Judge Penney Azcarate kicked off the sample trial, which will reportedly take six weeks, by scheduling the 60 potential jurors. At the end of the day, seven final judges and four alternates were selected. They decide afterwards who is guilty or not. “What do you already know about this case?” she asked. “You must not be biased. What you learn about this matter should be limited to the information released within these four walls.”
The majority of the judges replied that they had already seen articles and photos about the turbulent relationship between the former turtle doves, but that they would look at the process with an open mind. “My wife sent me this morning that Amber is psychotic and that she framed Johnny,” a judge then laughed. “Can I put that opinion aside? My wife tends to exaggerate anyway.” However, some bias on the part of the jury members is almost impossible to rule out. In 2020, all the dirty laundry between Heard and Depp was already extensively thrown on the table during a previous trial. The two then did not hesitate to raze each other to the ground. Depp eventually lost the case against tabloid ‘The Sun’.
To encourage Depp and Heard, some fans also turned up in court. Especially the following of the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ actor stood out the most. “I love Johnny very much, he is wrongly treated so harshly. He deserves to be able to act again,” one American fan told Daily Mail, for example.
The reason for this new lawsuit is a column Heard wrote in ‘The Washington Post’ in 2018 about domestic violence. She never mentioned her ex-lover’s name, but everyone knew who she was talking about. Depp therefore demands 50 million dollars, because he missed several roles after the publication of the opinion piece and thus suffered a financial loss. Not much later, Heard filed a counterclaim against Depp and in turn demands 100 million dollars (92 million euros) from him for defamation.
In the trial – which will be broadcast live on courttv.com – 129 witnesses will be called in the coming weeks, 38 by Depp, 81 by Heard. And there are also a lot of famous names. For example, ex-sweetheart and Tesla boss Elon Musk (50) was called up by Heard. He will speak about his late night visits to Depp and Heard’s penthouse. And how she talked about Depp, their physical relationship and their divorce. Actor James Franco (43) – now involved in a lawsuit regarding sexually transgressive behavior – will also testify. He will talk about how romantic movie scenes he had with Heard made Depp jealous.