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Content warning: This story discusses sexual assault and abuse.
On May 27, attorneys for both parties presented closing arguments in a Virginia courtroom.
Depp's attorney Camille Vasquez pointed out to the jury that it was exactly six years ago that Heard filed for a protective order against the Pirates of the Caribbean star, revealing her domestic abuse allegations to the public for the first time.
"Today, on May 27, 2022, exactly six years later we ask you to give Mr. Depp his life back by telling the world that Mr. Depp is not the abuser Ms. Heard said he is and hold Ms. Heard accountable for her lies," Vasquez said. "What is at stake in this trial is a man's good name. Even more, what is at stake at this trial is a man's life, the life that he lost when he was accused of a heinous crime." (For more shocking revelations from the trial, click here.)
During her arguments, Vasquez called Heard the abuser and accused the Aquaman actress of lying about injuries and photos of alleged abuse at the hands of Depp.
"The photos captured what she wanted them to see: an image of a battered woman," Vasquez said after accusing Heard of setting up the media scene outside the courthouse the day she asked for a restraining order (a claim Heard denies). "What the paparazzi didn't know is the dark mark on her face mysteriously appeared six days after seeing Mr. Depp. It was a lie. She knew it. Mr. Depp knew it. And the multiple witnesses you heard from knew it."
Vasquez told the jury that there wasn't one recording they heard in six weeks of testimony that included Depp admitting to hitting or punching Heard. Depp's attorney also said that Heard took on "the role of a lifetime" as a domestic abuse survivor.
"She told you what she thinks you need to hear to convict this man as a domestic abuser and rapist," Vasquez said. "She wants you to believe she was abused countless times over the course of their relationship. But as [Depp's attorney] Benjamin Chew and I promised you, the evidence just doesn't bear that out."
Instead, Vasquez said Heard and her team presented a "mountain of unproved allegations" that are "implausible."
When Chew took over closing arguments, he told the jury that while the #MeToo movement is important, it's meant for "true survivors of abuse, not Ms. Heard."
Later in the day, Heard's attorney Benjamin Rottenborn began his closing arguments. While the case is about Heard and Depp, Rottenborn argued that this decision could have an impact on other domestic abuse victims.
"Think about the message that Mr. Depp and his attorneys are sending to Amber, and by extension to every victim of domestic abuse everywhere," he said. "If you didn't take pictures, it didn't happen. If you did take pictures, they're fake. If you didn't tell your friends, you're lying. If you did tell your friends, they're part of the hoax."
"If you didn't seek medical treatment, you weren't injured," he continued. "If you did seek medical treatment, you're crazy. If you do everything that you can to help your spouse, the person you love, rid himself of the crushing drug and alcohol abuse that spins him into rage filled monster, you're a nag."
He also reminded the jury of the original December 2018 op-ed Heard wrote for the Washington Post. In the essay, Heard described herself as a "public figure representing domestic abuse." Although the article never mentioned Depp by name, the actor claimed in court documents that Heard concocted her story in the hopes of generating "positive publicity" and to "advance her career."
According to Rottenborn, Heard's purpose in writing the column was to promote legislative measures designed to protect victims of domestic abuse and "designed to protect people who did exactly what Heard did: to speak out."
"Keep in mind that if Ms. Heard wanted to be malicious for Mr. Depp, the article would be very different," Rottenborn added.
Finally, Heard's attorney said in his closing arguments that if the actress was abused physically, verbally or emotionally just once, she wins.
"They're trying to trick you that Amber has to be perfect in order to win...don't fall for that trick," he said. "Amber's not perfect, none of us are. She's never pretended to be and that's not what you're being asked to decide."
"The facts are absolutely overwhelming of abuse," he added. "One time, that's all you have to remember. Mr. Depp simply cannot prove to you that he never once abused Amber...A ruling against Amber here sends a message that no matter what you do as an abuse victim, you always have to do more."
After a lunch break, Depp's attorney, Vasquez, took up rebuttal closing arguments and accused Heard of changing her story as time goes on.
"She has come too far, she can't back down," Vasquez said. "She's lied too many times to too many people." She also pushed back against Heard's legal team invoking Heard's First Amendment right to publish her 2018 opinion editorial.
"The First Amendment doesn't protect lies that hurt and defame people," Vasquez said. "And there's a difference. Ms. Heard has no right to tell the world that Mr. Depp physically or sexually assaulted her when that isn't true."
But when Heard's attorney, Rottenborn, had his rebuttal, he urged the jury to "give Amber Heard her voice back" in their decision.
"We ask, ladies and gentleman, that you hold Mr. Depp accountable for his actions," he said. "Stand up for victims of domestic abuse everywhere who are suffering in silence. Stand up for freedom of speech."
This post was first published on Friday, May 27, 2022 at 10:47 a.m. PST and updated with additional testimony.
For more information on domestic abuse or to get help for yourself or someone you love, visit the website for The National Domestic Violence Hotline (http://www.thehotline.org/) or call 1-800-799-7233.