“Objection Hearsay” – Depp v. Heard



Depp looking at Heard in the courtroom.

Mattox Friedman, Reporter

The trial between actors and former married couple Johnny Depp and Amber Heard is one of the most talked-about cases of 2022. Depp is suing Heard for $50 million dollars for defamation, while Heard has filed a countersuit for $100 million.
Heard wrote an op-ed published in The Washington Post, claiming she is a survivor of domestic violence. While Depp is not explicitly mentioned in the op-ed, the public immediately assumed that she was speaking about him. Depp subsequently lost a number of roles (endorsements), including the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
Throughout the case, lawyers have consistently used the hearsay objection. The meaning behind the objection is to prevent unreliable secondhand information from being presented to the jury. In short, if a witness on the stand was not present at the time of the event, they can not tell the true story; they are instead spreading a rumor, which cannot be considered admissible in court.

Heard has committed to hearsay from the court hearings more than Depp. Furthermore, witnesses and more factual evidence show support for Depp’s claims that Heard severed his finger by utilizing and smashing a vodka bottle as a weapon in a fight. Recently, Depp shared photographs and medical records, recalling, “You might want to come over; I’ve cut my finger off here,” saying to his doctors, trying not to blame Heard.
Both legal teams of Depp and Heard were able to examine Travis McGivern, Depp’s security guard and witness in the case. He stated, “I wasn’t gonna let Mr. Depp get hit anymore, so I moved him down the last flight of stairs to the lower level and told him we are leaving. It wasn’t up to him anymore. Just for his safety.” After that, Heard’s legal team was allowed to cross-examine and asked, “whether Depp was reaching for Amber’s hair while he was trying to hit her?” McGivern’s response to the question on the day’s accounts was that Heard’s team was “not correct.” McGivern also denied other allegations of Depp abusing Heard that were asked of him concerning events from that day.
When a defendant or plaintiff lacks evidence in defamation cases, it’s common for the lawyers to object often due to hearsay. The trial between Depp and Heard continues as more witnesses and more evidence continue to be presented to the jurors and the judge. In the end, the jury’s decision came down to Depp’s side as he presented the most compelling, provable, and credible evidence. Depp and Heard have both had their fair share of objections regarding hearsay. However, one of Depp’s legal team members, Camille Vasquez, has been noted objecting to many of Heards witnesses’ statements as well as what Heard herself has said. As this trial concludes, public opinion has favored Depp; furthermore, the jury has reached the final verdict and ruled in favor of Depp, reflecting public opinion. Depp will receive $15 million in damages, and Heard will receive $2 million in her countersuit.