Johnny Depp’s snickering and seemingly irreverent conduct in courtroom may probably jeopardize his $50million defamation trial in opposition to ex-wife Amber Heard, in response to authorized analysts.
The Pirates of the Caribbean star has gained the hearts of supporters and followers on social media who appeared to be charmed by his tongue-in-cheek remarks and conduct all through the high-profile trial.
However authorized specialists warn that Depp’s ‘smartass’ feedback – together with joking about his consuming – may make him look ‘unsympathetic’ to those that will truly be deciding his destiny: the jury.
The actor’s laughing and joking throughout Heard’s testimony may make him much less ‘likable’, two prime defamation attorneys in Virginia, the place the case is being held, instructed DailyMail.com.
Additionally they predicted that either side may probably lose their instances as a result of neither has met the usual for defamation but.
Authorized specialists say Johnny Depp is probably jeopardizing his $100million defamation trial in opposition to ex-wife Amber Heard along with his conduct in courtroom
Depp’s tongue-in-cheek remarks and suits of laughter may very well be off-putting and paint him as ‘unlikable’ or ‘unsympathetic’ to a jury, attorneys instructed DailyMail.com. Pictured: Spectators within the gallery at Fairfax County Circuit Court docket final week
The trial, which is being held at Fairfax County Court docket, is presently on a break for per week, however returns on Monday when Heard, 36, will proceed giving proof.
Depp, 58, is suing his ex-wife for $50million over a 2018 Washington Put up op-ed wherein she claimed she was a sufferer of home abuse. Though the piece didn’t identify Depp, he alleges it price him $40million in appearing jobs together with his iconic function as Captain Jack Sparrow within the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
Heard, 36, in the meantime, is countersuing for $100million, claiming Depp’s allegations have smeared her and destroyed her profession.
Over the primary 4 weeks of the case the jury has heard explosive testimony together with claims that Depp headbutted Heard and sexually assaulted her with a bottle.
The trial has additionally seen some moments of comedian aid on the stand because of minor gaffes from witnesses and even Depp himself.
At one level in his testimony when requested about his consuming habits, Depp quipped: ‘Is not glad hour any time?’
He has additionally been seen shaking his head dismissively, and snickering and laughing at a few of Heard’s claims in courtroom.
However in response to Virginia lawyer Lee Berik, the Hollywood star may very well be sabotaging his case along with his laughter whereas Heard was giving grueling and emotional testimony.
‘In Fairfax, Virginia we do not get numerous celeb trials,’ Berik instructed DailyMail.com.
Depp was seen laughing throughout the cross-examination of his bodyguard final week after the witness was requested if he had ever seen the actor’s penis
Depp has been seen shaking his head dismissively, and snickering and laughing at a few of Heard’s claims in courtroom
Depp additionally made various flippant remarks throughout his testimony earlier within the trial. At one level when requested about his consuming habits, Depp quipped: ‘Is not glad hour any time?’
‘In a traditional case the place no one is aware of the events and you’ve got anyone suing his spouse for $100million, you do not wish to see that individual laughing and chuckling to himself and making smartass feedback on the witness stand.
‘You need the jury to sympathize together with your shopper they usually must be likable for that. When you’re appearing like that is simply enjoyable and video games that would flip lots of people off.
‘However I do not know the way Johnny Depp being Johnny Depp modifications that. Regular individuals aren’t met by 100 screaming followers as they enter the courtroom. I believe it’s going to flip some individuals on the jury off however will it flip all of them off?
He continued: ‘Amber Heard was sitting up straight and centered on Depp and making a impartial expression however on-line individuals have been saying she’s giving him the evil eye.’
Alternatively, Steven Krieger, a lawyer primarily based in Virginia who handles defamation instances, stated that Heard’s stoic disposition may trigger her issues too.
He stated: ‘It would not shock me if there was no less than one juror who discovered every of their reactions to be inappropriate or not credible or ultimately damaging.
‘As for Depp, you do not wish to seem to a jury that you just’re making jokes, snickering, or not taking this significantly.
‘As for Heard, you do not wish to be staring straight forward with a deadpan expression in your face. Each ought to be attempting to seem sympathetic, humane, and just like the sufferer.
Amber Heard broke down on the stand final Thursday as she detailed how Johnny Depp sexually assaulter her with a liquor bottle in March 2015 in Australia at their rented house
As for Heard, the authorized specialists instructed DailyMail.com, she ought to keep away from ‘staring straight forward with a deadpan expression’ as she was at occasions seen doing earlier than taking the stand final week
Authorized analysts stated that Amber Heard’s stoic disposition throughout proceedings may presumably damage her case as properly
‘When you’re attempting to arrange your shoppers for a jury trial you wish to have some bodily disposition in between what each of them have been doing.’
The case has generated vital media consideration because of the explosive claims levied by either side.
However Berik instructed DailyMail.com he consider either side may lose their claims as a result of every have but to satisfy the required threshold.
Ought to the jury discover ‘only a single act of abuse by Johnny Depp in opposition to Amber Heard’ and if they’re doing their jobs correctly, they might probably discover her op-ed was truthful, and Depp would then probably lose his case.
‘Most of what I am listening to up to now is about all types of particulars about all types of incidents with fingers getting chopped off and other people pooping in beds and doing cocaine,’ Berik stated.
‘However if you learn the op-ed there’s not rather a lot in there and I might anticipate Heard’s lawyer to instruct the jury very rigorously about what this case is basically about.’
Depp and Heard are seen in September 2015 in Venice, Italy. Either side have employed scorched-earth ways because the explosive swimsuit was first filed
Berik stated that Heard’s lawsuit was a ‘kneejerk response’ that was primarily based on feedback by Depp’s lawyer that appeared like a denial of her op-ed.
As Berik sees it, the feedback cited in Heard’s counterclaim do not need the ‘identical sting as an actual defamatory remark.’
He stated that if the jury seems to be previous the celeb individuals then ‘either side will stroll away empty handed.’
‘I do not suppose both aspect will get something,’ he added.
Krieger additionally believes each Depp and Heard have ‘very tough defamation instances to win’.
Depp bears the burden of proof on this case and has to persuade the jury he was not abusive, that means he successfully has to show a damaging.
‘How do you show a damaging? It’s extremely difficult,’ Krieger stated.
Then there’s the issue of how you’re employed out what the damages may very well be, assuming one celebration wins.
Krieger stated: ‘A part of Depp’s damages may very well be the cash he misplaced for shedding his function in Pirates of the Caribbean, however there’s additionally presumed damages to your popularity if Depp can show that the statements negatively influence him in his career.
‘Nevertheless, if his popularity was already broken due to his substance abuse points or the rest happening in his life, then it is unclear how a lot additional injury was achieved by the defamatory statements.
‘The fact is you’ll be able to solely show reputational injury if you happen to had a constructive popularity to start with.’
Depp sued his ex-wife Amber Heard for libel in Fairfax County Circuit Court docket after she wrote an op-ed piece in The Washington Put up in 2018 referring to herself as a ‘public determine representing home abuse’
Authorized specialists consider each Depp and Heard have ‘very tough defamation instances to win’. Pictured: Decide Penney Azcarate who’s presiding over the trial
One difficulty being mentioned amongst those that observe the case is how the jury will react to proof that Heard, who has claimed to be a sufferer of abuse, hit Depp.
Among the many materials performed to the jury was an audio recording the place she admits to ‘hitting’ Depp however denies ‘punching’ him.
Depp, in his proof, described how Heard as soon as punched him within the face – an act she claims was in protection of her sister.
Krieger stated that this may very well be a ‘mitigating issue’ for the jury however admits that even when the jury finds Heard was additionally abusive, they may nonetheless resolve in her favor.
‘If the jury finds that she beat him up, it undoubtedly may muddy the waters as a result of a jury could resolve that Amber’s testimony about how she was abused is much less credible if she’s additionally abused Johnny,’ he defined.
‘The jury should resolve who’s extra credible they usually could throw up their arms and say, “we will not determine it out”, which might successfully imply that the plaintiff hadn’t met his burden of proof.’
The identical jury of seven folks that decides the case should resolve what damages to award Depp or Heard, ought to they discover of their favor.
However there’s little assure of what that cash may very well be – if something in any respect.
Berik stated: ‘Actually, they will do no matter they wish to do. Perhaps it is going to be primarily based on a calculation with scientific precision. Typically it is going to be primarily based on what their intestine tells them.
‘Because of this jury trials are dangerous,’ he added.
And in response to Berik, regardless of the consequence, the case will nearly actually be appealed to the Virginia Supreme Court docket – that means it will probably not be the final you hear about Depp vs Heard.