Amber Heard referred to Kate Moss in her testimony last week in the lawsuit regarding Johnny Depp’s case.
People close to Depp told Insider this could open the door to new evidence of past relationships.
Heard was arrested on domestic violence charges in 2009. His ex-girlfriend said it was exaggerated.
Before leaving the witness stand to take a week off from her trial, Amber Heard recounted a fight that erupted with Johnny Depp after discovering text messages that led him to believe he was unfaithful.
He mentioned a person few expected to appear at the trial: Kate Moss.
Heard said he “wobbled” to Depp during the fight as he punched his sister, Whitney Heard, whom Depp said was standing at the top of a ladder.
“I don’t hesitate. I don’t wait. I immediately think of Kate Moss and the stairs and turn towards her,” Heard said.
Heard seemed to be referring to an unconfirmed rumor that Depp once pushed Moss down the stairs while they were dating in the 1990s. Moss has never publicly accused Depp of misconduct and has spoken fondly of him in interviews.
While Moss is not on the witness list, Depp said he could call to testify, according to documents reviewed by Insider, he reserved the right to call “all witnesses named” by Heard and “any witness necessary for rebuttal or impeachment.” court records show.
In any court case, lawyers usually prepare admissible evidence before the trial begins. Lawyers on both sides spend months investigating the other party’s files and interviewing witnesses to determine what evidence they can bring to the case, as long as it is verifiable and relevant.
Heard and Depp faced off in defamation suits that dueled over whether they had abused each other during their relationship and marriage, which ended in 2016. According to the testimony of a person close to the case, the motions that determined the exact scope of the evidence were opened with a seal. His identity is known to Insider, but who spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to affect the hearing.
Citing the allegation about Moss—as well as describing the injuries, he said, suffering from an explosive fight—Heard may have unintentionally “opened the door”, in legal language, for new evidence to counter his own version of events.
Depp’s attorney, Benjamin Chew, looked excited when he mentioned Heard Moss.
Someone familiar with Depp’s thinking said Insider Heard’s mention of Moss will come up in cross-examination, which is expected to begin after Heard finishes testifying on Monday. As Heard makes only a tentative reference to Moss, personal testimony of the supermodel may not meet the standard of relevance.
But if Heard disclosed what he thought about Moss, Depp’s lawyers said he could ask the judge to call Moss to the stand and hear the rumor.
“The argument put forward by Johnny Depp’s team is this: If this was a false rumor and it’s now before the jury, the jury will wonder if Johnny actually did something to Kate Moss. An ex-Loss Angeles judge. “And the best way to refute that is to have Kate Moss come here and tell the jury what a great man she is and that she’s never been violent.”
Heard’s arrest on domestic violence charges could lead to lawsuit
The person familiar with Depp’s thoughts said Depp’s lawyers would also be “very happy” to persuade the judge to allow questions about Heard’s ex-girlfriend, Tasya van Ree.
Heard was arrested on domestic violence charges at Seattle airport in 2009 after being accused of shooting van Ree in the arm during an argument.
The charges were later dropped, and van Ree published a statement to E News in 2016 stating that Heard had been “falsely accused of an event that had been misinterpreted and was overly sensationalized by two people in a powerful position.”
Christa Ramey, co-founder of Los Angeles law firm Ramey Law PC, said Insider Heard’s mention of Moss seemed deliberate and may have gone against the wishes of the legal team.
“Sometimes I’ve had clients who think they’re smarter than me, sometimes they’re some kind of thugs on the podium. I think he definitely went that route,” Ramey said. “His lawyers didn’t want him to say that.”
Ramey said Heard may have hoped that jurors would Google the reference. Ramey said that although jurors are not allowed to consume news about the cases in which they sit, it does happen.
“Every time I start a trial, my Google Analytics and LinkedIn searches go up a lot. The judges do things that Google doesn’t always have to do,” Ramey said.
Whatever the case, it would be a big risk if the judge didn’t want unfounded rumors or previous relationships to get into the case and Heard did it anyway. Dhanidina said this meant that the judge had to weigh what other information could be brought in Depp’s favor in the case.
“If a lawyer or a witness decides that they want to risk going against my decision and hoping that everything will stay the same, that puts me in a very difficult position as a judge, of the need to maintain the integrity and fairness of the court. Now attorney at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP. Dhanidina told Insider.
Depp’s past relationships could also come into the case
Brett Ward, co-head of the marriage and family law firm in Blank Rome, said he thought Heard’s statement of anonymity was too “ingenious” to have happened without the help of the legal team.
Heard said that instead of repeating the rumor, he was only thinking of Moss at the moment, preventing Depp’s legal team from contesting the testimony based on hearsay.
But Ward said it “could turn out to be a mistake,” as it raised the possibility that Depp’s legal team would summon Moss and other ex-girlfriends to the stand and give bright assessments of his behavior.
Moss’ praise of Depp is not certain. Stairs did not disclose his claim to the public. And in an interview with Rolling Stone in 1998, Depp described a conversation with Hunter S. Thompson in which he said he may have told the author that his “love” with Moss included “beating.”
“He immediately assesses the faults and good points,” Depp told the magazine. “I was with Kate, and I think she went straight to her romantic jugular vein, as shit as if I couldn’t beat her enough. I probably told her, ‘Yeah, she took a beating hard’.”
Other ex-partners have gone on record to say that Depp is a good boyfriend.
Depp’s ex-girlfriends, Vanessa Paradis and Winona Ryder, wrote statements of support during the libel lawsuit the actor filed with The Sun in the UK, describing himself as a “wife beating” in stories about Heard. Depp lost that case, with the judge deciding that Heard’s claims were largely true.
Paradis, who has been with Depp for 14 years and is the mother of her two children, said Depp “never abused or abused me” and always knew him as a “non-violent person”.
“I found these outrageous statements to be really sad and hurt his career because unfortunately people kept believing these false facts,” Paradis said.
Ryder wrote that he was “absolutely shocked, confused and upset” when he heard Heard’s allegations that Depp had never been violent or abusive during their four-year relationship in the late ’80s and early ’90s.
“I don’t want to call anyone a liar, but in my experience with Johnny it’s impossible to believe that such horrific allegations are true,” he wrote. “It is extremely sad to know him as I do.”
Such character references are generally off-limits in a case, Ward said, as the court conceded that “just because Depp may have been nice to his ex-girlfriend doesn’t mean he didn’t abuse one of them.”
Depp’s team believes they have the ‘shame of wealth’ for cross-examination
Heard may have made similar mistakes elsewhere in the case, such as when he recounted the aftermath of an explosion between him and Depp in March 2015.
The two stayed at home in Australia while Depp was filming the fifth “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie. On the night of March 7, Depp testified, Heard angrily threw a glass vodka bottle at him. Depp said it shattered in his hand and cut the tip of his right middle finger. Heard said Depp drank a drug cocktail, showered him with cans and bottles, sexually assaulted him with one of the bottles, and cut the end of his finger himself.
One of the photos that entered the evidence on Thursday showed a guitar smeared with blood. Depp, a guitarist, stated that he would never cut his own finger because he loved the instrument very much. When asked if he was responsible for the winning streak, Heard said he “never played the guitar”.
However, As many of Depp’s fans noted on TwitterLooks like Heard has played the guitar before. He was seen playing someone in the 2016 movie “One More Time”, in which he portrayed an aspiring rock star. His left hand is shown making well-known chord shapes on the instrument as he strums it, showing that he has learned them.
Depp’s lawyers may move to turn the movie trailer or clips into evidence, and the judge will have to weigh in whether the fact that Depp played in the movie meets the appropriate standards of evidence.
Heard also said that during the Australian fight, his feet were “cut pretty well” by broken glass on the floor from the bottles and windows that Depp said he had smashed.
Witnesses Depp’s lawyers called to the stand said Heard did not seek medical attention and did not appear injured, while Depp was sent to two hospitals to reattach his finger. Heard will have to confront this contradiction in cross-examination.
Someone close to Depp’s thinking told Insider that his guitar and foot problems were among a “shame of wealth” that the actor’s lawyers could bring up in cross-examination and contradict their claims.
However, in cross-examination of Depp’s doctor and staff about the incident, Heard’s lawyers said none of them focused on whether Heard was injured. Their job was to protect and care for Depp.
Dhanidina said the judge had to decide how much external evidence to allow in the case for the jurors to decide the truth.
“Most judges allow at least some conflicting evidence to be admitted if a witness is going to indict something, especially what the key witness in this case said,” he said. “When the judge instructs the jury how to decide who to believe, it’s important to judge their credibility.”
Read the original article on Insider