Johnny Depp’s lawyer urged the jury on Friday to convict his ex-wife Amber Heard of defamation over the domestic violence allegations and to give the actor his “life” back.
“What is at stake in this trial is a man’s good name,” Camille Vasquez said in closing arguments at the courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia, near the US capital.
“We ask that you give Mr. Depp his life back, tell the world that Mr. Depp is not the abuser that Ms. Heard said he was, and hold him accountable for his lies,” Vasquez said.
“The evidence presented in this trial has shown that Miss Heard is the abuser,” he added. “She was violent, abusive and cruel.”
Lawyers for the two sides are presenting their closing arguments after six weeks of mutual accusations of domestic violence between the couple.
Jury begins deliberation
Judge Penney Azcarate handed over the case to a seven-person jury on Friday afternoon. The jury will have the weekend and Monday off, a holiday, and will resume deliberations on Tuesday.
Depp, 58, sued Heard over an op-ed the actress published in The Washington Post in December 2018, in which she described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.”
Although the Aquaman star actress did not name him in the article, Depp, a three-time Oscar nominee, sued her for implying he was an abuser and is seeking $50 million in damages.
Heard, 36, has filed a counterclaim for $100 million, alleging “rampant physical violence and abuse.”
Dozens of witnesses testified during the trial, including bodyguards, Hollywood executives, agents, entertainment industry insiders, psychiatrists, doctors, friends and family.
Heard and Depp were married from 2015 to 2017. In May 2016, the actress obtained a restraining order against her then-husband, alleging domestic violence.
The actor filed a libel suit in London against The Sun tabloid for calling him a “wife beater”. In November 2020 he lost the case.
Both allege damage to their Hollywood careers.
Heard’s legal team brought in an entertainment industry expert who estimated the actress has lost between $45 million and $50 million in film and television roles and promotions.
An industry insider hired by Depp’s lawyers said the actor lost millions due to the abuse allegations, including a $22.5 million payout for a sixth installment of Pirates of the Caribbean.