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Amber Heard’s now well-known opinion column on home violence was drafted for her, and the actress wished to incorporate particulars about her marriage towards authorized recommendation, a jury has been instructed – as extra particulars on the day Johnny Depp severed his finger had been additionally revealed in court docket.

Jurors within the libel lawsuit filed by Depp towards Heard listened to testimony from Terence Dougherty, common counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), who instructed the court docket {that a} employees member wrote the primary model of the Washington Submit article below the actress’s identify and that tweaks had been made to keep away from making a direct hyperlink to her ex-husband.

The op-ed, which was printed in December 2018, didn’t point out Depp by identify, however he has instructed the court docket it was clearly about him and that it has ruined his profession in Hollywood. Regardless of being the catalyst for this complete case, little or no testimony to date has associated to the column itself – however slightly the “cleaning soap opera” of the celebs’ private lives that Heard’s legal professionals predicted it will change into on the opening day.

Johnny Depp leaves the courtroom following the 11th day of testimony in his libel trial against ex-wife Amber Heard
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Johnny Depp is accusing Heard of defamation over the op-ed during which she claimed she was a sufferer of home abuse, regardless of the very fact it did not identify him

Mr Dougherty was the primary witness on the eleventh day of proof within the case, which additionally included testimony from Depp’s enterprise supervisor Edward White, his safety guard Malcolm Connolly, and chauffeur and assistant Starling Jenkins III.

Listed below are a few of the key moments from the eleventh day of testimony:

• The court docket was instructed particulars of how Amber Heard’s opinion column was written and who was concerned – and the way it was timed to coincide with the discharge of her hit movie Aquaman for optimum publicity
• Doubts had been forged about how a lot of her $7m divorce settlement, which she pledged to present to the ACLU and a kids’s hospital, will really go to the organisations
• Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk got here up in the course of the donation discussions, with Mr Dougherty saying he believed the billionaire contributed to Heard’s funds
• The jury heard particulars of Depp’s one-time $160,000 wine invoice – though it’s now stated to be nearer to zero
• Depp’s safety guard instructed the court docket he would generally see marks on Depp’s face, not Heard’s – and recognized one in a photograph
• Compensate for what has been stated to date in our dwell reporting of the trial because it occurs

The day began with Heard’s connection to the ACLU, and the court docket was instructed she was introduced as an envoy for the organisation on the similar time the Washington Submit article was printed.

Throughout his testimony, Mr Dougherty answered questions concerning the back-and-forth that occurred between the primary draft and publication of the column.

How was the Washington Submit op-ed put collectively?

Judge Penney Azcarate is presiding over the Johnny Depp v Amber Heard libel trial
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Decide Penney Azcarate is presiding over the trial

Mr Dougherty instructed the court docket that it was really an ACLU employees member who wrote a primary draft of the article and despatched it to Heard. “I attempted to collect your fireplace and rage and actually fascinating evaluation and form out into an op-ed type,” the employees member stated in an e mail.

Heard reviewed it together with her legal professionals and ACLU legal professionals additionally reviewed it at numerous phases – all to make sure it didn’t breach a non-disclosure settlement Heard had signed as a part of her divorce.

Throughout these discussions, Heard despatched again an edited model authorized by her legal professionals that “particularly neutered a lot of the copy concerning her marriage”, based on an e mail from one other ACLU worker who co-ordinated with the actress.

In response to the e-mail, Heard was on the lookout for a method to have a deleted passage restored to the article. Mr Dougherty testified that “the language that wound up within the last op-ed piece was very completely different from the unique language” within the draft.

It was additionally timed to coincide with the discharge of Aquaman, during which Heard-co-starred with Jason Momoa, to capitalise on publicity, the court docket heard.

The place did the $7m divorce settlement go?

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp pictured in January 2016, just a few months before their break-up. Pic: AP
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Amber Heard and Johnny Depp pictured in January 2016, only a few months earlier than their break-up. Pic: AP

Following Depp and Heard’s break-up, the actress pledged to separate her $7m divorce settlement between the ACLU and a kids’s hospital in Los Angeles.

Nonetheless, doubts had been forged concerning the donations, with the court docket listening to that the ACLU has to date solely acquired $1.3m of the $3.5m pledged; particulars for the hospital weren’t given.

Mr Dougherty testified that the organisation anticipated the cash to return in over a 10-year interval, however that Heard has made no contributions since 2018. Nonetheless, Heard’s lawyer identified that this coincides with Depp submitting the lawsuit towards her – an costly enterprise.

He additionally instructed the court docket he believed tech entrepreneur Elon Musk – who was in a relationship with Heard after her break up with Depp – had paid $500,000 of the $1.3m the organisation had acquired. “Sure, we do not know that with absolute certainty, however that’s our organisation’s understanding,” he stated.

‘It is all flapping round… I might see bone’

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Bodyguard describes aftermath of severed finger row

Regardless of the very fact he was discussing some severe incidents and allegations, safety guard Malcolm Connolly’s dwell video-link proof offered some lighter moments throughout Thursday’s court docket session.

He detailed what he noticed in March 2015 on the day he turned as much as Depp’s rented home in Australia and found the actor had severely wounded his finger – an damage the actor himself described as “grotesque” and which has come up a number of instances in the course of the trial already.

He instructed the court docket he arrived to “chaos” and that Heard was “screaming” and calling Depp, who was nursing his hand, a “f****** coward” as he left. He says he drove Depp to his personal condo and later they went to hospital.

The actor’s “finger was only a mess” and like a “cartoon”, he tells the court docket. “It is all flapping round… I might see bone.”

Requested by one among Heard’s authorized crew if Depp was making an attempt to urinate on the ground when he arrived on the home, Mr Connolly stated “no”. After it was put to him once more that the actor was making an attempt to urinate and “had his penis out”, he interrupted: “I believe I might bear in mind if I would seen Mr Depp’s penis” – which raised amusing from the actor and others within the courtroom.

‘He is walked right into a door, or a door’s walked into him’

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard pictured on their honeymoon on the Orient Express in 2015. Security guard Malcolm Connolly, who took the photo, says Depp has a bruise under his left eye
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Depp and Heard pictured on their honeymoon on the Orient Categorical in 2015

Mr Connolly instructed the court docket he by no means noticed any bodily accidents on Heard. Requested if he noticed any on Depp, he stated he had. It “began off with a scratch on occasion however it bought extra”, he instructed the jury.

Elaborating, Mr Connolly stated he noticed marks reminiscent of scratches, or a fats lip, or bruising across the eye socket.

“It was getting extra common. Not each week however it was undoubtedly taking place,” he stated.

The court docket was proven {a photograph} from Depp and Heard’s honeymoon on the Orient Categorical from Bangkok to Singapore. Mr Connolly stated he took the picture and that it reveals a swelling beneath Depp’s left eye.

“He is walked right into a door, or a door’s walked into him,” Mr Connolly stated, when requested what his interpretation of the swelling was.

Heard alleges Depp was violent on this journey, which he has denied.

Another factor we discovered on Day 11

Witness Edward White attends actor Johnny Depp's defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard, at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia, U.S., April 28, 2022. Michael Reynolds/Pool via REUTERS
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Witness Edward White takes care of Johnny Depp’s monetary affairs

Depp’s enterprise supervisor Edward White instructed the court docket when he began working with the actor in 2016, his monetary scenario was “difficult” however plans had been put in place to show issues spherical.

The court docket was instructed at one level in the direction of the top of his marriage to Heard, Depp had a $160,000 wine invoice – however this has shrunk to “just about zero” now.

When will Heard take the stand?

In response to Courtroom TV, which is filming the trial dwell, Heard is anticipated to start her testimony subsequent week – which is sensible as that’s the midway level.

Additionally they say that star witnesses who had been set to testify – reminiscent of Musk, James Franco and Paul Bettany – could not be showing.

Depp v Heard: The background

Depp is suing his ex-wife for $50m (£38.2m), over the opinion piece she wrote for the the Washington Submit in 2018 which his legal professionals say falsely implies he bodily and sexually abused her. Heard has issued a counterclaim for $100m (£76.4m).

The previous couple began relationship after assembly on the set of the 2011 movie The Rum Diary and married in Los Angeles in February 2015.

Learn extra:
The UK trial towards The Solar – what occurred?

Why are Depp and Heard in court docket once more?

Heard’s Washington Submit article didn’t point out Depp by identify however was titled: “I spoke up towards sexual violence – and confronted our tradition’s wrath.” Depp has instructed the court docket that it’s clear the article is about him and that he desires to clear his identify.

The trial in Fairfax County, Virginia, has now been working for 3 weeks and is scheduled to final six weeks in whole, with every week’s break in Might.

Within the opening statements, the actor’s legal professionals stated his ex was getting ready for “the efficiency of a lifetime” in the course of the trial, whereas her authorized crew stated the case would expose the “actual” individual behind the “fame” and “pirate costumes”.

The trial doesn’t sit on Fridays, so continues on Monday.

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