NEW YORK: The jury in Johnny Depp's trial against Amber Heard split on Tuesday without reaching a unanimous decision on whether the actor was defamed by his estranged wife. Deliberations are due to resume Wednesday morning.
The seven jurors, five men and two women, began deliberating on Friday, at the conclusion of six weeks of proceedings in court in Fairfax, a small town in Virginia near Washington. But more than 9 hours of discussion have so far resulted in no decision.
Johnny Depp flew to the United Kingdom after the end of the debates on Friday to participate, Sunday and Monday, in two Jeff Beck concerts in Sheffield and London. Contacted by AFP, a spokesperson for Amber Heard did not want to confirm "at this stage" whether the actress would be present for the statement of the verdict.
Trial broadcast live
Filmed live on television, the debates cast a harsh light on the common life of the two actors. The star of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" saga is suing his ex-wife for defamation, who wrote in a column published by the Washington Post in 2018 to be "a public figure representing domestic violence", without naming Johnny Depp.
He is claiming $50 million in damages, saying the forum destroyed his career and reputation. Amber Heard, who appeared in particular in "Justice League" and "Aquaman", counterattacked and claimed the double.
The 36-year-old actress claims to have exercised her right to freedom of expression by writing this column. According to her, Johnny Depp's complaint is "futile" and prolongs "the abuse and harassment" he subjected her to. She accuses a former lawyer for the actor of having defamed her by claiming in the press that her allegations of domestic violence were "false".
The jury must answer several questions and rule unanimously on the two complaints before determining the amount of any damages.
During the trial, the actress said that Johnny Depp became a "monster" under the influence of an explosive cocktail of drugs and alcohol and did not follow rehab. He would have raped her with a bottle of alcohol in March 2015, a month after their marriage, in Australia where the actor was filming episode 5 of "Pirates".
The 58-year-old actor himself denounced "staggering" accusations and assured that it was on the contrary his wife who was violent.