Jury ends deliberations for the day in Depp vs Heard trial

FAIRFAX, United States (AFP)— The jury in the bitter defamation trial between "Pirates of the Caribbean" star Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard concluded deliberations for the day on Tuesday without reaching a verdict.

The seven-person jury will resume their deliberations on Wednesday morning in Fairfax County Circuit Court, near the US capital.

The panel met for seven hours on Tuesday and two hours on Friday.

Closing arguments in the high-profile case were held on Friday at the end of a six-week trial featuring claims and counterclaims of domestic abuse.

The 58-year-old Depp flew to England over the Memorial Day weekend and made surprise appearances at concerts by Jeff Beck in Sheffield on Sunday and at Royal Albert Hall in London on Monday.

Depp, a guitarist, has his own band, the Hollywood Vampires, with Alice Cooper and Joe Perry of Aerosmith.

Depp filed suit against Heard over an op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in December 2018 in which she described herself as a "public figure representing domestic abuse."

The Texas-born Heard, who had a starring role in "Aquaman," did not name Depp in the piece, but he sued her for implying he was a domestic abuser and is seeking $50 million in damages.

The 36-year-old Heard countersued for $100 million, claiming that she suffered "rampant physical violence and abuse" at his hands.

Dozens of witnesses testified during the trial, including Depp's bodyguards, Hollywood executives, agents, entertainment industry experts, doctors, friends and relatives.

Depp and Heard each spent days on the witness stand during the televised trial, which was attended by hundreds of fans of the "Pirates" star and accompanied by a #JusticeForJohnnyDepp campaign on social media.

- 'Monster' -

Video and audio recordings of heated, profanity-laced arguments between the couple were played for the jury, which was also shown photographs of injuries allegedly suffered by Heard during their volatile relationship.

Hours of testimony were devoted to a grisly finger injury that Depp suffered while filming an installment of "Pirates" in Australia in March 2015.

Depp claimed the tip of a finger was severed when Heard threw a vodka bottle at him. Heard said she did not know how the injury occurred.

Both agreed that Depp went on to scrawl messages on walls, lampshades and mirrors using the bloody digit.

Heard said Depp would become a physically and sexually abusive "monster" during alcohol- and drug-fueled binges and resisted her repeated efforts to curb his drinking and drug use.

Depp testified that it was Heard who was frequently violent and said it has been "brutal" to listen to "outlandish" accusations of domestic abuse made against him.

"No human being is perfect, certainly not, none of us, but I have never in my life committed sexual battery, physical abuse," he said.

Heard, who was married to Depp from 2015 to 2017, obtained a restraining order against him in May 2016, citing domestic violence.

Depp, a three-time Oscar nominee, filed a libel suit in London against the British tabloid The Sun for calling him a "wife-beater." He lost that case in November 2020.

Both sides have claimed damage to their Hollywood careers.

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