Why is Kate Moss expected to testify in the Johnny Depp v Amber Heard trial?

Heard alleges Depp pushed Moss down the stairs when they dated in the 1990s

Megan Sheets
Wednesday 25 May 2022 14:12 BST
Johnny Depp and Kate Moss at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival
Johnny Depp and Kate Moss at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival (Universal Pictorial Press)

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s star-studded defamation trial is expected to add another Hollywood heavyweight into the mix this week as Kate Moss takes the stand.

Sources close to Mr Depp confirmed the news to multiple outlets including the New York Post and People on Monday as the trial entered its sixth and final week.

Ms Moss’ name came up in the courtroom earlier this month during Ms Heard’s testimony, when she described a time that Mr Depp allegedly “[swung] at” her sister while she had her back to a staircase.

Ms Heard said this reminded her of another incident during which she alleges Mr Depp pushed Ms Moss down stairs while they were dating in the 1990s.

“I just, in my head, instantly think of Kate Moss and stairs,” Ms Heard said.

The Aquaman actress had previously made the claim during Mr Depp’s 2020 trial against The Sun in the UK, per The Associated Press: “He was about to push her down the stairs and the moment before that happened, I remembered information I had heard that he pushed a former girlfriend — I believe it was Kate Moss — down the stairs.”

Ms Moss and Mr Depp dated for about four years beginning in 1994. Their relationship was often described by the press as tumultuous, particularly after an incident in 1994 when Mr Depp was arrested for criminal mischief after allegedly trashing a hotel room he shared with Ms Moss, People reported.

Ms Moss has never publicly responded to Ms Heard’s claim that Mr Depp pushed her down the stairs - which he denies. However, it’s very possible she will do so when she testifies this week.

After Ms Heard mentioned Ms Moss in her testimony as part of the US case, Mr Depp’s attorney Ben Chew was seen giving an apparent fist pump, prompting speculation that the mention of Ms Moss could benefit Mr Depp’s legal team in some way.

Broderick Dunn, an attorney based in Virginia, told Fox5 that “since Heard brought up Depp’s alleged prior bad acts, she may have opened the door to her own”, per the website.

That speculation came to fruition on 17 May during cross-examination of Ms Heard, where she was asked about a 2009 arrest for domestic violence involving her then-partner Tasya van Ree.

The alleged incident was reported in 2016 by TMZ, which wrote that Ms Heard “allegedly grabbed and struck [Ms van Ree] in the arm, which upset [Ms van Ree] and triggered the arrest”.

The prosecution declined to file charges when Ms Heard appeared in court the following day, People reported in 2016.

Ms van Ree in 2016 shared a statement with Variety which read: “In 2009, Amber was wrongfully accused for an incident that was misinterpreted and over-sensationalized by two individuals in a power position.”

When questioned in court, Ms Heard denied committing domestic violence against Ms van Ree or assaulting her. She alleged the story was “planted” after she obtained a temporary restraining order against Mr Depp in 2016.

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