One of the most surprising elements from the trial was Camille Vasquez, Johnny Depp’s attorney, who earn a great reputation for herself.
Here goes some of the best moments that proved she was a big winner in the trial:
- More than 40 hearsay objections in 20 minutes
- Making Heard admit that she hadn't donated her divorce settlement
- Questioning her photographic evidence
- Asking Heard to stop looking at the jury
- Straight-up baiting
- Catching Heard in a lie about alerting the TMZ
- Withholding information
- "Nobody will believe you're a victim Johnny"
1. More than 40 hearsay objections in 20 minutes
Every query Amber Heard’s attorney, Elaine Bredehoft, asked her client during direct examination, as well as during Heard’s answers, was constantly objected by Camille on grounds of “hearsay,” “lack of foundation,” “non-responsive,” and “speculation”. In less than 20 minutes while handling Amber Heard’s cross examination, Camille made more than 40 hearsay objections.
2. Making Heard admit that she hadn’t donated her divorce settlement
Heard had pledged that she would be donating her entire $7Mi divorce settlement to charity, splitting it between ACLU and CHLA. During her cross-examination, Vasquez made her admit that, although she pledged to donate it, she hadn’t donated it to neither of two charities, despite having received it in 2018, 13 months before she was sued by Depp for defamation.
Heard preferred Depp to pay out her settlement directly to her, rather than have Depp make donations on her behalf. “And that’s because you wanted the whole world to know that you were donating every penny of the $7Mi divorce settlement, as soon as you received it,” Vasquez sarcastically replied.
But it didn’t work out that way. Records showed that she had only donated some of the funds to the ACLU, although donations had been made in her name by Elon Musk. Altogether, $1.3Mi had been donated in Heard’s name overall, with $350k directly from her, $100k from Depp (as part of their divorce settlement) and $500k from Musk.
In her testimony, Heard said she had to stop donations when Depp slapped her with his $50Mi defamation lawsuit: “I still fully intend on honoring all of my pledges. I would love him to stop suing me so I can.” However, it doesn't seem this was a winning argument.
3. Questioning her photographic evidence
The most controversial point was when Camille Vasquez presented photos of Heard taken 24 hours after Depp allegedly beat her. In the actress' version, the violence left bruises, cuts and a swollen, possibly broken nose, but in the photos presented at the trial she didn't look hurt.
Vasquez suggested that Heard had manipulated the photo, pointing out how the picture she submitted had its saturation increased. All the while Heard denied it: "That's wrong. I didn't retouch them." later arguing that they were two different pictures taken in different light.
Amber Heard preparing to frame Johnny Depp (2017)
4. Asking Amber Heard to stop looking at the jury
During the entire trial, Heard was caught looking at the jury while giving her testimony. At one such moment, Camille points it out to Amber and asks her to stop looking at the jury while speaking since it was ‘inappropriate’.
5. Straight-up baiting
While Depp has been praised post-trial for being honest about his problems with alcohol and drugs, Heard was also honest about her more casual use of drugs—often of substances like mushrooms or Ecstasy. Vasquez didn’t hesitate to, as she has said, use her words against her. “You like to use drugs on special occasions, don’t you?” she asked Heard, going on to reference all the times Heard admitted to using drugs, including on her 30th birthday at Coachella. Somehow, when Vasquez reiterated Heard’s admissions, they came across in a most unfavorable way.
6. Catching Heard in a lie about alerting the TMZ
Heard has testified previously that nobody had been informed about her decision to file for a divorce in 2016. Camille pulled up a deposition of the actress from the same year, in which Heard can be seen saying she was trying to contact Johnny or his agent desperately to let him know. She also pointed out a big slip up on Amber’s part where she talked about how she didn’t want Depp to find out the news online or through TMZ, one of the most respected celebrity websites in the world, which had been alerted.
The fact that TMZ had indeed been alerted was later confirmed after a TMZ employee agreed to testify to the fact that not only were they alerted, they knew which side of her face to photograph.
Another negative point for Heard was the testimony of an executive from TMZ who said that the actress herself would have sent a video of Johnny Depp knocking on kitchen cabinets. The site checked the content and found that the video was cropped, except for the final part where she was laughing at the camera.
Movie lawyers may call witnesses liars to their faces in open court, but it’s rare to catch one in real life since, when they do, it’s often considered out of order. But Vasquez did exactly that when cross-examining Heard, who had repeatedly denied leaking a video of a drunk and disorderly Depp trashing his kitchen to TMZ. “Another liar on the stand,” Vasquez said in response, sounding almost sad.
After their cross examination of Amber Heard
7. Withholding information
When Vasquez first asked Heard during cross-examination, “Johnny got you the part in Aquaman, didn’t he?” she sounded completely off-base, and Heard responded coldly that she had gotten the part “myself, by auditioning.” But Vasquez knew something we didn’t — and it was revealed later in Depp’s testimony.
That Heard had gotten her Aquaman role completely on her own was not exactly true, Depp said later in the proceedings. In fact, Aquaman was to film in Australia, and the studio had concerns because Heard had gotten in trouble there before — she was prosecuted in 2015 for sneaking her two teacup Yorkies into the country when Depp was filming Pirates of the Caribbean.
“[Heard] asked if I would speak to [the studio],” Depp testified, “so I made a phone call and spoke to three upper-echelon Warner Brothers executives — Kevin Tsujihara, Sue Kroll, Greg Silverman.” As a result, “I can only say that she ultimately got the job in the film. Hopefully, I had curbed their worries to some degree.”
8. "Nobody will believe you're a victim Johnny"
They also emphasized that there were no medical records of the alleged abuse against her and called on the actor's former partners to reinforce that he is not an aggressive husband or boyfriend.
Afterwards, a psychologist hired by Depp claimed that the actress had a personality disorder, driven by a fear of abandonment. The prosecution presented audio of her begging the actor not to leave her.
Another important point was the presentation, by Depp, of an audio in which Heard challenges him to tell the world that he is a victim of domestic violence. "Tell the world, Johnny," she said. "Tell them that I, Johnny Depp — a man — am also a victim of domestic violence."
Depp said in his deposition that he responded, "Yes, I am." "He suffered persistent verbal, physical and emotional violence from Heard," he told Vasquez.
An excerpt from the actress' diary was also shown, in which she writes "Sorry, I might lose my mind. I'm sorry I hurt you", referring to some fight with Depp.
The actor cited a time when his ex threw a bottle of vodka at him. He said he was in shock and used the blood from the wound to write messages to Heard on the wall.
"You were the one who assaulted someone with a bottle in Australia, weren't you, Miss Heard?" Vasquez asked, in conversation about a 2015 brawl in Australia, in which Heard claims she was sexually assaulted by Depp with a bottle. “You weren't scared of him, were you?” she continued.
9. The Closer
Camille appeared in court not in her usual dark-colored legal garb, but in a white dress, as if to underscore her client’s innocence. Her closing argument lasted 45 minutes, and she continued to claim that Amber Heard was “aggressive, violent and cruel” throughout, whilst also accusing her of acting.
In her opening line, she claimed that Amber had “ruined his [Johnny’s] life” by “falsely telling the world that she was a survivor of domestic abuse at the hands of Johnny Depp”.
“There is an abuser in this courtroom, but it is not Mr. Depp. There is a victim of domestic abuse in this courtroom, but it is not Ms Heard,” she said, going on to paint Heard as a liar and a manipulator, calling her a “deeply troubled person” and calling up the personality disorders she had been diagnosed with. Not only was Heard troubled, Vasquez said, but she was “incredibly aggressive, violent, and cruel.” She accused Heard of wanting to “ruin” Depp.
“Lies upon lies,” Vasquez said, noting, that “[Heard] came into this courtroom prepared to give the performance of her life, and she gave it”. Camille used visual evidence to show a lack of marks or bruises on Heard’s person, telling the jury that the evidence and the dates Heard had given didn’t match up. The abuse report Amber filed to police was “false” and a “set up” whilst also accusing her of tipping off paparazzi and faking her bruises.
Camille further acused Amber of fake crying: “Miss Heard’s acting coach, Christina Sexton, testified that Miss Heard has difficulty crying when she is acting. You saw it, Miss Heard without tears while spinning elaborate, exaggerated, fantastical accounts of abuse.”
“It was a performance,” she added. “She told you what she thinks you need to hear to convict this man as a domestic abuser. She wants you to believe she was abused countless times.”
“Mr Depp is not the abuser Miss Heard says he is” before saying that the actress must be “held accountable for her lies” as Johnny’s “life is at stake”.
“Either she’s a victim of truly horrific abuse, or she’s a woman who’s willing to say absolutely anything,” Vasquez insisted.
“She was either raped by a bottle,” Vasquez told the jury, “or she’s the sort of person who would get on the stand and lie about being raped.”
Depp denies being abusive to Heard and she claims she was only ever physically violent towards Depp in self-defense or to protect her sister.
Rare footage of Camille Vasquez before her final hit at Amber Heard