ACLU helped draft article at heart of Depp v Heard case for $3.5m donation, court hears | Johnny Depp

The ACLU helped Amber Heard draft the Washington Put up article accusing Johnny Depp of abuse after the group was once promised a $3.5m donation from her divorce – although a minimum of $500,000 of it sooner or later got here from a fund attached to Tesla founder Elon Musk, jurors within the Depp-Heard defamation trial heard on Thursday.

The American Civil Liberties Union’s common suggest, Terence Dougherty, testified that the group determined to suggest Heard as an envoy for the gang after Heard pledged the sizeable donation over 10 years.

“Ms Heard spoke with such readability and experience on problems with gender-based violence that [ACLU representatives] determined she could be an acceptable individual to invite to transform an ACLU ambassador,” Dougherty testified.

However of the $1.3m slice of the donation that was once supposed to return from Heard, $100,000 got here without delay from her ex-husband Depp, and, according to an e mail from Elon Musk, the courtroom was once informed, $500,000 got here from a donor-advised fund attached to Musk but registered as a donation from Heard.

Simply $350,000 was once contributed from accounts without delay managed via Heard, the courtroom heard, and every other $350,000 got here from an nameless donor, whom the ACLU believed to even be Heard. By means of 2019, when donations attributed to Heard dried up, the ACLU consultant informed the courtroom it was once the gang’s figuring out that “she was once having monetary difficulties”.

“We didn’t obtain any quantities in 2019 and on,” Dougherty added.

As a part of the connection the ACLU solid with Heard, the gang later agreed to draft the 2018 Washington Put up article by which Heard mentioned she was once “a public determine representing home abuse” that lies on the heart of Depp’s libel declare towards his ex-wife.

“In keeping with my evaluation of upper drafts of the op-ed, I knew that it was once regarding Johnny Depp and her marriage,” Dougherty mentioned right through the 2021 video deposition proven to the jury.

The ACLU’s communications workforce sought to incorporate Heard’s “hearth and rage” at the topic, however inner ACLU emails, together with drafts and adjustments to the object, replicate the group’s considerations that references to home abuse may violate the phrases of the non-disclosure settlement in her divorce.

Heard, the courtroom was once informed, had sought after a connection with her transient restraining order towards Depp discussed within the article, however the reference was once got rid of via her attorneys.

“I feel that Amber’s contributions to the portion of the op-ed that talks about private studies is a part of what knowledgeable the view that this was once a robust op-ed, and the significance of ladies’s rights problems,” Dougherty mentioned.

The ACLU and Heard, Dougherty added, had been prepared to have the object revealed within the week the movie Aquaman was once launched to capitalize on her function in it.

The courtroom was once informed that the ACLU’s communications division contacted the Washington Put up to pitch the object, pronouncing: “As you recognize, Amber Heard was once crushed up via Johnny Depp right through their transient marriage.”

The connection between the ACLU and Heard, and the gang’s function in drafting the object on the heart of the case, comes amid experiences that neither Musk nor James Franco will likely be attesting within the trial. The 2 celebrities gave the impression on Heard’s publicly to be had witness record firstly of the trial, however Musk’s legal professional Alex Spiro has mentioned his shopper won’t testify.

The Fairfax county courtroom in Virginia was once informed that Heard had “hung out” with Musk whilst she sought to resurrect her dating with Depp in 2016.

This was once two months after she had made allegations of home violence towards Depp, the Pirates of the Caribbean actor, and after the couple had separated, the courtroom heard.

“You informed me 1000 occasions [that] you had been simply filling area,” Heard’s ability agent Christian Carino texted Heard about Musk in 2017. “You weren’t in love with him.”

Jurors had been additionally informed of Heard’s divorce negotiations with Depp after 15 months of marriage. Heard had to begin with requested for $4m ahead of escalating her calls for, mentioned Depp’s accountant Edward White.

“It went to $5m, to $5.5m … then it went to $7m, and $500,000 to her legal professionals,” White mentioned, ahead of including $13.5m for group liabilities below California divorce regulation. The bills, which Heard asked to return tax unfastened, would have required Depp to make $30m, White mentioned.

White was once additionally requested to explain Depp’s alcohol invoice, which he mentioned was once $160,000 a 12 months right through Depp’s marriage and had now “dropped to just about 0”. Malcolm Connolly, Depp’s longtime safety element and the remaining witness on Thursday, testified that he noticed that “Amber sought after to put on the pants on this dating”.

Connolly testified that “she may get slightly frosty on the drop of a hat”.

Over the years, Connolly testified over video, he started to note marks on Depp. “It will be scratches on his neck, perhaps a fats lip within the nook. He had bruising at the eye socket. It will get extra common. Now not each and every week, but it surely for sure took place, yeah.”

At the couple’s honeymoon, a teach travel from Bangkok to Singapore, Connolly mentioned Depp had marks below his proper eye. “He’s walked right into a door, or a door’s walked into him,” he mentioned to laughter within the court after jurors had been proven {a photograph}. Depp, he surmised, was once now not taking part in himself. “He was once now not glad. Now not glad in any respect,” Connolly mentioned.

Connolly described eliminating Depp from the couple’s rented area in Australia in 2015 after the incident by which Depp’s finger was once partly severed, allegedly after Heard threw a bottle of vodka at her husband.

“It was once like a caricature exploding cigar,” he mentioned. “It’s flapping round. I will be able to see bone.”

Heard, he testified, berated Depp as Connolly led him clear of the home to his personal condominium the place he administered first assist, pronouncing, “Fuck off! That’s what you all the time do, fuck off with you guys, you giant guy!” the courtroom heard.

The safety guard mentioned he had observed Depp below the affect of gear on a number of events. “I’ve observed him smoke marijuana,” Connolly mentioned. “I’ve my suspicions that once he was once off to the toilet he almost certainly does cocaine. I’ve by no means observed him do it.”

“He’s were given an excessively prime tolerance of any substance,” he mentioned, including, “I feel Jack Sparrow was once drunker than Johnny.” The trial continues.

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