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BREAKING: Jury deliberations have begun in the Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard trial

Jury deliberations have finally begun in what some are calling the “trial of the century.”

The jury has been excused to the jury’s deliberation room in the Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard defamation trial after six long weeks of testimony, arguments, a myriad of sidebars, and some of the strangest happenings and antics seen at any courthouse.

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Bring Fan Culture to the Courtroom - The New York Times

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On Thursday, Judge Penney Azcarate explained certain rules for the jury to consider in their deliberations.

According to The Hollywood Reporter:

In a key ruling on jury instructions, the judge overseeing the case sided with Heard’s lawyers Thursday that Waldman does not qualify for privilege, a defense from defamation, because his statements were not in response to anything Heard said or wrote. A ruling the other way could have led to jurors outright denying Heard’s $100 million counterclaim against Depp.

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Ben Rottenborn, representing Heard, said of Waldman that it cannot be the case “that defending yourself through judicially immune statements in a lawsuit entitles someone to go out and say whatever they want to avail themselves to privilege.” He called Waldman — thrown off the case for leaking information covered by a protective order to the press — Depp’s “attack dog.”

Asked about Heard’s statements that Waldman was responding to entitling him to a defense of privilege, a lawyer for Depp pointed to an article in The Sun that called the actor a “wife beater.”

“They have to be Ms. Heard’s statements,” Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Penney Azcarate replied.

On Friday, after hours of closing arguments on both sides, Judge Penney Azcarate excused jurors to the deliberations room, shortly after excusing alternate jurors #3 and #14, but instructing them that they were still bound by the rules inside the courtroom for the jury, should they need to be called back to serve on the jury in the event another juror is unable to fulfill his or her duties.

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It is unclear how long it will take jurors to come to a decision in the Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard defamation trial.

There are 37 pages of instructions for jurors to follow and a 4-page verdict form. Now we await breaking news of the jury’s decision, which could take hours or days for the jury to reach.

About Becky Burkett

I'm an enthusiastic writer who finds joy in random things like cold weather, snow, "I Love Lucy," "The Andy Griffith Show," journals full of blank paper, countdowns to Christmas, the month of December, "Toy Story," "Sleeping Beauty," my 4 kids, my 4 shih tsus, Disney Parks history, Imagineering and visiting the parks. I think Walt Disney is the standard against which genius should be measured. I love to write about Disney Parks, Disney history, all things Imagineering and PIXAR. I adore the colors, story and art direction of Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" (Team Make it Blue!), and "Toy Story" is life (minus "Toy Story 4"). I believe Walt Disney was so much more than an entertainment and theme park tycoon; I believe he was a savant with a vision for life and how it could be if happiness and kindness are strived for. I love Biergarten at EPCOT and 1900 Park Fare at Disney's Grand Floridian. You can find me croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room, chillin' on the PeopleMover or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. I'm always looking for Imagineers in the parks, and I'd rather meet Joe Rohde and Tony Baxter than anyone in Hollywood! Hey, if you dream it, you really can do it!