Thursday Apr 09, 2020
Amber Heard was given the permission to provide evidence of domestic abuse at the hands of ex-husband Johnny Depp, without the media presence in the room.
The Aquaman actor’s lawyers were successful in arguing that Heard should not be coerced to testify in front of the media.
She is a key witness in Depp’s libel case against The Sun newspaper as well as its associate editor Dan Wootton, over an article that referred to him as a ‘wife-beater’.
It was argued by the lawyers of the Pirates of the Caribbean actor that his ex-wife has only been drawing attention to the lawsuit through her ‘salacious’ statements, while further challenging her plea to testify behind closed doors.
Depp’s lawyer David Sherborne QC argued: “She hasn’t sought anonymity, quite the opposite,” while adding that the claims made by her were ‘proven’ to be ‘outright lies’ which need to thoroughly go through a scrutiny.
Bringing forth her support for the #MeToo movement as well as her participation in United Nations events pertaining to sexual violence, he argued that her present requests for privacy while providing evidence should not be fulfilled.
“Is it really the case that she is so distressed that it is necessary for the principle of open justice to be overturned?” he asked.
“He [Depp] is in the worst of all worlds, where it is said very publicly that he committed acts of sexual violence but the details of them will be heard behind closed doors,” he added.
After hearing the arguments, by Depp’s legal team and Adam Wolanski QC from Heard’s side, Mr Justice Nicol ruled that owing to the nature of the ‘sexual violence’ allegations made by Heard, she should be permitted her to testify without the media presence in the room.
“The matters which will be dealt with in private are of a different order to what has been made public so far. I am satisfied that there is good reason to treat them differently,” he said.
Earlier in 2016, Heard, after filing for a divorce, had obtained a domestic violence restraining order against Depp.
Depp filed a separate defamation suit against his ex-wife over an opinion piece she wrote for the Washington Post back in 2018.