April 18, 202, Fairfax County, VA — The 50-million-dollar defamation lawsuit between actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard is now underway in Fairfax County, Virginia in Depp vs Heard. Each accused the other side of lies, defamation and abuse. The case stems from a December, 2018 opinion piece that Amber wrote that was published in the Washington Post.
You can find every single document stemming from all of their legal disputes, from their divorce to the defamation case, all compiled and labeled here. You can find the documents from the UK case there as well.
The trial could last at least six weeks, with over 100 witnesses who may testify, and both Depp and Heard may take the stand as well. Depp met Heard during the shooting of the film “The Rum Diaries” in 2009. The former co-stars began dating each other in 2012 and were married three years later.
Around the time of Heard’s blockbuster film Aquaman’s release in May of 2016, police were called to the couple’s Los Angeles home responding to an alleged domestic dispute. The Los Angeles Police Department concluded that there was no evidence of a crime. A few days after that, Amber Heard filed for divorce and a restraining order, having accused Depp of “repeated” domestic violence. Depp’s representatives denied these allegations, but Heard was granted a temporary restraining order.
The bitter feud between the two played out in the public, with each slinging accusations at the other. Before the hearing on the restraining order, the couple ended their divorce, settled for a reported 7 million dollars. Heard dropped the restraining order, and she and Depp released a joint statement claiming that: “Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love. Neither party has made false accusations for financial gain. There was never any intent of physical or emotional harm.”
Then in 2018, Heard published the op-ed in the Washington Post, alleging domestic violence, which Depp claimed was defamatory and caused him harm to his career. Heard claimed that Depp repeatedly abused her.
The trial began with opening statements and testimony from Depp’s sister Christi Dembrowski. The next day Christi Dembrowski continued her testimony and we also heard from Isaac Baruch and Brandon Patterson. Linked are my prior two articles on the trial. On the third day we heard from Heard’s former assistant Kate James, from marriage counselor Dr. Laurel Anderson, friend of Depp Ms. Gina Deuters and finally from Depp’s doctor, Dr. Kipper.
As a guest on Alison Morrow’s Channel I discussed the trial with Nate the Lawyer also joining us:
Amber entered the court room with her hair down in loose blonde curls. She looked heavily medicated. Johnny had his hair slicked back today and pulled up into a pony tail. Today’s proceedings began with the continued testimony of Dr. Kipper. This is a pre-recorded deposition that was conducted in February of 2021.
First Witness: Dr. Kipper Continued
Dr. Kipper had been treating Mr. Depp for substance abuse issues with alcohol, stimulants and opiates. We learned on Thursday (day 3 of the trial) that Dr. Kipper had left Amber Heard alone to administer Depp’s detox drugs in the Bahamas. Once he arrived on the island, he personally oversaw Depp’s detox treatment. During the detox process, he saw Depp at least once a day. He says Depp was frustrated and uncomfortable during this day. This was around the 2014-2015 time period.
He claimed he did see Ms. Heard pretty much daily during his time on the island. He did not observe any injuries on Ms. Heard during that time. He said that during this time he never saw Depp abuse Ms. Heard, nor did he see any evidence of this. We learned that Dr. Kipper started treating Amber Heard at some point and assigned a nurse to her. He says he believes he was treating her before he assigned a nurse to her.
The nurse was checking in with her very regularly, had daily contact with her in some way. He confirms that Ms. Heard never reported any abuse by Mr. Depp to him. Dr. Kipper then discussed the incident with his finger in Australia — he said he cleaned his wound the best he could with the supplies they had, then took Mr. Depp to the hospital. He was taken back to his hotel after this.
He said after he saw him initially, before going to the hospital with him he went into the home to instruct someone to look for the tip of the finger, hoping that reattaching it was possible. He said a man was there, a chef, who found it and said he discovered it in the kitchen area. He said he saw Ms. Heard during this time and she was “certainly upset,” but did not seek any medical attention at that time. He did not observe any injuries to her.
He was asked if she had a broken nose or if he had any swelling or cuts and Dr. Kipper said no. When asked if Heard had appeared injured was that something he would have documented, he says yes. Dr. Kipper says there was blood around the home. He saw broken glass in the kitchen area, which is where part of the finger was found.
He said in the six plus years he has known Depp, he never witnessed him being physically abusive to anyone, including Ms. Heard. Asked about a text he received from Johnny, he told the emergency room doctor he had cut his finger with a knife. He also said that to Kipper via text. He has claimed that this was an attempt to protect Amber. Dr. Kipper says while Ms. Heard was under the care of his nurse, she would have documented any abuse.
Second Witness: Debbie Loyd
For background information, here is something that has already come out regarding this incident:
Here’s a conversation about Amber Heard doing coke and she later confirmes that she, indeed does drugs.
Her creepy manipulative behavior is also showing big time when she tries to fool one of Depp’s bodyguard into thinking it was Depp doing coke. (Debunked by medical records.) pic.twitter.com/6WP7DdXVuv
— Sienna (@winonasrider) April 20, 2020
Amber is now contradicting this admission.
Deborah Lloyd is a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner from Beverly Hills. She was asked if Mr. Depp had ever thrown anything at her face, she said no. When asked if she would be willing to go to Virginia to attend the trial by Depp’s lawyers, she said no. She is an addiction nurse, with a Master’s degree. Received a certificate in addiction treatment, taking care of patients with chemical dependency issues.
She was a “concierge nurse,” meaning, they would come to the patient to their home. This is something that is available for wealthy patients, so they don’t have to go to the doctor; the doctor comes to them. She can diagnose and prescribe medications under a doctor’s supervision, that is the difference between a Registered Nurse, versus a Nurse Practitioner. When she worked for Mr. Depp through Dr. Kipper, she was a Registered Nurse.
She says in 2015 or 2016 she believes is when she started working with Mr. Depp. She came to understand Depp was looking to detox from opioids. She never witnessed him use any cocaine. Dr. Kipper hired her as a contractor. Depp never paid her directly. She received a jewelry box and a fancy notepad as a gift from Depp. We learned that Dr. Kipper is also treating nurse Debbie as her personal doctor.
She said she hired nurse Erin Burham on a contract basis, if she needed her for a case. She had hired her for other patients, before Depp and Heard. She says she was taking care of Johnny and it was decided that Amber needed some support so she brought in Ms. Burham as Amber’s primary nurse.
She noted that Depp started taking opiates after some dental work and became addicted to them. She said according to her notes, Depp had depression and anxiety due to “emotional trauma.” Debbie said after filming, they agreed to do the detox on Mr. Depp’s island. Her role was “medication management” as related to his detox. She would administer medications prescribed by Dr. Kipper.
She was shown an exhibit that includes texts between her and Ms. Heard as well as between her and Mr. Depp. Her notes claimed that Depp was seen with bloody knuckles after admitting to punching a white board after a fight with Heard over him not “supporting” her enough.
Her notes said that Depp was struggling with his emotions, he told the nurse via text about issues with Heard. Claimed she was out at a party until 5am and then would come home acting like nothing happened and profess her undying love for him but he felt it was all a lie. He said Amber told him she wanted to change but he didn’t believe she would. He indicated he was having trouble distinguishing between what was real and what was not. (Writer’s side note: Potentially the cognitive dissonance that results from repeated gaslighting.)
Her notes claim she received word that JD and AH had been fighting (in Australia) and he cut his finger. She went to Depp’s house after learning he cut his finger. She recalls going there, Kipper went in, his finger had been cut. The house looked a “mess,” there was writing on the walls, in blood, there was a smashed TV. She remembers they looked for his finger in the downstairs area. There was a pool table/entertainment room.
She says “Ben” doesn’t recall his last name (Depp’s house manager) found the finger. She said Depp had “dirt, grime and paint” on his hands. Doesn’t recall seeing glass or smelling alcohol. Says Malcom and Steven were with them his assistant and security guard accompanied them to hospital. Ben brought the finger to ER.
Asked “do you have an understanding how he cut his finger,” she said heard different stories. Heard that Amber threw a bottle of vodka at him and the glass severed his finger. She heard another story that he slammed it with a phone. She doesn’t recall who told her the different stories about the incident. Doesn’t recall specific conversations.
She has no recollection of Dr. Kipper withdrawing his care from Depp for specific periods. She said she doesn’t recall having reservations about traveling to Australia. They go over text exchanges between her and Johnny Depp. At some point in her notes it says that JD expressed that he felt a majority of his problems with his wife stemmed from his use of drugs and alcohol.
Her nursing notes end on July 1, 2015. She doesn’t recall her last date as his nurse. April 14th 2015 entries from her notes where she writes about setting treatment goals and information about boundaries for traveling in Australia. April 15 entries at 12:15 she wrote: “arrived at patient home, he was in bad mood he told his assistant he didn’t need any help that day. RN knocked on JD’s door and he said ‘what’ and indicated he didn’t need help. Security came and cleared everyone out of home.”
He later apologized to her, claiming he thought she was “Steven” whom he believed was traveling with his wife and was disloyal.
After lunch break recess, the trial resumed with the Debbie Lloyd’s deposition continuing.
She is asked how long after an event happened, would she record it in her notes to which she said, that varied. She discussed what opiate detox is like, how taxing and painful it is, things like aches, pains, sweating, restlessness, etc.
August 20, 2014 (from nurses notes) that discuss his reason for wanting to give up on detox was due to the issues he was having with his wife. (Reporter’s side note: was Amber Heard still using drugs and using them in front of him, at this point?) Depp basically was implying he felt he needed opiate drugs to deal with Ms. Heard and the relationship tensions.
Nurse recalls Depp telling her he felt Amber Heard was trying to interfere in his treatment, by telling the doctors and medical staff things about him that were not true. Ms. Lloyd said she does remember Depp and Heard having relationship problems at this point, doesn’t recall if it directly impacted his treatment.
From her notes: “meeting at MD’s house was quite stressful for patient, him and his fiancé are having a hard time communicating and understanding each others feelings… plan is for fiancé to start therapy tomorrow.”
From her notes: “Received text from patient’s sister that patient has been recording music with his friend until 0500 in the morning and did not go to sleep until 0700 and is currently still sleeping. Patient went on to say he and his fiancé had a disagreement the other night and that patient was able to remain calm and handled situation appropriately.”
From her notes: “patient (JD) expressed feeling about argument with fiancé and feels relationship is putting unwanted stress on him right now. patient given positive reinforcement recognizing triggers and some healthy coping mechanisms...”
From her notes: “there is discussion about Ms. Heard having Erin was a nurse and her being put on ‘mood stabilizers’ after she and JD agreed they both needed to take this time to work on themselves.”
Nurse Lloyd claimed she did not recall witnessing Heard being anxious. In her notes, it says that JD believed Amber having a nurse would help reduce the stress on their relationship. She said it was important for his treatment for him to have his stress reduced, because detox is difficult and requires the least amount of stress.
From nurse’s notes: “met with patient, he claims he is experiencing ‘body pains and aches;’ while RN was visiting patient, fiancé came in and tried to start a fight but patient was able to stay calm and talk his fiancé down.”
The Nurse, when asked if she witnessed Amber instigating fights, relayed an incident when they tried to leave the Penthouse and Amber came and stood and tried to prevent them from leaving. She didn’t want JD to leave.
From 9/12/14 RN notes: “Patient (JD) expressed some concerns with fiancé’s behavior and how it is adding stress to his life. Patient given positive reinforcement on how he is working through his emotions and redirected to continuing to work on himself as his fiancé is committing to working with her treatment team. MD gave patient some communication techniques to use with his fiancé wen confrontational situations arise…”
*Reporters Side Bar: It appears Depp’s lawyers are laying the foundation that his drug addiction appears related to the tensions he was having in his relationship with Amber. He repeatedly said he wanted to quit detox treatment, because he felt he needed drugs to deal with her. Amber’s behavior also apparently effected his detox treatment, through added stress and tensions.
At one point in her notes, it says that “JD requested an emergency session with psychiatrist to discuss feelings about arguments with Amber Heard. Expressed he felt he was in a no-win situation with Ms. Heard.”
Nurse Loyd says she was concerned for Depp when he was in fights with Ms. Heard because it was an emotional trigger for him. Nurse described Heard’s behavior towards Depp as “negative” in her notes. Nurse says at times she would try to instigate him, referring to Ms. Heard, says she witnessed this personally on more than one occasion.
She says that she remembers an argument, him trying to leave and Amber following him from room to room and not giving his space. *Reporter’s side note: This is consistent with what Dr. Anderson the marriage counselor said she observed during their couples therapy sessions.
At one point it states in her notes: “JD was expressing to a friend how he felt stressed in his relationship with Heard. He felt she was not being truthful with him, he wasn’t sure how to discuss this with her.”
She reported that one time she and Dr. Kipper went to home to check on JD and he appeared anxious and depressed over relationship issues and that he had not been sleeping.
Nurse said she recalls hearing discussions about talks of a “prenup agreement” before Depp and Heard got married. JD related to her that Heard didn’t take the conversation well. Johnny said that when they spoke about a prenup, Heard became upset.
When asked about the time that Depp’s finger was cut, she referred to her March 7, 2015 notes, which stated “MD received a text message from client that he had been arguing with wife and had cut his finger.” According to her notes he cut his middle right finger. Her notes claim “upon arrival back to apartment, patient expressed anger and sadness about relationship and was advised to stay away from wife because relationship was toxic.”
She said she believed the relationship was toxic based on conversations she and JD had and based on some of the things she witnessed.
Third Witness: Sean Bett
The third witness to take the stand today, this one appearing in person, is Sean Bett, the head of Johnny Depp’s security. He testified that he has worked in private security for the past 20 years, and prior to that he worked for the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department for around 14 years. Said he came to be employed by Mr. Depp from what’s called networking — during the course of working for State security, you come across people. You meet people, they ask if you want to work on a contract basis, etc. Said by end of 2006, beginning of 2007 he has been employed exclusively by Mr. Depp.
Bett started to travel a bit more with the Depp family, out of the country and then worldwide. Said he was around him (Depp) quite a bit. He would be around Depp and provide security for him when he went out and about with his children and in public. He had access to his residence at any given time; he had an open door policy, has access to his hotel room, wherever he is — in the event of emergency.
Bett is Depp’s lead security. Other security members: Malcom (does his European travel mostly), Leanard, Mark, Travis, Starlene. When asked who Jerry Judge is, Bett claims his former security colleague who died of cancer. When asked if he has seen Depp drink, he said he has. He claimed Depp’s demeanor is same after drinking as it normally is. He gets kinda too cool for school, is very funny and likable, like Jack Sparrow. Said he has seen him slightly intoxicated and his demeanor is low key, easy to get along with.
Bett said he was generally aware that Depp has used drugs throughout the years, learned it from Depp. He says he knows who Amber Heard is, and that he first met her around 2011 0r 2012. It was some time ago. She came over to his Hollywood estate. He said she was very pleasant, easy to get along with, always had a smile on her face no issues at the time. He liked her a lot. He observed them on a part-time basis in the early stages of their relationship — maybe 4 to 6 days a week when they were in California.
When asked about the early stages of their relationship he became aware of Heard’s sister Whitney and her good friend Rocky Pennington, her boyfriend at the time Josh Drew. He observed Depp’s interactions with Heard’s family and friends, he was open and warm to them, he offered them whatever they needed, they would drive his car and take it on trips, he let them stay at his penthouses for free. They were very pleasant to him because according to Bett they were taking advantage of him.
When asked if he was ever present for any conversations among Ms. Heard and her friends he said he was. One time he was taking her from Mr. Depp’s place to her apartment in the south end of the city that Mr. Depp was paying for, she was sitting next to him in the vehicle talking on her phone to a girlfriend about another male, and she (Amber) said to the friend “all men are idiots, you shouldn’t trust that guy,” then she turned to him and said “sorry Sean, not you.” That was around 2012 or 13.
Bett said he observed changes as their romantic relationship progressed. He said he noticed they went from being that loving almost like high school couple — where they were very giddy towards each other, he was very happy she was very happy — to they started to argue periodically. Then it started to progress more and more and more, always taking place because Ms. Heard would start the argument.
Bett said he saw Heard drink occasionally when she was around. He said when she was around, she was drinking. He said based on his experience as former law enforcement he could tell she was intoxicated. Claimed to have witnessed “several” arguments between JD and AH. He was outside reading a book one time and when he walked past he could hear her voice shouting at a high pitch, Depp was speaking with Heard and there was music playing. So he stood by door briefly then left — probably around 2013 time frame.
He said once after an argument at the West Hollywood Estate, they had an argument and Depp told him to take her downtown to the Penthouse so she can relax and cool off. As they were driving downtown and she was crying this was at the point when the arguing was happening quite frequently. He said he told her “Amber, this can’t continue. You guys are either going to kill each other or go to jail,” and with tears in her eyes she said “well, I love him, I’m not going to lose him,” and he said “but you guys can’t keep doing this.”
#JohnnyDepp's security guard Sean Bett told the jury about an argument he observed between Amber Heard and Depp. His security guard also discussed the moment Heard confided in him. @LawCrimeNetwork pic.twitter.com/meS8Km4Fjd
— Law&Crime Network (@LawCrimeNetwork) April 18, 2022
Bett said he observed constant arguing and bickering, slowly progressing and he thought it was going to end badly. He said he overheard Amber saying “he’s a fatass, fuck you Johnny, and you too Sean,” when she tried to throw a plastic bottle at him.
He claimed the arguing would happen, then they would reconcile. She would have candles lit and a bottle of wine with glasses, dinner to reconcile. He said he did not see Heard hit Depp or have any physical injuries. He said he did observe injuries on Mr. Depp — the first time around 2014 in which his finger was damaged from an incident in Australia. He said he saw another injury in March of 2015, he had a swollen cheekbone/eyelid.
See photo admitted into evidence above. Bett said photo depicts swollen upper cheekbone with redness to it. He said around December of 2015 Depp got into an argument with Ms. Heard and she scratched him and he saw scratch marks around his nose area, on the sides of his face and cheek area and on his forehead.
Laceration on left side of his nose. On his forehead above ridgeline, almost to center a red scratch mark.
On second image, scratch mark on cheek in downward motion.
In third image you see scratch mark on his left chin area, as well as under his right eye and on his nose.
Said he never saw injuries on Heard, she never asked him for help, he never saw evidence she was abused.
Bett is asked if he remembers anything about April 21, 2016, and he claims that was the evening that Heard was celebrating her birthday with some friends. They got into another argument and she struck him in the face.
You can watch the full day’s proceedings here:
We will continue to provide trial updates.