It’s been months since Amber Heard filed for divorce from actor Johnny Depp and also was granted a restraining order against the star. Following months of rescheduling and postponing, Depp’s legal team is finally set to depose Amber Heard in regard to the ongoing restraining order against her estranged husband.
— People Magazine (@people) July 29, 2016
The 30-year-old actress filed for divorce on May 21 of this year, when she claimed in the court documents that the 53-year-old Black Mass actor had abused her throughout their relationship. Depp’s team responded to the court filings by Heard, stating “[Heard] is attempting to secure a premature financial resolution by alleging abuse.”
With the deposition looming, the question is, what can Amber Heard expect from her time on the stand? And what affect might it have on the divorce, including Johnny Depp’s upcoming restraining order hearing?
Steve Mindel, a Los Angeles certified family law specialist, shared about what Heard may face when she attends court on August 6. People shares his words.
“The short answer is she can expect that Depp’s team is going to try to elicit every minute detail about the entire day or days during which the domestic violence allegedly occurred. Depp’s lawyers will later use that information to find contradictions in her story that they can then use to establish doubt about her credibility at the time of trial.”
The family lawyer goes on to share that the main key to a deposition is about strategy and “boxing the person in to a story.” Mindel continues to state that the case between Depp and Heard will be won or lost on the stand within the trial. This is when inconsistencies are exposed. If enough of these inconsistencies can be strung together and holes can be poked in Heard’s testimony and recalling of the abusive situations, then she may lose credibility in the judge’s eyes. The same strategy will be used against Depp by Heard’s lawyers when it is his turn to take the stand and face deposition.
— The Cut (@TheCut) July 28, 2016
The knowledgeable lawyer then shares a possible scenario that may lead to Depp not having to take the stand at all, should Heard’s testimony involve too many contradictions.
“[I]f Depp’s team discovers numerous contradictions during the deposition, it’s possible they could ask Heard’s team to enter mediation. During mediation, Depp’s team can present the inconsistencies to a mediator, and if the mediator agrees Heard’s testimony contains many contradictions, the mediator could recommend she settle.”
The amount of time that will go into prepping Heard for her time on the stand will be dependent on her lawyers. However, Mindel does share that a deposition can go as long as seven hours, which would mean Heard would want to be ready for all of the lines of questioning Depp’s team may have for her. As he states, Amber has said on numerous occasions that she is not about the money but is entirely focused on unveiling the crime of domestic violence. Amber, therefore, must be prepared to respond based on these words she has stated.
“Her reputation is certainly at stake because she has repeatedly stated this isn’t about money and is instead about exposing domestic abuse. She doesn’t want to be found not credible because this is a huge story, and there’s a lot of risk taking on a high-profile person like Depp.”
Mindel also comments about the reasons for the judge having pushed back the deposition on so many occasions, noting that he believes it is an attempt to give the former couple the opportunity to get in a room together and figure the situation out themselves, as opposed to pushing on with the trial proceedings.
[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Art of Elysium]