Amber Heard’s claims that Johnny Depp was violent towards her are “an act of profound cruelty to true survivors of domestic abuse”, a court has heard.
Lawyers for the actor said a “mountain” of evidence that Mr Depp assaulted his former partner was “simply not there” as they made their closing remarks in the high-profile US defamation lawsuit.
The actor is suing his former partner over a 2018 article she wrote in the Washington Post, which was titled: “I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.”
The article does not mention Mr Depp by name, yet his lawyers say it falsely implies he physically and sexually abused Ms Heard while they were together.
His lawyer Camille Vasquez began her opening remarks on Friday by reminding jurors that Ms Heard had filed a restraining order against her former partner on May 27 2016.
“In doing so ruined his life by falsely telling the world that she was a survivor of domestic abuse at the hands of Mr Depp,” she said.
“On May 27 2022, exactly six years later, we ask you to give Mr Depp his life back.
“What is at stake in this trial is a man’s life.”
She continued: “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.”
Ms Vasquez told jurors that there was no evidence that Mr Depp had abused Ms Heard, only “a mountain of unproven allegations”.
“The mountain of evidence that Mr Depp abused Ms Heard is simply not there,” she said.
“What we have is a mountain of unproven allegations that are wild, over the top and implausible, and you can’t pick and choose which of these wild allegations to believe and which ones to disregard.
“You either believe all of it, or none of it.
“Either she is a victim of truly horrific abuse or she is a woman who is willing to say absolutely anything.
She added: “It is disturbing to think Ms Heard would make up the horrific tales of abuse that she testified to in this courtroom.
“What Ms Heard testified to in this courtroom is a story of far too many women, but the overwhelming evidence and weight of that evidence is that it is not her story.
“It is not Ms Heard’s story.
“It was an act of profound cruelty not just to Mr Depp, but to true survivors of domestic abuse for Ms Heard to hold herself out as a public figure representing domestic abuse.
“It was false, it was defamatory and it caused irreparable harm.”