Johnny Depp attorney who called Amber Heard’s abuse claims ‘fake’ refuses to answer 75 questions from her team

Adam Waldman is at centre of Aquaman actress’s $100m counterclaim in the trial after he called her allegations of abuse ‘a hoax’

Rachel Sharp
Friday 20 May 2022 11:35 BST
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Johnny Depp’s attorney refused to answer more than 75 questions from Amber Heard’s lawyers in the multi-million-dollar defamation trial – despite admitting that he had spoken to the press several times and given information to so-called “internet journalists” about the former couple.

Adam Waldman, who has worked on and off on Mr Depp’s legal team since October 2016, gave video testimony back in February after being subpoenaed by Ms Heard’s legal team.

Mr Waldman is at the centre of the Aquaman actress’s $100m counterclaim in the trial after he called her allegations that she suffered domestic abuse at the hands of Mr Depp “fake” and “a hoax”.

The testimony was repeatedly disrupted by Mr Depp’s attorney Ben Chew who advised Mr Waldman not to answer several questions, citing “attorney-client privilege” between Mr Waldman and Mr Depp.

In total, he refused to answer at least 75 questions put to him by Ms Heard’s lawyers including questions around whether he was acting on behalf of Mr Depp when he gave media interviews about Ms Heard.

Mr Waldman did confirm that he met Mr Depp in October 2016 – five months after Ms Heard filed for divorce – and was hired into his legal team.

In the video, played for the jury on Thursday, he confirmed that he did not have personal knowledge of the couple or witness their interactions when they were together.

Mr Waldman’s refusal to answer dozens of questions put to him in the deposition appears to be out of character for the attorney who has spoken to the media on several occasions about the couple’s legal disputes.

He was shown a section of Mr Depp’s a 2018 Rolling Stone interview with Mr Depp which read: “It was Adam Waldman who first contacted Rolling Stone about writing a story about the injustice being done to Depp’s reputation and bottom line. He pointed to what he perceived to be an anti-Depp story in the Hollywood Reporter.”

Mr Waldman testified that it wasn’t true that he had first contacted the magazine about writing an article, saying it was actually Mr Depp who had done so.

When asked about his comments made in an interview with the MailOnline, Mr Waldman said “I believe I said that, yes”.

In the interview, Mr Waldman accused Ms Heard of faking the scene of an alleged incident of domestic violence in the home she shared with Mr Depp on 21 May 2016.

The incident came two days before Ms Heard filed for divorce and six days before she filed for a domestic violence restraining order.

“Quite simply this was an ambush, a hoax,” Mr Waldman said in the interview.

In the deposition, Mr Waldman said he knew of several witnesses who said they had not seen Ms Heard with injuries on her face in between 21 and 27 May.

“I have seen things that show her statements to be false,” he claimed.

Mr Waldman admitted that he also gave two recordings to the outlet.

He also told a German network that Ms Heard was under investigation for perjury by the LAPD, the court heard.

This was incorrect. Mr Waldman testified that he had been told that information by law enforcement but it was actually the LA Sheriff’s Department which had opened the probe.

He admitted that the probe was launched after Mr Waldman handed “a binder of information” to the LAPD which he claimed showed that Ms Heard had committed perjury.

“The investigation was opened at your request after you gave this binder to the desk officer?” Ms Heard’s attorney asked him.

Mr Waldman said that he didn’t ask for an investigation to be opened but “filed a claim” about what he claimed were perjurous statements made by Ms Heard and a friend.

He also said he had given information to what he described as “internet journalists” – people on social media who are not affiliated with a news outlet.

Mr Waldman was also questioned about his Twitter ban, after his account was suspended for violating the site’s private information policy.

He testified that he had been “suspended for life” by the platform and had written several letters to Twitter asking why.

Mr Waldman’s comments accusing Ms Heard of staging “a hoax” are a focus of Ms Heard’s counterclaim in the defamation trial.

Mr Depp is suing his ex-wife for defamation over a 2018 op-ed she penned for The Washington Post where she described herself as a “a public figure representing domestic abuse”.

The Pirates of the Caribbean actor is not named in the article, which is titled “I spoke up against sexual violence – and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change”.

However Mr Depp claims that it falsely implies that he is a domestic abuser – something that he strongly denies – and that it has left him struggling to land roles in Hollywood. He is suing for $50m.

Ms Heard is countersuing for $100m, accusing Mr Depp of orchestrating a “smear campaign” against her and describing his lawsuit as a continuation of “abuse and harassment”.

Her defamation counterclaim was initially filed over Mr Waldman’s comments where he accused Ms Heard of lying about the domestic violence she said she suffered at the hands of Mr Depp, branding her accusations “fake”, a “sexual violence hoax” and an “ambush”.

Mr Waldman was later reportedly dropped from Mr Depp’s legal team but is now back working as his counsel.

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