Johnny Depp smirked in a Virginia courtroom when a lawyer for Amber Heard suggested that the Hollywood star was “obsessed” with Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
Depp has brought a multi-million dollar defamation lawsuit in Virginia against his former wife, claiming that a 2018 article on domestic violence she wrote for Washington Post implied he was an abuser.
The actor appeared to stifle a laugh during opening statements in the case, when Ms Heard’s lawyer, Elaine Bredehoft, told the civil jury of 11 people that “Johny Depp is obsessed with Elon Musk”.
The billionaire tech entrepreneur has been listed as a possible witness by Ms Heard, along with spider-man actor James Franco, Paul Bettany and Ellin Barkin.
During the 2020 libel case between Ms Heard and Mr Depp, the actor’s lawyer claimed that Ms Heard had an affair with Mr Musk.
His name came up in the opening statements, as Ms Bredehoft explained her client’s charitable donations of her divorce settlement to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and ACLU, which Mr Depp’s lawyers have accused her of failing to make.
“In addition to that, she was also dating Elon Musk by this time, you will find out that Mr Depp is obsessed with Elon Musk,” she told the court as Mr Depp sat just behind her.
“She was dating him, so he gave $500,000 to both of those charities in her honor.
“Now she doesnt claim that is part of the $7m, but what happens is that she makes her payments up through 2018, Mr Depp sues her March 1 2019 and she cant afford right now to be making those pledges she has to define herself. But she has every intention of continuing to make these payments..she will give it to them once she is able to afford it again.
Ms Heard also accused Mr Depp of sexual assault during the trial. Ms Heard’s attorney, Elaine Bredehoft, claimed that Mr Depp sexually assaulted Ms Heard using a liquor bottle during a black-out drunk episode.
Mr Depp was visibly skeptical as Ms Bredehoft made the claims, and shook his head “no” after her comments.
This is the first time Ms Heard has made the claims in public.
Depp’s lawyers also claimed that Heard had manufactured domestic violence claims against him in order to further his own career.
He has sued her for $50 million, alleging that she damaged his career when she made the allegations against him in The Washington Post, even though he was not named.
Heard’s lawyers told the jury that her allegations against the actor are true, and that her claims had been protected by the First Amendment.
Her attorney Ben Rottenborn told the court that Depp was trying to damage Heard’s life with his lawsuit.
“For years, all Mr Depp has wanted to do is humiliate Amber, to haunt her, to wreck her career,” said Mr Rottenborn, calling Depp “an obsessed ex-husband hellbent on revenge.”
The first witness in the trial, was Depp’s older sister, Christi Dembrowski, who told. the jury about their family life, growing up in Kentucky and Florida.
“Johnny and I were very close, with having an older brother and sister we were the two younger ones, we were together all the time we played together, we played Batman and Robin. He will be embarrassed at me saying this but we practiced karate kicks together, we were best friends,” she told the court.
“He was a shy, sweet little boy, he had a very caring personality but also was a little bit of a clown, he loved to play tricks on us or try to scare us, he was a typical and happy little boy. “
She described their parents as “complicated.”
“Our parents were two completely different personalities, our father was a kind, patient, loving and gentle man, our mom was the opposite very high strung and nervous, anxiety and angry. Mom would scream and yell at him, hit him, call him names. Dad never reacted when mom would hit him or scream at him. Basically, he would let her scream and get it out or hit and be done. The way he dealt with my mom, he always tried to keep the peace, he never wanted to engage in anything, he would step back and would try and take vare of anything she was angry about.”
She said that she and her brother “would run and hide” to “get away from it.”
And she said there was a similarity with how she treated her husband and her children.
“She called us names, we each had our own set of special names. Mine was Violet, that is my father’s mother and my mom hated my father’s mother. She had a few for Johnny, her favorite was ‘one eye’ and she called him that as when he was young the doctors thought he had a lazy eye and would put a patch on his good eye to strengthen the other one. He did not respond in any negative way. They were a way of life, we got used to them. We accepted all of it.”
She told the court that their mother had got “physical” with the children.
“She would hit us, she would throw things, she would get us to take a switch off a tree and that is what she would hit us with It had to be nice and green, if it was not a nice green switch it would snap , they did not break. They don’t work the same. “
She said that he mother had got angry with Johnny and she had seen her hit her brother.
“He was a typical little boy where if it hurt he would cry for the most part, he just wanted to get away from her.”
She said he never hit his mother back as a younger boy, or when he grew up.
“When he was older even if she hit or threw things he never went to that place, he would get away and leave the area. “
She said that she and her brother had vowed to never act in the same way their mother had. “We vowed to do things differently,” she said.