You don’t always have to visit Disney World to get your thrill ride fix; not as long as actor Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are battling it out on live television for all the world to see, anyway. That’s because the defamation trial in which each actor has called out the other for acts of domestic violence and abuse has been a roller coaster ride from the get-go, and even though the former couple is in the last week of the ongoing defamation trial in Virginia, the ride hasn’t stopped yet.
Since the trial first began on April 11, those in the courtroom have been witnesses themselves to a myriad of allegations, accusations, overplayed audio recordings, and more “expert” witness testimonies than you can shake a proverbial stick at. The audience has been held captive by the testimony of Hollywood celebrities, although some of the celebrities who were originally called to testify–like Elon Musk and James Franco–didn’t show.
Amber Heard’s sister, Whitney Henriquez testified during week five of the court case, focusing intently on an alleged incident at the top of the stairs. (Heard mentioned Kate Moss’s name during her part of the stairs incident testimony, allowing for Depps attorney to call Moss later on in the trial. More on that in a bit.)
Over the last few days, it has been reported by multiple news outlets that Johnny Depp was slated to be called by Amber Heard’s legal team to testify once again. Depp spent four days on the stand earlier in the court proceedings, answering questions from his legal team, being cross-examined by Amber Heard’s team, and then going through the redirect phase with his attorneys yet again.
But in a last-minute switcheroo, Heard’s attorneys, who had said they’d call Depp back to the stand and that he’d be the third witness called when the trial resumed on Monday, have decided against a take-two of Depp’s testimony on the stand.
Though there’s been no explanation for this turn of events, legal experts have said that Heard’s attorneys could be playing with fire by calling Depp to testify again, saying that on his first time on the stand, he did extremely well, he was very likable, and Heard’s attorneys weren’t able to get him into any pitfalls.
Experts opined that having Depp in such a focused light again could backfire on Heard’s team as it could give Depp even more time to be believable and likable, thus giving the jury more reasons to side with him.
According to People Magazine, it was confirmed on May 12 that Johnny Depp would testify again, and the second time he took the stand, it would be as the defendant. Though Depp filed suit against Heard for defamation, Heard countersued once she was unable to have the case thrown out of court.
As of Saturday, the plan was still for Depp to take the stand, but on Monday, shortly after it was confirmed that Depp’s team would be calling on ex-partner and model Kate Moss to testify on Wednesday, People Magazine reported that the decision to call Depp back had been scrapped.
“Calling Depp back to the stand would be as relevant to us as a bicycle to a fish,” People quoted a source on Monday. “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.”
It’s unclear who the “source” is for People Magazine, but many think that this “reason” for not having Depp revisit the stand is not the true reason for Heard’s legal team to pull back on their initial decision.
Depp may still testify as a rebuttal witness, along with Kate Moss. The Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard defamation trial resumes Tuesday morning.