Unsealed pre-trail court documents of over 6,000 pages have the internet dissecting and taking ‘sides’ once again. The unsealed documents are those which were not permitted to be used in court by Judge Penney Azcarate.
Though the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation trail reached a verdict, one they both are appealing, new information has come to light. Depp sued his ex-wife Heard for defamation regarding a 2018 op-ed in which she described herself as a ‘public figure representing domestic abuse’ but did not name Depp specifically. The jury concluded that the op-ed did impact his reputation negatively causing him to lose work and as such, Depp was rewarded $15 million (now reduced to $10.35 million because of Virginia law. The jury also awarded Heard $2 million for false claims Depp’s lawyer made against her.
Judge Azcarate ordered the documents to be unsealed in July after the conclusion of the trial, stating, “In this matter, both litigants sued one another, thereby opening themselves up to the public forum of a jury trial. Court records are public information.”
The hashtag, “#AmberHeardDeservesAnApology,” trended across social media over the weekend.
Shocking allegations resurfaced from the unsealed documents.
- Depp’s team inappropriately attempted to submit Heard’s nudes into evidence with the information that she briefly worked at a strip club before her career in Hollywood.
- Depp’s team allegedly submitted altered and manipulated photographs of his injuries, which included altered metadata.
- Depp’s team allegedly intentionally manipulated audio tape recordings of conversations between Depp and Heard and refused to provide recordings which were not altered or edited. The metadata of these records also confirmed their manipulation.
- Depp’s team challenged an expert testimony from an extremely qualified psychiatrist to be denied in which it was concluded that, “Amber was a victim of domestic violence at the hands of Mr. Depp.” Heard had revealed to the psychiatrist with Depp present that he was abusing her and that she would fight back against his abuse.
- Depp’s team allegedly hid evidence involving Depp’s lawyer, Adam Waldman intimidating a witness into signing a pre-written declaration that she had never seen any injuries on Amber and allegedly threatened her with “negative consequences if she did not cooperate with him.”
- Depp’s team blocked a declaration from Depp’s former agent, Tracy Jacobs in which she shared Depp’s “serious and worsening drug and alcohol use, lateness and not showing up at all in filming, and movie studios’ unhappiness with Mr. Depp.” Such behaviour was allegedly a common occurrence even during the Pirates 5 filming and Disney told Jacobs that “the conduct was not ‘going to be tolerated,’ Disney was ‘not going to put up with this,’ and that ‘there was no love between Johnny and Disney, given that Pirates five situation.”
- Depp’s team allegedly also tried to seal Depp’s own declaration that Amber Heard did not cause him “physical or mental injury”.
With the new documents being unsealed, many are calling for a retrial, but that is very unlikely. Because of U.S double jeopardy laws, After an acquittal or conviction, and in some cases, after prosecutorial or judicial misconduct in the same jurisdiction, double jeopardy prevents an accused person from repeating the same (or similar) charges.
Image Credit: Amber Heard Twitter and Johnny Depp Facebook.