against him after he ended a casual relationship between the two.

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Johnny Depp and Amber Heard

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard
(Evelyn Hockstein/Pool via AP)

“Mrs. Barkin and I had been friends for several years. A few years later (after her divorce) Ellen and I were hanging out, just spending time together, a relationship,” Depp said in court at the time.

“There was a sexual element that started with Ms. Barkin, which went on and off for months, really because she was making the movie I was making at the time, ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,’ and I suppose her desires were… she wanted more than a relationship, she wanted a good relationship with me and i didn’t want that.

“I didn’t feel the same for her as she did for me, and I suppose she got really angry from that point on, and I haven’t spoken to Mrs. Barkin since.”

Elon Musk

Elon Musk and Amber Heard pictured enjoying a meal.  Elon Musk would testify via a WebEx video link, but will no longer do so, his lawyer confirmed to Fox News Digital.

Elon Musk and Amber Heard pictured enjoying a meal. Elon Musk would testify via a WebEx video link, but will no longer do so, his lawyer confirmed to Fox News Digital.
(BACKGROUND)

Elon Musk would testify via a WebEx video link, but will no longer do so.

Depp has accused Musk and Heard of having an affair while Depp and Heard were married.

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Musk and Heard had a romantic relationship, but the Tesla CEO insists the relationship only started after the actress broke up with Depp in 2016.

“I want to reaffirm that Amber and I didn’t start dating until about a month after her divorce filing,” Musk told Page Six in 2020. “I don’t think I’ve ever been near Amber during their marriage!”

James Franco

James Franco would also testify via a WebEx video link.  It has recently been reported that he is no longer holding the position.

James Franco would also testify via a WebEx video link. It has recently been reported that he is no longer holding the position.
(Taylor Hill/Film Magic)

James Franco, according to reports, would also testify via a WebEx video link.

Depp also accused Heard of having an affair with Franco during Depp’s marriage to Heard. The ‘Pineapple Express’ actor was called to the booth by Depp’s legal team, Page Six reported.

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Surveillance footage from May 2016 shows Heard and Franco entering an elevator together and alighting on the same floor where Depp and Heard lived.

The footage was shot 24 hours after Depp and Heard had an argument in which she reportedly suffered a black eye.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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