Amber Heard exits a building and the wind blows her hair, wearing a black shirt and multiple necklaces.

Unsealed Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard Court Documents Shed New Light on Trial

The Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard defamation case concluded on June 1, 2022, but it still seems far from over. The case arose when Depp sued Heard for $50 million, alleging she had defamed him by writing an op-ed for The Washington Post in which she stated she was a victim of sexual and domestic abuse. While Depp was not named, his team claimed it was obvious the article was about him and that it negatively impacted his reputation and career. Heard then countersued Depp for $100 million, alleging he and his lawyers defamed her by calling her abuse allegations a hoax. Both Depp and Heard have accused each other of being the abuser in the relationship.

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The case came along after Depp previously sued The Sun in the U.K., for calling him a wife-beater, and lost, after the court found he did abuse Heard in 12 incidents. Ultimately, in the case over Heard’s op-ed, the court ruled in favor of both Depp and Heard, with Heard being found liable in 3 matters of defamation and Depp being found liable in 1 matter of defamation. Shortly after the verdict, Heard’s team called for a mistrial when it was revealed an individual sat on the jury whom was not summoned for the case. This motion was rejected by the court.

Now, both Heard and Depp have officially appealed the verdicts. Heard appealed the verdict first, while Depp quickly followed suit and appealed the verdict in Heard’s countersuit. This means the verdict will be reviewed and will either be affirmed or reversed. In the case of a reversal, there could be yet another trial. Meanwhile, court documents have been unsealed in the case and hold some pretty shocking new information, most of which doesn’t reflect well on Depp.

Depp wanted to use nudes, relationship history as “evidence”

One of the most disturbing revelations was that Depp allegedly wanted to use Heard’s nudes as evidence in the trial. In the pretrial documents, Heard’s team had asked the judge to exclude a number of irrelevant personal matters that Depp was seemingly going to use as evidence. This included nude photos of Heard, Heard’s relationship history, and Heard’s brief stint as an exotic dancer. Apparently, Depp was also attempting to make some frivolous claim that Heard had been an escort in the past.

Not only that, but Depp also tried to make another frivolous claim that Heard was somehow involved in the death of one of her friends. Depp’s team had apparently questioned Heard’s sister, Whitney Henriquez, about Heard’s late friend Logan, who died in a car accident as a teenager. In the interview, Depp’s team pressed Henriquez repeatedly about whether Heard was romantically involved with Logan or was with Logan the day he died. Henriquez gave a resounding “no” to each question, but Depp’s team continued to insinuate that Heard was somehow involved.

Needless to say, nudes, past relationships, being a dancer, and losing a friend are not in any way evidence. The attempts to use them as such, however, are evidence of a deep maliciousness on Depp’s side and desire to further publicly humiliate and shame Heard. Attempting to get your ex’s nudes displayed to an entire courtroom is about as low as you can get, regardless of what you think of them. It’s also just plain sad that Depp’s team thinks women who have been in relationships or worked as exotic dancers should be shamed. As for bringing up an unrelated death and Heard’s supposed involvement—that’s Depp’s team completely grasping at straws.

Depp’s alleged evidence tampering

johnny depp
(John Phillips/Getty Images)

The most damning revelation was that there are strong indications that Depp tampered with evidence. This included him seemingly deleting a text message that had previously been used against him in his trial with The Sun. The text was a message from Depp’s assistant, Stephen Deuters, to Heard that seemed to confirm an incident in which Depp kicked Heard. Dueters wrote, “Unfortunately for me, I remember them in full, in full detail, everything that happened. He was appalled, when I told him he kicked you, he cried.” However, this text mysteriously disappeared from Depp’s iCloud, indicating he deleted it, and it was deemed missing and unusable in this trial.

Additionally, Depp appeared to have tampered with audio tapes and photos that he submitted as evidence. During the trial, Depp used multiple partial audio tapes that cut off or started mid-sentence. In one case, the tape showed it was created in 2015, and modified in 2016. Depp provided only the modified version. Heard’s team asked for the full tapes to be released, but their motions were denied. Meanwhile, the photos Depp provided that allegedly showed scratches and bruises on him from Heard, also showed modifications in their metadata.

According to Yahoo, Julian Ackert, a forensic expert at iDiscovery Solutions, reviewed the metadata of Depp’s “evidence” and found numerous anomalies in it that called its authenticity into question. Some lacked creation dates and most had modification dates present. Meanwhile, Ackert found the photos Heard submitted of her injuries to be originals and testified to that effect during the trial. Ackert’s assessment of Depp’s evidence hadn’t been made public until now, but he still presented his opinion on the matter to the court, officially, under penalty of perjury.

Heard is the one that has been widely touted as a liar, yet she could produce original evidence while Depp was seemingly allowed to provide partial and modified evidence, as well as to delete damning evidence that was presented against him previously.

Depp fought to exclude … basically everything

Also within the unsealed files was a mountain of evidence that Depp fought to have excluded from the trial. Depp fought hard to have his vile text messages with Paul Bettany excluded from the trial, as well as incriminating text exchanges with Marilyn Manson. He also fought to block the testimonies of psychiatrist Dr. David Spiegel and psychologist Dr. Dawn M. Hughes, who both testified about Heard’s trauma and PTSD from Depp’s abuse. Of course, Depp also sought to block Ackert’s testimony about the tampered evidence, as well as the testimony of Dr. Amy Banks, who alleged Heard was a victim of domestic abuse.

Exclusion of divorce proceedings, Manson texts

Marilyn Manson wears sunglasses, red lipstick, and a leather jacket in front of a red carpet backdrop reading "Heaven is Rock"
(Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

One piece of evidence that was successfully excluded from the trial was discussion of Depp and Heard’s divorce proceedings. Basically, there is evidence Heard walked away from millions in her divorce with Depp. Legally, she was entitled to half of the income received from Depp’s involved in the 5th Pirates of the Caribbean film. This is because he filmed it during their marriage, making it a community property asset. However, Heard refused to claim it, despite her lawyers pushing her to take it.

It’s strange this part of the divorce proceedings was excluded, but it was permissible for Heard to be drilled about her pledge to donate her divorce proceedings. It certainly made Heard seem greedy by not sharing the full story. After all, it is much more believable that she is still working on donating the $7 million because she clearly already showed it wasn’t about the money by leaving millions more on the table.

The judge also did grant Depp’s team’s motion to dismiss his text exchanges with Marilyn Manson. The texts were very bizarre and crude, and included discussions of their respective relationships and also racial slurs from Manson. However, they were dismissed, as the judge didn’t want to perpetuate a “guilty by association” mindset, seeing how Manson is also now facing a slew of disturbing allegations against him.

Depp refused to allege harm or provide instances of abuse

The allegation that Heard was the true abuser in the relationship played a huge role in the trial. Yet, Depp confirmed he wasn’t alleging harm. With Depp’s abuse claims, he was called to take a mental examination. However, his team stepped in, opposing it. According to them, it wasn’t necessary, “Because Mr. Depp is not alleging harm based on a specific physical or mental injury.” Depp basically confirmed he wasn’t asserting that Heard’s actions had ever specifically caused him injury or emotional distress.

Additionally, Heard’s team demanded that Depp provide specific information on every incident of abuse from Heard. Depp would’ve had to provide dates, times, and locations of every incident in which he claimed Heard had abused him. However, Depp’s team refused, stating it was “irrelevant, immaterial, or unnecessary” evidence.

This is somewhat understandable, as Depp was suing Heard for defamation, not abuse. Yet, the idea that Heard was, in fact, the abuser was still a component of Depp’s defense. It seems very contradictory to assert that he wasn’t alleging harm, yet went on to claim during trial that Heard abused him. It also seems unfair that Heard was expected to recall every single detail of her incidents of abuse and be drilled about time, place, and location, and attacked for the slightest inconsistencies. Yet, Depp refused to provide any specifics of Heard’s alleged abuse and is still believed.

What do Depp fans think now?

To summarize, it seems very possible that Depp lied and that he explicitly tampered with and deleted evidence. He also refused to provide any specific instances of abuse, or to even allege abuse. Not only that, but he showed a very sick and twisted thought process by trying to use Heard’s nudes as evidence. Additionally, he seemed very fearful of Heard’s case, desperately pushing for every ounce of evidence to be blocked that supported her testimony. All of this seems very contradictory to the victim and saint his fans have consistently painted him as.

Ironically enough, it was actually Depp’s fans that paid for the court records to be unsealed in the first place. They did so in their never-ending quest to dig up anything that would help them continue their smear campaign against Heard. Now that they have unearthed Depp’s misdeeds, instead, things have gone oddly quiet.

Now, there’s strong evidence that Depp is the liar who gave the performance of his life. However, his fans still seem to be ignoring this, as they’re more concerned about the paintings he put on sale two days ago, from which he almost instantaneously earned $3.6 million. It’s a stark contrast to how the media reacted when mere rumors of Heard lying arose. Heard will likely never recover from the wave of hatred and backlash against her for allegedly lying, but when Depp lies, he can still expect his devoted and loyal fans to pay him millions for a painting and to continue to sweep his dirt back under the rug.

(via: Yahoo! News, featured image: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.