Johnny Depp to testify as lawyers claim Amber Heard is a ‘compulsive liar’

Mr Depp’s legal team claimed Ms Heard made up her allegations to boost her profile in Hollywood

Watch live as opening arguments begin in Johnny Depp defamation case against Amber Heard

The legal team representing Johnny Depp in the defamation case against his ex-wife Amber Heard has made their opening statements, with Mr Depp's attorneys painting Ms Heard as a compulsive and chronic liar who used the allegations she made against the actor as a means to advance her own career.

They claimed she wanted to portray herself as a heroic survivor of abuse.

The attorneys also noted Mr Depp's drug and alcohol use, but argued that a substance abuse problem does not prove that he ever hurt Ms Heard.

Mr Depp is scheduled to testify during the trial.

Ms Heard's attorneys claimed that Mr Depp sexually assaulted his ex-wife, a claim that has never been made publicly before.

Camille Vasquez, Mr Depp's attorney, said the allegations were false and that Ms Heard made them as a way to bolster her defense.

“Ms Heard had never made that accusation against Mr Depp — it was never part of her allegations of abuse in 2016. So, what changed? When she realized the seriousness of what she alleged [about being the victim of domestic abuse], she panicked and alleged sexual assault,” Ms Vasquez told the jury. “In Mr Depp’s 58 years, not a single woman has ever accused him of violence, and nobody in Hollywood or the world had any reason to believe he was an abuser – until Ms Heard publicly accused him.”

Mr Depp's attorneys will likely continue to attack Ms Heard's credibility, relying in part on claims she made in another trial that she donated the $7m from her divorce settlement to the Children's Hospital Los Angeles and the ACLU.

Records subpoenaed by Mr Depp's legal team revealed that she never gave $3.5m to the children's hospital. The ACLU later admitted that she also had not donated $3.5m to the legal advocacy organisation.

Mr Depp's legal team will attempt to convince the jury that Ms Heard's allegations tarnished his career and cost him potential movie roles. Her defense argued that Mr Depp's alleged abuse of drugs and alcohol caused his fall from A-lister status.

He claims that he lost a Pirates of the Caribbean sequel and a Fantastic Beasts sequel due to the allegations. However, Ms Heard's lawyers claimed that Mr Depp said publicly he would never make another Pirates movie, and that Disney had already determined to move on with the franchise without him.

Ms Heard never named Mr Depp in her op-ed at the centre of the defamation case, but there is little doubt she was referring to her ex-husband in the piece. Nevertheless, her lawyers have argued that because Mr Depp was never named, his allegations of defamation are without merit.

Mr Depp has already lost one libel case stemming from the accusations. In 2020, he sued The Sun for referring to him as a "wife beater”. The judge in that case ultimately ruled in favour of the paper despite numerous women coming testifying under oath to support Mr Depp's claims.

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