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Witness for Depp contradicts cryptically important witness – Boston News, Weather, Sports

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — Jury members in Johnny Depp’s defamation lawsuit vs. ex-wife Amber Heard on Tuesday heard a snippet of testimony contradicting one of Heard’s key witnesses, but much of the context has been removed.

Jennifer Howell – who once employed Heard’s sister, Whitney Henriquez – testified briefly through recorded testimony Tuesday in the six-week civil trial.

Depp is suing Heard for defamation in Fairfax County Circuit Court over a December 2018 comment she wrote in the Washington Post describing herself as “a public figure who advocates domestic violence.” His lawyers say he was defamed by the article, although he never mentioned his name.

Depp has denied he ever hit Heard, and says she was the perpetrator in the relationship. Heard testified about it more than a dozen separate cases of physical abuse She says she suffered at Depp’s hands.

Howell testified that she emailed Henriquez in 2020 asking her to tell the truth.

However, the jury did not see the letter, nor did Howell explain how she believed Henriquez was untrue. The edited testimony played out in court less than 15 minutes — Howell appeared to exit testimony before attorneys completed their questioning.

In a court document, however, Howell goes into much greater detail. She issues a four-page statement saying Henriquez confided in her that Heard was the attacker in the fight, and Henriquez reportedly said she thought Heard was going to “kill Johnny.”

Howell also says in the statement that Henriquez told her and others at her place of work that Heard cut off Depp’s fingers during an argument the couple had in Australia. That severed finger was a point of contention throughout the process. Depp says the finger was severed when Heard threw a vodka bottle at him. Heard says Depp did it to himself on a night when he was in a drunken rage and sexually assaulted her with a bourbon bottle.

Henriquez is the only one of Heard’s witnesses to testify at the six-week trial that she personally saw Depp physically attack Heard in a fight in which she said each punched the other while trapped between the two was.

It’s not entirely clear why Howell’s testimony was so limited. Throughout the trial, however, Judge Penney Azcarate strictly enforced rules limiting hearsay evidence, and Howell’s description of what Henriquez told her would likely be a classic example of hearsay, unless Depp’s attorneys could make some sort of exception to that apply the hearsay rule.

In Howell’s statement, she admitted that she was upset to learn Heard had pledged millions of dollars to the American Civil Liberties Union and a children’s hospital when Howell thought the money could help The Art of Elysium, the nonprofit she runs , do more good and that had kept Henriquez busy.

The limited nature of Howell’s testimony makes it unclear whether the jury will make the connections Depp’s team is hoping to make.

Howell testified as a rebuttal witness for Depp after Heard dropped her case Tuesday morning without calling Depp to the witness stand — Heard’s attorneys originally suggested that Depp be called as a witness.

The jury could hear more from Depp. His team has indicated they could call him into the stand on Wednesday.

Both dept and Heard have both testified extensively about details of their toxic relationship.

Also on Tuesday, celebrity news site TMZ filed an urgent motion to block testimony from a former employee, Morgan Tremaine.

TMZ said it was concerned Tremaine was willing to testify for Depp on Wednesday, violating a confidentiality promise the news outlet made to a source who gave TMZ information about the couple’s high-profile divorce.

Heard has denied telling news outlets that she had obtained a restraining order after filing for divorce from Depp in 2016. Heard claimed Depp abused her in that motion, and Heard was photographed by paparazzi exiting the courthouse with an apparent bruise on her cheek.

Depp’s lawyers said she tried to publicize her abuse allegations in order to falsely tarnish his reputation.

Also on Tuesday, Judge Penney Azcarate denied a motion by Depp’s attorneys to dismiss a $100 million counterclaim she had filed against Depp. The countersuit alleges that Depp’s then-attorney, Adam Waldman, defamed Heard when he called her allegations of abuse a hoax.

Azcarate said the bar for denying a claim before it goes to the jury is extraordinarily high, and said there was enough evidence to move on. She had already ruled that Depp could be held accountable for statements made by his attorney, a dispute of principle by Depp’s team.

(Copyright (c) 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed.)

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https://whdh.com/entertainment/witness-for-depp-cryptically-contradicts-key-heard-witness/ Witness for Depp contradicts cryptically important witness – Boston News, Weather, Sports

Nate Jones

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