ENTERTAINMENT

Johnny Depp suit against Amber Heard starts with jury picks

Apr 11, 2022, 7:17 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 3:36 pm
Johnny Depp is seen outside court for the start of a civil trial at Fairfax County Circuit Court on...
Johnny Depp is seen outside court for the start of a civil trial at Fairfax County Circuit Court on April 11, 2022 in Fairfax, Virginia. Depp is seeking $50 million in alleged damages to his career over an op-ed Heard wrote in the Washington Post in 2018. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)
(Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — A jury was selected Monday to hear a long-anticipated libel lawsuit Johnny Depp filed against his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard, whom he accuses of falsely portraying him as a domestic abuser.

Depp sued Heard over an op-ed piece she wrote in The Washington Post in 2018 in which Heard refers to herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” The article doesn’t mention Depp by name, but he says it clearly refers to allegations Heard made in other forums that she suffered physical abuse at his hands. Depp denies the accusations.

The lawsuit brought a little bit of Hollywood to a courthouse that has a long history of dealing with high-profile crimes, just not those involving movie stars.

More than a dozen women, some waving signs saying “Justice for Johnny,” joined other fans who waved pirate flags in recognition of Depp’s signature role in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, waited outside the courthouse an hour before the hearing.

The courtroom in the city of Fairfax was closed to the public Monday, with limited closed-circuit access in an overflow courtroom. People lined up before 7 a.m. for the wristbands granting access. Both Depp and Heard were in attendance, but court personnel brought them in and out utilizing special access points that frustrated fans’ ability to see them.

The judge overseeing the trial, Penney Azcarate, has imposed a series of access rules to try to maintain decorum in the courthouse. Most significantly, neither Depp nor Heard are permitted to pose for photos or sign autographs in the courthouse or on the courthouse grounds.

Depp’s fans have been vocal in their support, saying he has been falsely accused. Raylyn Otie, a Depp fan from Bluefield, Virginia, drove five hours to see the movie star. She was disappointed when Depp did not greet fans personally, as sheriff’s deputies carefully limited fan access.

“I’m so disappointed. I came to give him flowers to show some support,” she said, bouquet in hand.

In a separate lawsuit Depp filed against a British newspaper, a judge dismissed the case, finding that Depp assaulted Heard on a dozen occasions and put her in fear for her life on multiple occasions.

Heard has filed a countersuit against Depp that accuses his lawyers of defaming her at his direction.

Heard’s lawyers tried unsuccessfully to have the case moved to California, where the actors reside. A Fairfax judge ruled that Depp was within his rights to bring the case here because the Post’s online editions are published through servers located in Fairfax County. Depp’s lawyers have said they brought the case in Virginia in part because the laws here are more favorable to their case.

A jury of seven, plus four alternates, was selected by Monday afternoon. The smaller jury is typical for civil trials in Virginia.

Opening statements are scheduled for Tuesday morning. The trial is expected to last more than a month. A long list of witnesses includes actors James Franco and Paul Bettany, and tech entrepreneur Elon Musk. Some witnesses are expected to appear in person, while others will testify via video link.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Entertainment

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 05: First Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden speaks onstag...
Lisa Respers France

Grammy winners 2023: See who won

Harry Styles won album of the year at the Grammy Awards, taking home the top honor on a night that Beyoncé dominated and became the ceremony’s most decorated artist.
1 day ago
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 05: Beyoncé accepts Best Dance/Electronic Music Album for “Re...
Scottie Andrew

Beyoncé officially has the most Grammys of any artist

Bey just became the most awarded artist in Grammys history, with a record 32 wins.
1 day ago
Soundgarden performs on stage for Guitar Hero game...
Mark Kennedy, Associated Press

Missy, Willie and George Michael among Rock Hall nominees

Missy Elliott, Willie Nelson, Kate Bush, Iron Maiden, Cyndi Lauper, Soundgarden, Sheryl Crow and the late George Michael are nominees for 2023 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, a list that includes a mix of country, soul, hip-hop, metal, pop, rap-rock and grunge.
5 days ago
FILE PHOTO (Deseret News)...
Rio Yamat, Associated Press

‘Dances With Wolves’ actor arrested in Nevada sex abuse case

Las Vegas police have arrested former actor Nathan Chasing Horse at his home after uncovering what they describe as two decades of sexual assault and human trafficking allegations.
6 days ago
Priscilla Presley speaks at the public memorial for Lisa Marie Presley at Graceland on January 22, ...
Andrew Dalton, Associated Press

Priscilla Presley disputes trust of late Lisa Marie Presley

Priscilla Presley has filed legal documents disputing who oversees the estate of her late daughter Lisa Marie Presley.
6 days ago
Alec Baldwin charged in Rust shooting...
Associated Press

Prosecutors file charges in set shooting by Alec Baldwin

Actor Alec Baldwin and a weapons specialist have been formally charged with involuntary manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a cinematographer on a New Mexico movie set, according to court documents filed by prosecutors Tuesday.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Johnny Depp suit against Amber Heard starts with jury picks