Fall Church, Virginia –
A hand surgeon testified on Monday that Johnny Depp couldn’t lose the tip of his middle finger the way he told jurors it happened in his civil lawsuit against his ex-wife, Amber Heard.
The finger injury, which occurred in the March 2015 battle in Australia between Depp and Heard, was one of the many main points of contention in the lawsuit. Deep says he was injured when Heard threw a bottle of vodka at him. Heard said she never saw exactly how it happened, but it did happen one night when an angry Depp sexually assaulted her with a bottle of alcohol.
Deb Heard is suing for defamation in Fairfax County Court over an op-ed she wrote in December 2018 in the Washington Post describing herself as a “public figure who represents domestic violence.” His lawyers say the article defamed him even though he never mentioned his name.
Depp has denied that he ever hit Heard, and says she was the abusive in the relationship. Heard has testified about more than a dozen separate cases of physical abuse she said she suffered at the hands of Depp.
In his testimony on Monday, surgeon Richard Moore testified about the severed finger while jurors saw horrific images of the injury. He said Depp described his palm being on a rod when the bottle hit him.
Moore, who did not treat Depp, testified that Depp’s description was unlikely, largely because his nails remained intact. Moore said the fingernail was exposed, as Depp described his hand position, and it could have been damaged. Moore also said there could have been other cuts on the rest of his hand from the glass that shattered on impact.
While Depp told the jury that Heard cut his finger by tossing a bottle of vodka, at the time of the accident he told people and texted that he had done it to himself. He once said his finger was pressed between solid accordion doors.
Now Depp says he lied to protect Heard. Moore testified that finger pressure in the accordion doors would be consistent with the injury.
The trial is now in its sixth week. Monday’s testimony was relatively ordinary in a trial that provided an ugly glimpse into the couple’s toxic relationship. There was an expectation that Heard’s lawyers would summon Depp to the stand on Monday, but that didn’t happen. Heard’s attorney, Elaine Breedhoft, said at the end of Monday that they were still debating whether to contact him.
The jurors had already heard from both Depp and Heard extensively – they had each been on the podium for four days, undergoing arduous interrogations.
Also Monday, a psychiatrist testified that Depp’s behavior fit the pattern of a person whose drug and alcohol use contributes to domestic violence.
Depp’s attorney, Wayne Denison, questioned the ethics and credibility of the psychiatrist’s opinions, given that he had never conducted an examination of Depp.
Later on Monday, Denison extensively questioned another Heard witness, entertainment expert Katherine Arnold, about her assertion that Heard lost anywhere between $40 million to $50 million when Depp’s latest lawyer called Heard’s allegations of abuse a “hoax.” Heard has filed a counter-suit against Depp based on those statements.
Arnold said she benchmarked Heard’s career against “similar” stars such as Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa and Zendaya to show where Heard’s career would have been had it not been marred by Depp’s lawyer Adam Waldman.
Denison, in his cross-examination, ridiculed the idea that Heard was in the same league as these stars. He also rejected Heard’s role as Mira in the “Aquaman” superhero movie franchise, saying the sequel to “Aquaman” is more like a “friends comedy” than a movie that will feature Heard as a romantic heroine.
Arnold insisted that Heard “was on the brink of a great career”.
The trial attracted increasing interest from the public due to its duration. People camped all night and squabbled over places in line as they scrambled for one of the 100 seats in a courtroom reserved for the public. During her morning break, a woman professed her love for Depp and asked when he would admit he was the father of the child she was carrying in her arms.
She was taken out of the courtroom.