Biggest bombshells in unsealed Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard court docs: Erectile dysfunction, nude photos, and Marilyn Manson
Nude photos, erectile dysfunction, and barely legal groupies can now be added to the list of bizarre topics that have emerged from a celebrity trial that already included mysterious fecal matter and a severed finger.
Yes, just when you thought there couldn't possibly be more to learn about the Johnny Depp- Amber Heard defamation trial, more than 6,000 pages of court documents were released over the weekend, revealing even more shockingly depraved details about the stars at its center.
The document dump came almost exactly two months after a jury in Fairfax County, Va., ruled that Heard intentionally and maliciously defamed Depp when she wrote a 2018 Washington Post op-ed identifying herself as a "public figure representing domestic abuse." Although Heard never named Depp in the piece, the jury found that references to him were clear, and awarded the actor $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. (The judge later reduced the punitive damages to Virginia's statutory cap of $350,000.) Heard earned a small countersuit victory of $2 million in compensatory damages, and her team has filed a motion to appeal the verdict.
The recently unsealed records will likely do little to change public opinion on the verdict, but the documents, which were obtained and posted online for public access by lawyer Andrea Burkhart, offer new insight into the tense behind-the-scenes negotiations ahead of the trial — plus a few new surprises.
Below, check out the most shocking things we learned from the unsealed documents.
Depp allegedly tried to submit nude photos of Heard, claim she was an escort
Heard's team alleged that Depp had "inappropriately" sought to include nude photos of Heard as evidence in the televised trial. Heard's team also claimed that Depp tried to introduce other "irrelevant personal matters," like Heard's "brief stint as an exotic dancer years before she met Mr. Depp." According to Heard's lawyers, Depp's team was "attempting to frivolously and maliciously suggest or imply that Ms. Heard was at one time an escort."
"Nude pictures of Amber Heard or comments about stripping or escort services would be highly distracting and unfairly prejudicial to the extent they portray Amber Heard as a sex symbol instead of a women's rights activist against domestic abuse," Heard's lawyer, Elaine Bredehoft, argued in the documents.
Heard tried to submit evidence that Depp has erectile dysfunction
Depp's team called Heard's alleged attempts to submit into record parts of his medical history, namely prescriptions for drugs commonly used to treat erectile dysfunction and herpes, a clear attempt to "take this trial down a number of unnecessarily salacious rabbit holes."
But Heard's team argued that Depp's alleged erectile dysfunction was relevant to one of the actress' most disturbing allegations: that Depp raped her with a liquor bottle during a fight. "Though Mr. Depp would rather not disclose his erectile dysfunction condition, such a condition absolutely is relevant to sexual violence, including Mr. Depp's anger and use of a bottle to rape Amber Heard," her lawyers argued. "Mr. Depp's erectile dysfunction makes it more probable that Mr. Depp would be angry or agitated in encounters with Amber Heard, and that he would resort to a bottle." (Depp has strenuously denied the alleged incident, and has maintained he's never physically attacked Heard.)
More disturbing texts with Marilyn Manson
While Depp's close friendship with embattled shock rocker Marilyn Manson came up often during the trial, the unsealed documents show that Depp's team tried hard to keep text messages between them private, arguing it was an unfair attempt to paint Depp as guilty by association.
But a now-unsealed motion filed March 28 revealed more disturbing texts between Depp and Manson, who, taking a page out of his friend's book, is currently suing his ex-girlfriend, actress Evan Rachel Wood, for defamation after she and others accused him of grooming and sexual abuse. According to copies of the texts in the unsealed court documents, Manson messaged Depp in 2016 about a woman named Lindsay (Manson is currently married to photographer Lindsay Usich), saying he has an "amber 2.0" situation: "Lindsay just [pulled] an amber on me…please delete," he wrote.
Depp texted back, "I been reading A LOT of material on that and sociopathic behavior…it is f—ing real my brother!! My ex-c— is goddamn TEXTBOOK!!!"
Manson replied, "I got a serious police amber type scenarios with L's family. I'm f—ing stressing. I don't know if you are back but I need asylum somewhere because I think the cops might be headed my way."
In another unsealed text exchange, Manson messaged Depp: "My new fan meet and greet girl Looks like you need it. Trust me. I'll send a pic. 18."
Testimony Depp fought to keep out of court
The unsealed documents show that, while not always successful, Depp's lawyers fought hard to keep many of Heard's experts off the witness stand. Although Elaine Barkin did ultimately testify, Depp's team urged the court to block testimony from the actress, who claimed Depp threw a bottle in her direction during a fight while they were dating in the '90s. They also tried to keep inflammatory texts between Depp and his actor friend Paul Bettany private, arguing that the two were merely exhibiting a dark sense of humor when they spoke of drowning Heard to determine whether she's a witch, with Depp suggesting they burn and mutilate her corpse as well.
Depp's team also unsuccessfully sought to bar testimony from Dr. David Spiegel, a psychiatrist for the defense; Dr. Dawn M. Hughes, another psychologist who met with Heard for several sessions and determined she experienced PTSD; and Dr. Amy Banks, a relationship consultant who met with the couple and believed Heard suffered domestic violence at Depp's hands. The court documents further show that Depp's team wished to exclude forensic expert Julian Ackert, who later suggested in court that audio and photo files submitted as evidence by Depp "raised concerns of manipulation, alteration, and deletion."
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