Johnny Depp Lawyer Says Actor’s Homicidal Texts About Amber Heard Were Modeled on the Writings of ‘Literary Giants’

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Johnny Depp’s lawyer traced the actor’s thoughts and disturbing texts presented in his defamation trial against Amber Heard to the late novelist Hunter S. Thompson and other “literary giants” in her closing arguments Friday before the case was sent to jury.

Camille Vasquez asserted that the Depp texts that have been presented by Heard’s team during the six-week trial should not be taken at face value.

“Ms. Heard has shown you a lot of text messages from Mr. Depp with some very vivid language,” Vasquez said. “As I told you at the start of this trial, Mr. Depp has a unique style of writing. He uses words I don’t use and you probably don’t use either.

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“But as you also heard during this trial, Mr. Depp writes that way, in part, because he models his writings on literary giants like Hunter S. Thompson,” Vasquez remarked, after which Heard could be seen smirking, covering her forehead with her palm and scratching her eyebrow.

“And he’s got a dark sense of humor. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea. But it’s who he is.”

Heard’s attorneys presented some of the text messages last month during testimony from Depp, as the focus of cross-examination turned to the “Pirates” actor’s drug use and texts he sent referring to Heard as an “idiot cow,” “worthless hooker” and “filthy whore.”

In the cross-examination, Heard lawyer J. Benjamin Rottenborn also showed texts from a 2013 exchange between Depp and actor Paul Bettany. Depp told the court he and Bettany were friends and they did cocaine together.

In one text exchange with Bettany, Depp wrote: “Let’s burn Amber!!!”

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Bettany responded: “Having thought it through I don’t think we should burn Amber …”

Depp texted: “Let’s drown her before we burn her!!! I will f— her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure she’s dead.”

Other Depp texts were presented in the testimony of friend and neighbor Isaac Baruch.

“Hopefully that c—‘s rotting corpse is decomposing in the f—–g trunk of a Honda Civic!!” another homicidal-themed text of Depp’s said.

On Friday, Vasquez said that Depp “owns his text messages.”

“He acknowledges he said those things, and he said things that he shouldn’t have,” Vasquez said. “But using bad language and colorful humor does not mean you are a violent abuser.”

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Heard then appeared to vehemently disagree with Vasquez, going beyond just a hand gesture to turning toward someone behind her and smiling with a look of disbelief before mouthing words in that direction. Heard seemed to be reacting with some of Depp’s testimony in mind in which he denied knowledge of texts that were presented, including a message about sex with a woman that read: “I NEED. I WANT. I TAKE.”

“Sometimes you give your phone to people and they text from it,” Depp had testified in response.

While Vasquez said Friday that Depp was inspired in his violent texts by Thompson, the writer who pioneered “gonzo journalism” is more known for his glorification of drugs and alcohol, Depp’s abuse of which also took center stage in the trial.

“We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold,” famously begins the Thompson novel “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” later made into a 1998 movie starring Depp.

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Thompson’s first novel, “The Rum Diary” was also made into a movie starring Depp that was released in 2011. Heard starred in the film, too — they met during the production of it.

But much of Thompson’s prose indeed moved past the subject of living fast on drugs and alcohol to death, including a poignant line from another one of his books: “Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.”

Thompson, 67, killed himself in 2005 with a gun shot to the head at his home near Aspen, Colorado.

In other remarks Friday, both sides further put forth their client’s innocence.

“There is an abuser in this courtroom, but it is not Mr. Depp,” Vasquez said. “Mr. Depp experienced persistent verbal, physical and emotional abuse by Ms. Heard.”

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Rottenborn stressed to the jury that all it takes to vindicate his client is the belief that Depp was guilty of just a single one of Heard’s accusations.

“If Amber was abused by Mr. Depp even one time, then she wins,” Rottenborn told the court. “We’re not just talking about physical abuse. We’re talking about emotional abuse, psychological abuse, financial abuse, sexual abuse.”

On Thursday, Heard was visibly emotional as she spoke on the stand about the “harassment, the humiliation, the campaign against me that’s echoed every single day on social media and now in front of cameras, in this room.” Depp offered a counter perspective, claiming Heard has a “need” for dissension and asserting that she injured his fingers during an argument.

Depp, 58, initially sued his ex-wife for $50 million for a 2018 op-ed she penned in “The Washington Post” in which she referred to herself as a domestic abuse survivor. Depp was not mentioned by name in the column, though he alleged that she defamed him as the accusations she wrote about took place during their marriage. Heard, 36. subsequently filed a counter-suit for $100 million.

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Over the course of the trial, both legal teams have attempted to paint a picture of coordinated campaigns, deceit, and embellishments orchestrated by the other with each side hurling various accusations of abuse against the other.

Jenyne Donaldson contributed to this report.