Americas

Amber Heard calling Johnny Depp back to the stand could be ‘risky’: experts


Amber Heard calling Johnny Depp again to the stand might be a “risk” — partly due to how likable he was when he testified within the former couple’s bombshell defamation trial, authorized specialists advised The Post.

Sources near Heard advised The Post final week that the “Aquaman” actress’s authorized staff might plan to have Depp testify again as they argue her facet within the ongoing courtroom battle in Fairfax, Virginia.

But the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star, who has already testified for four days, got here throughout as plausible and likable to the jury, specialists mentioned — noting that giving him a second spherical on the stand would possibly harm Heard’s case.

“There is a risk that he is going to have more time being likable on the stand,” mentioned civil lawyer Katherine Lizardo, “when it’s actually Amber Heard’s time to present her case.”

Seattle defamation lawyer Bruce Johnson agreed Depp’s obvious likability might be an issue for Heard.

“That is a huge risk – if he’s a good witness and he’s going to perform well again,” Johnson advised The Post.

Halim Dhanidina – a former California decide and present legal protection lawyer – mentioned Depp’s “very unique personality” possible made him interesting to the jury the primary time round.

“He didn’t really strike me as someone who was putting on an act or fabricating,” Dhanidina mentioned. “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.”

Depp, 58, is suing his 36-year-old ex-wife, accusing her of defaming him when she referred to as herself “a public figure representing domestic abuse” in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed.

Amber Heard beforehand accused Johnny Depp’s authorized staff of modifying picture proof of the actor’s alleged bruise marks in his eyes.
JIM LO SCALZO/POOL/AFP by way of Getty Images

Heard has filed a $100 million countersuit claiming it was Depp who defamed her by accusing her of mendacity in regards to the alleged abuse.

Her facet is now presenting its case, wrapping up with Heard’s fourth day on the stand on Tuesday, and persevering with to name witnesses till closing arguments, anticipated May 27.

“Right now we are hearing Amber Heard’s … side of the story,” mentioned Lizardo, an lawyer who represents plaintiffs in civil fits.


Follow The Post’s live coverage of the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation trial


“To call her opponent to speak on your behalf sounds counterintuitive.”

Dhanidina famous that Depp might attempt to achieve the “advantage” if he will get an opportunity to handle the jury once more.

Actor Amber Heard testifies in the courtroom at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia, U.S., May 17, 2022.
Amber Heard’s authorized will reportedly ask for Johnny Depp to testify once more together with actress Ellen Barkin.
Brendan Smialowski/Pool by way of REUTERS

“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 previous decide mentioned. “It may be something that [Heard] does out of necessity but that [Depp] himself can benefit from.”

Jurors, nevertheless, wouldn’t be given an evidence as to why Depp is again on the stand, which might “confuse” them, Lizardo famous.

“Most of the time when you are doing cross examination it sounds hostile,” she defined. “A jury might think ‘Okay, he’s back on the stand. Are they badgering him again?’”

Johnson, the defamation lawyer, additionally mentioned that Heard’s staff must weigh whether or not calling Depp once more will stretch the jury’s consideration — as some jurors have reportedly been noticed dozing off whereas the trial stretches into its fifth week.

Actor Johnny Depp gestures as he departs the courtroom for a break during the Depp vs Heard defamation trial at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia, USA, 17 May 2022.
Seattle defamation lawyer Bruce Johnson anticipates Johnny Depp will “perform well again” on the stand it doesn’t matter what Amber Heard’s attorneys query him about.
EPA/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/POOL

“You are putting on a performance for a jury and you don’t want to drag it on for too long,” Johnson mentioned. “In any long trial that is a consideration.”

Some of the specialists, nevertheless, famous that Heard’s attorneys might attempt to get the higher hand over Depp whereas grilling him once more.

“I would suspect that they would want to cut [Depp] down to size,” Virginia defamation lawyer Jeremiah Denton advised The Post.

Johnny Depp demonstrates how he protected himself during an alleged attack from Amber Heard during a testimony on April 20, 2022.
Johnny Depp demonstrates how he protected himself throughout an alleged assault from Amber Heard throughout a sworn statement on April 20, 2022.
EVELYN HOCKSTEIN/POOL/AFP by way of Getty Images

“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,” Denton mentioned.

Dhanidina mentioned Heard’s legal professionals would possibly be capable to catch Depp off guard with their questions as they may possible “have new topics and new areas to cover,” together with matters they weren’t allowed to quiz him about first time round.

But the extra time Depp has on the stand, the extra alternative he has to slide up and contradict one thing he mentioned beforehand, the specialists all agreed.

Actor Johnny Depp testifies that a can of mineral spirits actress Amber Heard through, hit him there, in the courtroom at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia, April 25, 2022.
Attorney Katherine Lizardo predicts the jury will favor Johnny Depp as he continues to testify.
STEVE HELBER/POOL/AFP by way of Getty Images

“The more a witness talks the more likely it is they will be saying things that could be easily contradicted,” Johnson mentioned. “Even if they’re trying to be honest, we all have memory lapses.”

Dhanidina mentioned whereas he can’t predict which facet would profit extra from a second Depp stint on the stand: “Buckle up because it’s about to get really really interesting.”

“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,” Dhanidina mentioned. “And we don’t really know what we are going to get.”

Depp and Heard’s reps each declined to remark.



Source link

Back to top button