Johnny Depp’s attorney has claimed that video taken by Marilyn Manson “demolished” Amber Heard’s allegations that she was abused by her ex-husband.
Testimony from Adam Waldman, who has worked on and off on Mr Depp’s legal team since October 2016, was played in court on Thursday during the former couple’s high-stakes defamation trial in Fairfax, Virginia.
Mr Waldman, who is at the center of Ms Heard’s counterclaim after he called her abuse allegations “fake” and “a hoax”, gave video testimony back in February after being subpoenaed by the Aquaman actress’s legal team.
Mr Waldman testified that he believed that pictures and videos that rock star Mr Manson sent to him help to disprove Ms Heard’s accusations about one alleged violent incident that took place on Thanksgiving 2013.
“As to that incident – Thanksgiving, perhaps 2013 – I think those videos and photographs demolished her claim,” he testified.
Mr Waldman appears to be referring to video from Thanksgiving 2015 which was played during Mr Depp’s UK libel case against The Sun newspaper – which he lost.
In the UK case, the court was shown footage of Mr Manson, Ms Heard’s father David and Mr Depp’s son Jack joking around at the gathering in Los Angeles.
In the video, Mr Manson joked that Ms Heard’s father was “a monster” before David began chasing Jack.
Mr Depp’s legal team claimed at the UK case that the video showed “a happy family event” – and so cast doubt on Ms Heard’s version of events from that day.
Ms Heard has claimed that the couple got into a fight that day, where Mr Depp ripped her shirt, threw her across the room and hurled glass at her.
Mr Waldman also cited several witnesses who he said testified that they had not seen injuries on Ms Heard’s face between 21 and 27 May 2016.
Ms Heard alleges that Mr Depp violently abused her on 21 May. The incident came two days before she filed for divorce and six days before she filed for a domestic violence restraining order.
Mr Waldman has previously accused Ms Heard of faking the scene of the abuse that night, saying in a 2020 media interview that it “was an ambush, a hoax”.
Mr Waldman’s comments accusing Ms Heard of staging “a hoax” are a focus of Ms Heard’s counterclaim in the defamation trial.
Mr Depp is suing his ex-wife for defamation over a 2018 op-ed she penned for The Washington Post where she described herself as a “a public figure representing domestic abuse”.
Tea Pirates of the Caribbean actor is not named in the article, which is titled “I spoke up against sexual violence – and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change”.
However Mr Depp claims that he falsely implies that he is a domestic abuser – something that he strongly denies – and that it has left him struggling to land roles in Hollywood. He is suing for $50m.
Ms Heard is countersuing for $100m, accusing Mr Depp of orchestrating a “smear campaign” against her and describing his lawsuit as a continuation of “abuse and harassment”.
Her defamation counterclaim was initially filed over Mr Waldman’s comments where he accused Ms Heard of lying about domestic violence she said she suffered at the hands of Mr Depp, branding her accusations “fake”, a “sexual violence hoax” and an “ambush” .
Mr Waldman was later reportedly dropped from Mr Depp’s legal team but is now back working as his counsel.
Mr Manson was mentioned earlier on in the defamation trial, when Mr Depp tested that he had taken drugs with the rock star.
The Pirates actor told the court that he once gave Mr Manson a pill so that he would stop talking so much.
This comes at a time that Mr Manson is also suing his ex-girlfriend Evan Rachel Wood for defamation after she accused him of raping and abusing her during their relationship.
Ms Wood came forward with the allegations last year. Several other women then also came forward with the accusations.