FALLS CHURCH, Va. - Johnny Depp did not take the stand Monday due to a last-minute change in trial strategy for Amber Heard's legal team as the drama-filled $50 million defamation case enters its final week.
Heard's legal team was planning to call Depp back to the witness stand today, but shortly after the court's lunch break, we learned that the team would not call him after all.
A source close to Amber Heard told FOX 5: "Calling Depp back to the stand would be as relevant to us as a bicycle to a fish. Everything Depp has testified up to this point has been irrelevant to the heart of this case, and there’s no reason to believe it would be any different now."
Depp first took the stand several weeks ago for testimony and cross-examination. Heard was also on the stand earlier in the trial to testify and for cross-examination.
Dr. Richard Moore, an orthopedic surgeon, took the stand Monday to discuss how Depp injured his finger. Dr. David Spiegel, a physician-psychiatrist, both took the stand Monday to discuss issues regarding substance use and intimate partner violence.
Supermodel Kate Moss will testify Wednesday on behalf of Johnny Depp about a staircase rumor. Moss got dragged into the case May 5 when Heard told jurors the only time she had ever "landed a blow" was during a fight with Depp over his alleged infidelity in March 2015, when she thought he was about to push her sister down the stairs. "I don't hesitate. I don't wait. I instantly think of Kate Moss and the stairs, and I swung at him," Heard blurted, referring to a rumor that Depp had once shoved the British icon down the stairs.
The trial was in break last Friday. Closing arguments are expected to be heard this Friday following seven weeks of bombshell testimony and questioning.
Last week, Heard’s sister told juror that she personally witnessed Depp strike her sibling. Whitney Heard Henriquez was on the witness stand Wednesday and said she often found herself involved in the troubled relationship of the ex-Hollywood couple. Henriquez testified she saw Depp hit Heard during a March 2015 fight that happened about a month after their wedding following an argument between the two regarding an alleged extramarital affair by Depp.
Henriquez said she was struck in the back before Heard became enraged and "landed one" on Depp. Bodyguards broke up the fight but not before Depp had already grabbed Heard by the hair and struck her several times, Henriquez testified.
Henriquez said it was the only time she witnessed Depp strike Heard but witnessed the aftermath of many other fights.
US actor Amber Heard (R) after returing from lunch break during the 50 million US dollar Depp vs Heard defamation trial at the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Virginia, Virginia, on May 19, 2022. - Actor Johnny Depp is suing ex-wife Amber He
Also last week , in a recorded deposition played for jurors, Heard’s friend Raquel Pennington, testified she never witnessed Depp strike Heard but she said she saw injuries, and took photos of Heard's face in December 2015 following a fight in which Heard claimed Depp head-butted her and possibly broke her nose. The photos showed Heard with a cut lip, black eyes and strands of her hair.
Pennington also said she saw cuts on Heard's feet following her return from a March 2015 trip to Australia.
The cross-examination of Heard concluded last Tuesday after she was cross-examined for most of the day following her testimony in the libel suit against her.
Depp's legal team questioned her about several incidents in which she says she was attacked by her former husband including a fight during which Heard claimed Depp sexually assaulted her.
Heard was questioned as to why she never sought medical attention following the alleged attacks and as to why she wrote a series of love notes to Depp in the months after she said she was assaulted.
The jury was also shown a recording of a deposition Heard gave in 2016 in which she appeared to inadvertently admit she had tipped off the media regarding the former couple's divorce proceedings.
Heard's grueling cross-examination concluded with questions about her arrest for allegedly hitting an ex-girlfriend in 2009.
Heard's lengthy cross-examination began last Monday when Depp's lawyers questioned her about photographs taken within days of alleged abuse incidents but which did not appear to show any visible signs of bruising. Depp's lawyers questioned Heard about photographs taken within days of alleged abuse incidents but which did not appear to show any visible signs of bruising.
US actor Johnny Depp (L) after returing from lunch break during the 50 million US dollar Depp vs Heard defamation trial at the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Virginia, Virginia, on May 19, 2022. - Actor Johnny Depp is suing ex-wife Amber He
Lawyers also questioned Heard about her $7 million divorce settlement from Depp and her pledge to donate that full amount to charity. Heard has only donated a portion of it saying Depp's lawsuit prevented her from fulfilling her pledge.
During her direct testimony earlier in the trial, Heard said she did not want to publicly expose Depp as an abuser but had to in order to obtain a restraining order against him. She discussed at length her makeup routine and her expertise in covering up bruises with what she called her "bruise kit." Heard's legal team also showed photographs to the jury that showed her with red marks and swelling on her face which came after they say the Hollywood couple had their final fight before their divorce in May 2016.
Also last Monday, Heard strongly denied Depp's accusation that she left human fecal matter in the couple's bed following a fight. Heard said it belonged to their teacup Yorkshire terrier that messed the bed.
Heard concluded her testimony by saying daily accusations from Depp supporters that she's lying about the alleged abuse are "torture." Heard is expected back on the witness stand Tuesday.
Prior to the one-week trial hiatus, Heard went into graphic detail as she described disturbing sexual assault allegations against her ex-husband.
From the witness stand, she described an alleged sexual assault she said took place over several days while the then-couple was in Australia in 2015.
Heard alleged Depp accused her of cheating on him with movie co-stars including Billy Bob Thornton and Eddie Redmayne, with whom she'd just shot the film "The Danish Girl." Heard has denied those accusations.
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard at the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Virginia, Virginia, on May 19, 2022 (Photo by Shawn THEW / POOL / AFP) (Photo by SHAWN THEW/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Heard said Depp tore off her clothes and repeatedly punched her before he sexually assaulted her with a liquor bottle in an alcohol-fueled rage.
Heard also described bizarre details she alleges followed the attack, including Depp using her torn nightgown to wrap a raw steak that had been left out.
She accused Depp of writing on the walls with blood from his finger that she says he severed during the incident. Depp has accused Heard of causing the injury after she threw a bottle of alcohol at him.
The March 2015 incident in Australia, that happened over three days during the couple's first year of marriage while Depp was filming the fifth "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie, has been disputed and has been a focal point of the trial.
Heard spoke about how the couple met during their work on the film "The Rum Diary" and how they began dating while doing a press tour for the film's release in 2011.
She said Depp's first act of physical violence against her came in 2013 when he slapped her several times while she looked at his tattoos – specifically one that read "Wino" — an alteration to the lettering he had made when he'd been dating actor Winona Ryder.
Heard also described a 2013 incident when she said she was sexually assaulted by Depp as he performed what he called a "cavity search" on her during a drug-fueled night in California.
The libel lawsuit was filed by Depp against Heard over an op-ed piece Heard wrote in The Washington Post in 2018 in which Heard refers to herself as a "public figure representing domestic abuse." The Post article doesn't mention Depp by name, but he says it clearly refers to her allegation that she suffered physical abuse at his hands. Depp denies the allegation.
Prior to her testimony, Heard abruptly fired her public relations team after she was reportedly angered over negative headlines about the trial.
Earlier in the trial a psychologist testified that Heard suffered post-traumatic stress disorder from violence, including sexual violence, she suffered at the hands of Depp. The psychologist, Dawn Hughes, told jurors that there is corroboration of many of the instances of abuse -- including apologies and admissions made by Depp to Heard. Hughes is the first witness to take the stand on Heard's behalf in the four-week trial after Depp rested his case earlier in the day.
Depp's agent testified that Heard's op-ed piece in The Washington Post describing herself as a victim of domestic abuse was "catastrophic" to his career. Agent Jack Whigham said Depp lost a $23 million deal for a "Pirates of the Caribbean" sequel following Heard's piece.
The trial opened April 11, and since its start, Depp has testified regarding his past drug use, has discussed suffering a mental breakdown and talked about the disturbing details surrounding his relationship with Heard. Heard's attorneys have highlighted text messages Depp sent to friends recounting alcohol and drug use and have shown photos that showed cocaine and other drugs they say belonged to the actor.
A forensic psychologist hired by Depp's legal team testified that Heard suffers from borderline and histrionic personality disorder. The psychologist, Shannon Curry, took the stand saying she reached her diagnosis during 12 hours of interviews with Heard and after a review of her mental-health records. Curry also testified that Heard does not suffer post-traumatic stress disorder from her relationship with Depp. On cross-examination, Heard's lawyers questioned Curry for potential bias.
Jurors have also heard testimony from Tara Roberts, the woman who managed Depp's private island in the Bahamas who testified that she never saw Heard with any kind of bruises.
Los Angeles police officer Melissa Saenz who testified about her visit to Depp's penthouses just days before Heard filed for divorce and sought a restraining order said that Heard had been crying but she saw no evidence of an injury.
Depp's cross-examination concludedafter four days on the witness stand.
During his time on the stand, Depp denied ever hitting Heard and accused her of striking him. Depp said Heard threw liquor bottles and paint cans at him during arguments the two had during their relationship. He also denied cutting off his own finger during a fight with Heard, claiming she severed it when she threw a vodka bottle at him.
Jurors also heard audio clips of Depp berating his then-wife with vulgarities. In other clips, Heard seemingly taunted Depp, suggesting he wouldn't be believed if he were to accuse her of abuse. Jurors were also shown dozens of text messages from Depp to friends regarding drinking, drug use and interactions with Heard.
Throughout the cross-examination, Heard's lawyers focused on Depp's drinking, drug use and heated interactions with her. Depp expressed disapproval and displeasure with many of the questions asked during his four days on the stand.
Earlier in the trial, Depp's older sister, Christi Dembrowski, faced a barrage of questions from Heard's lawyers about Depp's alcohol and drug use. Isaac Baruch, a longtime friend and next-door neighbor of Depp also testified that Amber Heard told him Depp had hit her but he never saw evidence of abuse on her face.
A former personal assistant to Amber Heard, Kate James, also testified in a video deposition that was played in court saying she never saw the actress suffer any physical abuse at the hands of her then-husband but did say Heard once spit in her face when she asked for a higher salary.
Lawyers also presented a video deposition of Laurel Anderson, a couple's therapist who worked with Heard and Depp in 2015 who said both suffered childhood abuse. As a couple, they were engaged in "mutual abuse," Anderson testified.
Depp and Heard met in 2009, were married in 2015. Heard filed for divorce a year later.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.