Amber Heard pushed to have particulars of her marriage with fellow actor Johnny Depp included in an op-ed piece that she wrote about home violence, despite the fact that her attorneys needed these passages faraway from the article
Jurors within the libel lawsuit Depp filed in opposition to Heard heard testimony Thursday from Terence Dougherty, common counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. It was the ACLU that drafted the article below Heard’s title, reflecting her function as an ACLU ambassador on gender violence points.
Dougherty testified concerning the push-and-pull that occurred between first draft and publication of the op-ed piece in The Washington Submit in December 2018 — strategically timed by each the ACLU and Heard to coincide with the discharge of “Aquaman,” a film wherein she performed a outstanding function.
Depp sued in Fairfax County Circuit Court docket after the article was revealed, wherein Heard says that “two years in the past, I turned a public determine representing home abuse, and I felt the total power of our tradition’s wrath for girls who communicate out.” Depp’s attorneys say that is a transparent reference to abuse allegations she levied in opposition to Depp in 2016 that Depp says are unfaithful.
Dougherty testified that quite a few ACLU attorneys reviewed the article at varied phases, and requested Heard’s attorneys to overview the piece as effectively to make sure it didn’t run afoul of a non-disclosure settlement she had with Depp in reference to the couple’s 2016 divorce.
Throughout these discussions, Heard despatched again an edited model authorized by her attorneys that “particularly neutered a lot of the copy relating to her marriage,” in line with an electronic mail from Jessica Weitz, an ACLU worker who coordinated with Heard.
In line with the e-mail, although, Heard was in search of a approach to have a deleted passage restored to the article.
The assorted drafts of the articles weren’t proven to the jury so it is not clear what number of private particulars had been within the first draft and the way a lot Heard’s attorneys had excised.
However the last model accommodates little or no about Heard’s private experiences. It would not point out Depp in any respect. Along with the passage about “a public determine representing home abuse,” in one other passage she writes, “I had the uncommon vantage level of seeing, in actual time, how establishments shield males accused of abuse.”
A lot of the article talks about legislative priorities for advocates of home abuse prevention. Different passages discuss with components of her private life unrelated to Depp.
Dougherty testified that “the language that wound up within the last op-ed piece was very completely different from the unique language” within the draft, Dougherty stated. “It didn’t refer on to Ms. Heard’s relationship with Johnny Depp.”
Whereas the trial is meant to be over whether or not Depp was defamed within the article, little or no testimony within the first three weeks, main as much as Thursday, has associated to the article itself or its contents. Heard’s attorneys predicted on the outset of the trial that it might change into a mudslinging cleaning soap opera that may delve into messy particulars of Depp and Heard’s private lives.
Heard’s attorneys, although, have stated that even when the jury had been to consider that she was by no means abused by Depp, Heard ought to nonetheless prevail within the lawsuit as a result of the article just isn’t about Depp, doesn’t defame him, and Heard’s free-speech rights enable her to weigh in on issues of public significance like home violence.
A lot of Dougherty’s testimony additionally centered on whether or not Heard has fulfilled a promise to donate $3.5 million — half of her $7 million divorce settlement with Depp — to the ACLU. Dougherty testified that the ACLU credit her with contributing $1.3 million up to now and anticipated the cash to return in over a 10-year interval, however that she has made no contributions since 2018.