Legal counsel on behalf of Johnny Depp branded Amber Heard as a lie, “obsessed” with her image, during the opening argument of the defamation lawsuit between the former lovers.
The case was filed following an article written by Heard in where she claimed that she was an abuse victim in domestic violence.
The team of Ms Heard’s lawyer argued that Mr Depp took her to the court solely in order to “destroy her”.
Mr Depp is 58 years old. He has denied any allegations of abuse and been suing his ex-wife for $50 million (PS38m).
Ms Heard has, in turn, filed a lawsuit against him and counterclaimed $100 million.
A plethora of fans have been gathered in front of the Virginia courthouse for the trial, which is expected to last seven weeks.
The issue at stake in this trial are Ms. Heard’s 2017 opinion article published in The Washington Post, describing herself as an “public figure representing domestic abuse”. Mr Depp claims the piece that does not even mention his name by name it is defamatory and has ruined his career.
The day began with beginning arguments Camille Vasquez, a lawyer representing Mr. Depp she told jurors that Ms Heard was the aggressor throughout their relationship.
Ms Heard came up with a storyline in which she played the victim in the film, Vasquez claimed, after Mr. Depp requested divorce to “avoid humiliation”.
“She is obsessed with her public image,” she declared. “She has been living and breathing this role for years now and she is preparing to give the performance of her life.”
Lawyers representing Ms Heard instead claimed that the actress suffered physical, verbal, and emotional assaults at the hands Mr. Depp.
Mr. Depp is hoping the chance to “haunt her, to wreck her career” Attorney Ben Rottenborn said.
Christi Dembrowski, Mr Depp’s older sister, was the first to testify. Answering questions from the lawyer of Mr Depp Ms Dembrowski recalled her turbulent childhood, which was that was shaped by the abuse of their mother.
“Mom would, she would scream, she would yell. She would hit [Dad], call him names,” Ms Dembrowski told the reporter. Mr Depp did not fight against her, she added.
Ms Dembrowski has described her famous sister as kind and caring father, brother and son to his two kids.
According to Ms. Dembrowski her brother’s behavior changed when he began to be engaged the relationship of Ms Heard. “He seemed sadder,” she said.
Ms Heard frequently slammed Mr Depp Mr Depp would often belittle him, Ms Dembrowski told me, recalling an incident in which Dior would like to work with Mr Depp for an advertising campaign.
“She [Ms Heard] said, ‘Dior, why would Dior want to do business with you? You don’t have style… She called him an old fat man,” Ms Dembrowski declared.
His sister, who is a juror, told the jury that she had been “devastated” by the news that actor Depp will marry Ms Heard and was worried that the relationship between her brother and Ms Heard is akin to that of their parents.
“If I’m honest, I debated going [to the wedding],” she confessed. “I wanted to make sure that I showed up anyway, because I wanted to make sure, honestly, that my little brother knew I was going to be there no matter what.”
Ms. Dembrowski is the first of the estimated 120 witnesses to be asked to give evidence in Virginia over the next few months, helping sketch out competing versions of Mr. Depp as well as Ms. Heard’s relationships.
On Sunday, prior to the trial she Heard posted a statement on Instagram in which she wrote she had “always maintained a love for Johnny”.
“It brings me great pain to have to live out the details of our past life together in front of the world,” she stated.