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Sunday, August 9, 2020

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard lawyers seek to avoid confrontation

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Hollywood star Johnny Depp and his estranged wife Amber Heard have been locked in gruelling meetings with lawyers all day as they prepare to come face-to-face at the High Court tomorrow.

Lawyers for the warring former couple have been working to make sure they arrive at the High Court at separate times for the showdown to ensure there is no risk of them bumping into one another outside.

Both Depp and Heard, who haven’t been pictured together for three years, are expected to attend each day of the trial.

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard have not been pictured together in three years. Pictured here: The ex-couple at the Costume Institute Benefit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2014

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard have not been pictured together in three years. Pictured here: The ex-couple at the Costume Institute Benefit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2014

Depp is suing The Sun newspaper and its executive editor Dan Wootton over allegations the actor was violent towards his former wife during their troubled two-year marriage.

The Pirates of the Caribbean star, 57, will spend three days in the witness box at from tomorrow to strenuously deny he ever hit the American actress.

Depp has spent the past two days being ‘prepped’ by Adam Waldman, his high-flying American lawyer. Both arrived in London over the weekend to prepare for the trial, which will also see a number of Hollywood figures giving evidence, including Depp’s former partners Vanessa Paradis and Winona Ryder.

In court, Depp is being represented by David Sherborne while Adam Wolanski QC is appearing on behalf of News Group Newspapers (NGN) publishers of the Sun.

Depp is suing The Sun’s publisher News Group Newspapers over a 2018 article which referred to him as a ‘wife beater’. It appeared under the headline ‘Gone Potty How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife-beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?’

The article related to allegations made against Depp by actress Heard, 34, that he was violent towards her – claims he strenuously denies.

The actor (pictured in February), 57, is suing the tabloid's publisher News Group Newspapers and executive editor Dan Wootton over a 2018 article which referred to Depp as a 'wife beater

The article related to allegations made against Depp by actress Heard (pictured in December), 34, that he was violent towards her during their marriage - claims he strenuously denies

The actor (left, in February), 57, is suing the tabloid’s publisher News Group Newspapers and executive editor Dan Wootton over a 2018 article which referred to Depp as a ‘wife beater’. The article related to allegations made against Depp by actress Heard (right, in December), 34, that he was violent towards her during their marriage – claims he strenuously denies

Heard has hired barrister Jennifer Robinson, a leading human rights lawyer from Doughty Street chambers who also represents Julian Assange, to advise her. She will sit beside her in court and has been spending several hours each day preparing her for the witness box since she arrived in Britain from her home in California last week.

An insider said: ‘They’re both going to spend a long-time giving evidence and their credibility as witnesses is what the whole case rests on. Lawyers from both camps have been working them hard to ensure that they get all their points across and are consistent in what they say.

‘They’re bracing themselves for a grilling and once they take the stand, the lawyers are going to pick holes in their testimony. Giving evidence is going to be challenging for both of them and the trial is going to be a real-life Hollywood blockbuster.’

Pirates of the Caribbean star Depp failed in a bid last week to have Heard banned from the court until she was called by NGN as a witness – meaning she would be prevented from watching her ex-husband give evidence.

The trial hangs on 14 separate incidents of domestic abuse which lawyers for NGN argue demonstrate that the article by Wootton was not libellous.

It is estimated that the trial is costing Depp and NGN around £1milllion each in legal fees.

Pictured: Amber Heard's most recent Instagram post from last weekend. The months leading up to the trial have resulted in a serious of sensational allegations being made public as both sides argued during pre-trial hearings over material that could or could not be made public

Pictured: Amber Heard’s most recent Instagram post from last weekend. The months leading up to the trial have resulted in a serious of sensational allegations being made public as both sides argued during pre-trial hearings over material that could or could not be made public

Pictured: Johnny Depp leaving the High Court in London in February this year. During one hearing, it was revealed that Depp sent texts during his relationship with Heard saying he would 'drown' and 'burn' his wife then 'f*** the corpse'

Pictured: Johnny Depp leaving the High Court in London in February this year. During one hearing, it was revealed that Depp sent texts during his relationship with Heard saying he would ‘drown’ and ‘burn’ his wife then ‘f*** the corpse’ 

The months leading up to the trial have resulted in a serious of sensational allegations being made public as both sides argued during pre-trial hearings over material that could or could not be made public.

During one hearing, it was revealed that Depp sent texts during his relationship with Heard saying he would ‘drown’ and ‘burn’ his wife then ‘f*** the corpse.’

NGN lawyers have been wading through 70,000 texts, some of which will be submitted as evidence to show that Depp was violent towards Heard.

In another hearing, Depp’s lawyer alleged that Heard had ‘two extra-marital affairs’ or ‘extra-relationship affairs’ with Elon Musk and James Franco while she was going out with or was married to Depp. Both men have denied the claims.

The High Court hearing will also hear details of a 2015 trip to Australia by Depp and Heard during which he sent messages asking for drugs, claim the Sun’s lawyers.

They will also allege that he waged a ‘three-day ordeal of physical assaults’ on Heard and ‘held her hostage’ while they were in the country.

Depp is also suing Heard for $50m in the US overa column she wrote in the Washington Post in which she described herself as a “domestic abuse” victim. Although Depp was not named in the column, he claims it defamed him.

His libel claim against the Sun could have a major impact on the outcome of the American hearing.

Depp and Heard met on the set of 2011 comedy The Rum Diary and married in Los Angeles in February 2015.

In May 2016, Heard obtained a restraining order against Depp after accusing him of abuse, which he denied.

The couple settled their divorce out of court in 2017, with Heard donating her seven million US dollars (£5.5 million) settlement to charity.

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