Legal experts say Johnny Depp’s lawyers received the gift when his defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard was adjourned this week.
But some have also noted that a breakup could boost Heard’s side, as jurors have a few days left to chew on her harrowing testimony.
Without immediate cross-examination to question her credibility, Heard’s story remains “marinated in their minds, and perhaps reinforces that … that’s what really happened and this is true,” the family’s attorney said Monday. law and divorce from New York Sandra Radna.
“Maybe no matter what Johnny Depp’s team does afterwards, it can’t change them,” the Working Jury said, “because they’ve been sitting with it for a week now.”
Trial expert counsel Jill Huntley Taylor, however, said the gap would give Depp’s lawyers “plenty of time” to spill over Heard’s testimony and “really carefully plan their cross-examination.”
“I think there’s a real strategic advantage in that,” Huntley Taylor told The Post.
The trial was adjourned on May 5, after Heard was on the bench the other day, when she described some of the extreme abuse she allegedly suffered at the hands of Depp.
Her testimony will continue on May 16, when Judge Penney Azcarate returns from a pre-scheduled conference.
Meanwhile, Depp’s lawyers will be able to “find things to discredit her testimony” for a week, said California entertainment lawyer Mitra Ahouraian.
“Johnny’s team will change based on what they heard in her testimony,” Ahouraian told The Post.
A source close to Depp told The Post that his lawyers “definitely see the advantage of having a week and a half to prepare for cross-examination and analyze Ms. Heard’s direct testimony so far.”
Still, star lawyer Jeffrey Movit of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp said the legal team “generally wants to present its entire case without interruption, not to dismember, divide and schedule it over time.”
“While the jury has time to think about Ms. Heard’s testimony, they can forget parts of it,” Movit remarked. “Moreover, her testimony will be significantly separated over time from the testimony of other witnesses who corroborate her case.”
Depp, 58, is suing Heard, 36, for $ 50 million in defamation over a 2018 article she wrote in the Washington Post in which she described herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.”
The “Pirates of the Caribbean” star has not been named in the work, but says it has ruined his reputation, damaged his career and cost him tens of millions of dollars of work.
Heard’s lawyers were not allowed to consult with the actress this week as she is still on the bench, which Huntley Taylor, a trial counsel, described as a “challenge for them and for her”.
The jury, which is not closed, is also in danger of hearing about the case in its free week given how much attention has been paid to it, experts warned.
In conclusion, Radna said, “you never know what’s going on in jurors’ heads.”
Additional reporting by Elizabeth Rosner.