Witnesses are instructed not to attend a trial where they are going to testify, which also means they are not allowed to enter the courtroom before giving testimony. However, the night only became part of the case after it started and, as Judge Penney Azcarate said, “the problem is that the courtroom seems to be the world in this particular case.”
The trial, which is taking place in the Fairfax County Courthouse, revolves around a 2018 op-ed by Heard published in The Washington Post alleging domestic violence by an unnamed person. Depp denied ever physically abusing Heard and sued her for $50 million, alleging the piece harmed his career. She sued him for $100 million after his lawyers said her allegations were fabricated.
Night was considered a credible witness after explaining that he was “keep off the internet” when he became involved in the plaintiff’s case. He was present the night Heard and Depp were on vacation in Hicksville, during which the couple got into an argument and, Heard said in previous testimonies, Depp performed a body cavity examination on her in a jealous rage.
But Night, Heard said, seemed annoyed all evening. While testifying that Depp was getting more and more drunk, he said he witnessed an argument between the couple, and Depp “was a little huddled and almost seemed scared”, which was “strange to see”. He added that he has not seen any physical altercation between the two.
During the cross-examination, Heard’s attorney Elaine Bredehoft attempted to paint Night as an attention-seeking Depp follower who wanted to get on television. The court erupted into a rare fit of laughter when Night insisted he was not a fan. “I’m happy to tell you what I’ve seen, and that’s the magnitude of it. I don’t really care,” he said on detour.
Tuesday’s proceedings began with a likely preview of closing arguments in the trial, which is expected to begin Friday morning.
Azcarate heard—and rejected—the plaintiff’s request to file Heard’s counter-charge, which revolves around three statements by Adam Waldman dismissing Heard’s claims as false. Depp attorney Benjamin Chew argued that Waldman did not act with real malice because he believes “and will believe until his death” that Deep did not abuse Heard. He accused the defense of “game art” and “word games” and claimed there is no evidence of abuse.
Defense attorney Benjamin Rottenborn argued that the defense sufficiently corroborated Heard’s allegations of abuse, saying “there was no hoax.” In addition, he argued, “when Mr. Waldman made those statements, he was in Mr. Depp’s shoes. They are one in the same for the purpose of those statements.”
Depp’s attorneys spent most of the rest of the day disproving the jury against Heard’s expert witnesses by calling their own witnesses. Walter Hamada, president of DC Films, said Heard’s compensation for “Aquaman” and the upcoming sequel was unaffected by anything said by Depp or Waldman. He also said the studio briefly considered — eventually deciding to recast her role because she and lead actor Jason Momoa lacked “natural chemistry.”
David A. Kulber, the hand surgeon who reconstructed Depp’s injured finger in March 2015 after it was injured during a fight between Heard and Depp, said the actor wore a “thick” plaster cast after surgery and would likely have trouble holding on to anyone. or a fist with that hand. At cross-examination, he admitted that Depp could grab someone with his other hand. (How his finger was injured remains a bone of contention.)
Richard Marks, a Hollywood attorney, was called by Depp’s team to provide rebuttal evidence presented Monday by Kathryn Arnold, an entertainment consultant, who was called to the booth by the defense. Marks said Arnold’s projections of Heard’s potential earnings after “Aquaman,” which the defense argued were harmed by Waldman’s statements, had been greatly inflated: “[Arnold] knows about our business, but not about negotiating deals,” he said.
During the cross-examination, Marks could not recall ever making a deal for a superhero movie, nor could he name an actress who played a prominent role in a superhero movie and was not later cast in another studio movie.
Forensic accountant Michael Spindler was also asked to discredit Arnold’s testimony, calling it “not sufficiently supported” and “unreasonable” and arguing that she used a mix of methodologies to predict Heard’s potential earnings.
Both Spindler and another witness, social media forensic expert Doug Bania, disagreed with actors whom Arnold called “similar” to Heard’s potential career path — which includes Gal Gadot, Ana de Armas, and Zendaya — by, among others, the higher “Q scores” and social media followings of those actors compared to Heard.
Psychiatrist Richard Shaw was called to refute the testimony of David Spiegel, a Virginia psychiatrist who testified that “Depp exhibited behavior consistent with substance use disorder and violence against intimate partners.”
Shaw testified that Spiegel violated the Goldwater Rule, an ethical guideline issued by the American Psychiatric Association, which states that psychiatrists should not give public opinion about the mental state of public figures.
The day concluded with two short testimonials about Heard’s charitable donations. Jennifer Howell, a former friend of Amber Heard’s sister, Whitney Henriquez, and the founder of a nonprofit called Art of Elysium, testified that Elon Musk made a $250,000 donation to her organization on Heard’s behalf. Candie Davidson-Goldbronn, a representative of the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, testified that Heard has not yet donated the $3.5 million she promised to the organization.
The testimony will continue on Wednesday.