Fairfax (United States) (AFP) -
Lawyers for actor Johnny Depp urged a jury on Friday to find his ex-wife Amber Heard guilty of defamation over domestic abuse allegations and restore 'his name, his reputation and his career.'
'Mr Depp is no saint and he has never claimed to be one,' Benjamin Chew, an attorney for the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' star, said in closing arguments in Fairfax County Circuit Court near the US capital.
'He has struggled with drugs and alcohol,' Chew said. 'But he is not a violent abuser.'
'He did not and does not deserve to have his life, his legacy destroyed by a vicious lie,' the lawyer said. 'Miss Heard's attempt to paint herself as a heroic survivor, an innocent survivor, and Mr Depp as a terrifying abuser are utterly false.
'We ask you, we implore you to give him his name, his reputation and his career back.'
Chew also referenced #Metoo, saying it's 'a movement that Mr Depp supports.'
'But it's for true survivors of abuse, not Miss Heard,' he said. 'Nobody has come out of the woodwork to say 'me too.' This is the unique and singular 'me too' case where there's not a single 'me too.''
Camille Vasquez, another of Depp's attorneys, told the jury the evidence has 'shown that Miss Heard is the abuser.' 'She was violent, she was abusive and she was cruel,' she said.
Lawyers for the two sides are making their closing arguments after six weeks of blistering mutual accusations of domestic violence between the couple.
Judge Penney Azcarate will give the case over to the seven-person jury later Friday. The panel will be off over the weekend and on Monday, a holiday, and resume deliberations on Tuesday.
The 58-year-old Depp filed suit against Heard over an op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in December 2018 in which she described herself as a 'public figure representing domestic abuse.'
The Texas-born Heard, who had a starring role in 'Aquaman,' did not name Depp in the piece, but he sued her for implying he was a domestic abuser and is seeking $50 million in damages.
The 36-year-old Heard countersued for $100 million, claiming that she suffered 'rampant physical violence and abuse' at his hands.
- 'Monster' -
Dozens of witnesses testified during the trial, including bodyguards, Hollywood executives, agents, entertainment industry experts, doctors, friends and relatives.
Depp and Heard each spent days on the witness stand during the televised trial which attracted hundreds of fans of the 'Pirates' star daily.
Video and audio recordings of heated, profanity-laced arguments between the couple were played for the jury, which was also shown photographs of injuries allegedly suffered by Heard during their volatile relationship.
Hours of testimony featuring medical experts was devoted to a finger injury that Depp suffered while filming an installment of 'Pirates' in Australia in March 2015.
Depp claimed the tip of the middle finger on his right hand was severed when Heard threw a vodka bottle at him. Heard said she did not know how the injury occurred.
Both agreed that Depp went on to scrawl messages on walls, lampshades and mirrors using the bloody digit.
Heard said Depp would become a physically and sexually abusive 'monster' during alcohol- and drug-fueled binges and resisted her repeated efforts to curb his drinking and drug use.
Heard said Depp had promised to bring her 'global humiliation' if she left him, and she has been the target of a vast #JusticeForJohnnyDepp social media campaign.
Depp testified that it has been 'brutal' to listen to 'outlandish' accusations of domestic abuse.
'No human being is perfect, certainly not, none of us, but I have never in my life committed sexual battery, physical abuse,' he said.
- Damaged Hollywood careers -
Heard, who was married to Depp from 2015 to 2017, obtained a restraining order against him in May 2016, citing domestic violence.
Depp, a three-time Oscar nominee, filed a libel suit in London against the British tabloid The Sun for calling him a 'wife-beater.' He lost that case in November 2020.
Both sides have claimed damage to their Hollywood careers.
Heard's legal team presented an entertainment industry expert who estimated that the actress has suffered $45-50 million in lost film and TV roles and endorsements.
An industry expert hired by Depp's side said the actor has lost millions because of the abuse accusations, including a potential $22.5 million payday for a sixth installment of 'Pirates.'