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Johnny Depp witness allowed to testify despite calling Amber Heard ‘jealous and crazy’ on Twitter during trial

Morgan Night worked at the Hicksville trailer park that Heard, Depp and their friends visited in May 2013

Megan Sheets ,Graeme Massie
Tuesday 24 May 2022 21:20 BST
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A witness for Johnny Depp’s rebuttal has been allowed to testify despite having called Amber Heard “jealous and crazy” in a tweet posted during the couple’s defamation trial.

Mr Depp’s team on Tuesday called Morgan Night, who worked at the Hicksville trailer park that Ms Heard, Mr Depp and their friends visited in May 2013. During that trip, Ms Heard alleges Mr Depp trashed their trailer before performing a “cavity search” on her.

Before Mr Night took the stand, Judge Penney Azcarate sent out the jury so he could be questioned about what he’d seen of the trial before he learned he would be a witness.

Mr Night said that approximately five weeks ago, a friend of his texted that Hicksville was mentioned in court and he watched a short clip online.

He was contacted by Mr Depp’s attorneys and says that the description of the night at the Hicksville trailer park that has been mentioned was not how he recalled the incident and that the night was not particularly remarkable.

Mr Night said that he searched Twitter for mentions and replied to a tweet about what happened around the fire pit.

“That never happened. I was with them all night. Amber was the one acting all jealous and crazy,” his reply read.

Mr Depp’s attorneys contacted him on 3 May after his details were provided to them by others who had worked there at the time.

After his initial remarks on the stand on Tuesday, Ms Heard’s attorneys asked that he be barred from testifying in front of the jury. That bid was denied.

Once in the witness box, Mr Night told the jury that he had first met Mr Depp at the famed Viper Room nightclub on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles in the 1990s. It is the venue that River Phoenix died outside in 1993.

He testified that during Mr Depp and Ms Heard’s trip to Hicksvilel they were with a group of between 10 and 12 guests, and that Ms Heard had been annoyed when her husband talked to one of his co-workers who was interested in music.

Mr Night then said that during a one-on-one conversation he was having with Mr Depp, Ms Heard came over and told her husband, “I want to talk to you.”

He said that “she seemed really upset about something...she started yelling at him. And I didn’t want to hear it. Honestly, it was very triggering because I been in an emotionally, abusive relationship before.”

And he added: “He was kind of cowering and seemed almost afraid. It was really, like, odd to see because he was older than her obviously ... I just went back into the house.”

He testified that following the argument, he noticed that Mr Depp’s behaviour changed.

“He became real quiet and was just very more petulant. In the beginning of the night he was a lot more outgoing and extraverted. And as the night went on, he was less so,” he said.

There was laughter in the courtroom, when Mr Night was asked by Ms Heard’s lawyer, Elaine Bredehoft, if he was a “big fan” of Mr Depp.

“I am not, to be honest with you,” he replied.

He then went on to describe damage done to the trailer that Mr Depp and Ms Heard had stayed in while at Hicksville.

“I wanted to inspect the trailer as I was extremely worried, all those trailers that Steve and I worked on were like my babies and the one they were staying in was the only one that was mostly original and restored 1950s-style, so I was very concerned.

“I observed that there was a light sconce by the bathroom that had been broken off the wall and a couple of pieces were on the floor. The light fixture was still hanging on the wall.”

He added that he was used to items in the trailers getting broken because of their vintage nature and that something would get damaged “every couple of weeks.”

He testified that an extra cleaning fee was charged, as well as $62 to replace the sconce.

Ms Bredehoft then asked him if he recalled Tweeting to “The Umbrella guy” that Ms Heard had been acting “all jealous and crazy” at Hicksville, and he confirmed for the jury that he had.

The defamation trial between Mr Depp and Ms Heard began on Monday 11 April in Fairfax, Virginia, following Mr Depp’s lawsuit against his ex-wife in March 2019.

Mr Depp is arguing that she defamed him in a December 2018 op-ed published in The Washington Post titled “I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change”.

While Mr Depp isn’t named in the piece, his legal team argues that it contains a “clear implication that Mr Depp is a domestic abuser”, which they say is “categorically and demonstrably false”.

Mr Depp is seeking damages of “not less than $50m”. Ms Heard has filed a $100m counterclaim against Mr Depp for nuisance and immunity from his allegations.

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