Depp Heard Trial Resumes: All The Possible Outcomes
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Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's libel trial has resumed today, however there are only two weeks left before the jurors must decide.
The pair have been embroiled in an intense four weeks of testimony amid a $50 million lawsuit Johnny Depp filed against his ex-wife over an op-ed piece she wrote for The Washington Post in 2018 in which she claimed to be 'a public figure representing domestic abuse'.
While Amber Heard didn't mention Depp by name, the Pirates of the Caribbean actor has argued the insinuation has not only ruined his career but his reputation too.
As the trial resumes at Fairfax County District Courthouse, Heard is set to be questioned by Depp's legal team.
However, experts have weighed in on just what could happen in two weeks time when the trial ends and what could be the most important factors to be weighed up in the jurors' final resolution.
The jury has so far heard four weeks of testimony, with the likes of doctors, forensic psychologists and members of Depp's security team having taken to the stand.
However, both actors' profession and skill for performing has been noted by experts as being the real focus and problem for the jury in their deliberations.
Both Heard and Depp have taken to the stand, with Heard detailing incidents of alleged abuse, such as the first time Depp 'hit' her.
However, both have been accused of performing, with American radio and TV personality Howard Stern accusing Depp of 'overacting' and Heard outed for reportedly stealing lines from The Talented Mr Ripley.
Kimberly Lau, a partner at New York legal firm Warshaw Burstein, explained how difficult the jury will find it to be able to tell truth from lie given Depp and Heard are both distinguished actors.
She told Sky News: "Both sides have done a fair job at exposing the other's less-than-finer moments. What will make this trial particularly challenging for a jury is the fact that both parties are trained actors whose job is to make the audience believe they are, in fact, the role they play.
"The testimony of the witnesses and documentary evidence will be even more essential for the jury to determine who is really telling the truth and who may be merely acting out a role."
Matthew Dando, partner and media law expert at London firm Wiggin, reflected how Heard and Depp's appearances in court may also be being amped up even more due to the widespread media coverage surrounding the trial.
He told PA: "It will inevitably mean that the advocates are not just playing to the people in the courtroom, but directly through television... they're playing directly to the public."
Lau also noted how juries come with 'an inherent unpredictability' opposed to the case having been brought before a judge.
"Having a jury of several individuals – in this case, seven – makes a big difference in the deliberation process.
"The opinion of one is not enough; all seven must agree. And while judges, unlike juries, already have an understanding of the law, the jury is comprised of several individuals whose life experiences can have an impact on how they view and weigh the evidence at trial," the legal partner noted.
If Depp wins the case, the jury will have to decide how much of the $50 million he is awarded in damages, or whether the actor should receive less or more.
Even if Depp loses the case, the trial is a civil one opposed to criminal, which means the actor wouldn't be found guilty of a crime.
Lau noted how a loss could be potentially be more damaging for Heard due to her being younger than Depp and subsequently having more of her career left to be impacted.
Whether Depp or Heard win, Lau warned: "It will be tough for Depp to completely salvage his career even if he prevails at trial. The accusations may be enough to make some question the truth no matter what the outcome at trial.
"It's hard to unring a bell."
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