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 Publish article accusing Johnny Depp of abuse after the group used to be promised a $3.5m donation from her divorce – even though no less than $500,000 of it in the end 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 basic recommend, Terence Dougherty, testified that the group made up our minds to suggest Heard as an envoy for the gang after Heard pledged the sizeable donation over 10 years.

“Ms Heard spoke with such clarity and expertise on issues of gender-based violence that [ACLU representatives] decided she would be an appropriate person to ask to become an ACLU ambassador,” Dougherty testified.

However of the $1.3m slice of the donation that used to be supposed to return from Heard, $100,000 got here without delay from her ex-husband Depp, and, in accordance with an e mail from Elon Musk, the court docket used to be instructed, $500,000 got here from a donor-advised fund attached to Musk but registered as a donation from Heard.

Simply $350,000 used to be contributed from accounts without delay managed by way of Heard, the court docket heard, and some other $350,000 got here from an nameless donor, whom the ACLU believed to even be Heard. Via 2019, when donations attributed to Heard dried up, the ACLU consultant instructed the court docket it used to be the gang’s figuring out that “she was having financial difficulties”.

“We didn’t receive any amounts in 2019 and on,” Dougherty added.

As a part of the connection the ACLU cast with Heard, the gang later agreed to draft the 2018 Washington Publish article wherein Heard mentioned she used to be “a public figure representing domestic abuse” that lies on the middle of Depp’s libel declare in opposition to his ex-wife.

“Based on my review of higher drafts of the op-ed, I knew that it was referring to Johnny Depp and her marriage,” Dougherty mentioned right through the 2021 video deposition proven to the jury.

The ACLU’s communications group sought to incorporate Heard’s “fire and rage” at the matter, however interior 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 court docket used to be instructed, had sought after a connection with her brief restraining order in opposition to Depp discussed within the article, however the reference used to be got rid of by way of her attorneys.

“I think that Amber’s contributions to the portion of the op-ed that talks about personal experiences is part of what informed the view that this was a strong op-ed, and the importance of women’s rights issues,” Dougherty mentioned.

The ACLU and Heard, Dougherty added, have been willing to have the object printed within the week the movie Aquaman used to be launched to capitalize on her position in it.

The court docket used to be instructed that the ACLU’s communications division contacted the Washington Publish to pitch the object, pronouncing: “As you know, Amber Heard was beaten up by Johnny Depp during their brief marriage.”

The connection between the ACLU and Heard, and the gang’s position in drafting the object on the middle of the case, comes amid stories that neither Musk nor James Franco will probably be attesting within the trial. The 2 celebrities seemed on Heard’s publicly to be had witness listing at first of the trial, however Musk’s legal professional Alex Spiro has mentioned his consumer won’t testify.

The Fairfax county court docket in Virginia used to be instructed that Heard had “spent time” with Musk whilst she sought to resurrect her dating with Depp in 2016.

This used to be two months after she had made allegations of home violence in opposition to Depp, the Pirates of the Caribbean actor, and after the couple had separated, the court docket heard.

“You told me a thousand times [that] you were just filling space,” Heard’s skill agent Christian Carino texted Heard about Musk in 2017. “You weren’t in love with him.”

Jurors have been additionally instructed of Heard’s divorce negotiations with Depp after 15 months of marriage. Heard had first of all requested for $4m earlier than 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 attorneys,” White mentioned, earlier than including $13.5m for group liabilities below California divorce legislation. The bills, which Heard asked to return tax unfastened, would have required Depp to make $30m, White mentioned.

White used to be additionally requested to explain Depp’s alcohol invoice, which he mentioned used to be $160,000 a 12 months right through Depp’s marriage and had now “dropped to virtually zero”. Malcolm Connolly, Depp’s longtime safety element and the final witness on Thursday, testified that he noticed that “Amber wanted to wear the pants in this relationship”.

Connolly testified that “she could get a bit frosty at the drop of a hat”.

Through the years, Connolly testified over video, he started to note marks on Depp. “It would be scratches on his neck, maybe a fat lip in the corner. He had bruising on the eye socket. It would get more regular. Not every week, but it definitely happened, yeah.”

At the couple’s honeymoon, a teach go back and forth from Bangkok to Singapore, Connolly mentioned Depp had marks below his proper eye. “He’s walked into a door, or a door’s walked into him,” he mentioned to laughter within the court after jurors have been proven {a photograph}. Depp, he surmised, used to be now not playing himself. “He was not happy. Not happy at all,” Connolly mentioned.

Connolly described taking out Depp from the couple’s rented area in Australia in 2015 after the incident wherein Depp’s finger used to be in part severed, allegedly after Heard threw a bottle of vodka at her husband.

“It was like a cartoon exploding cigar,” he mentioned. “It’s flapping around. I can 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 always do, fuck off with you guys, you big man!” the court docket heard.

The protection guard mentioned he had noticed Depp below the affect of gear on a number of events. “I’ve seen him smoke marijuana,” Connolly mentioned. “I have my suspicions that when he was off to the bathroom he probably does cocaine. I’ve never seen him do it.”

“He’s got a very high tolerance of any substance,” he mentioned, including, “I think Jack Sparrow was drunker than Johnny.” The trial continues.

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