The explosive defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard has entered its final week.
The trial has become one of the most talked-about celebrity stories in years, with hundreds of thousands of people glued to live streams of courtroom proceedings every day.
Depp is suing Heard, his ex-wife, for $50m (£40m) over an article she wrote in The Washington Post in 2018, in which she described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse”.
Heard did not name Depp in the article, but he claims it has cost him acting roles.
She has counter-sued him for $100m, claiming Depp defamed her when his legal team referred to her claims as “fake” and a “sexual violence hoax”.
The former couple, who were married from 2015 to 2017, both accuse the other of being physically violent during the relationship. They each deny the other’s claims.
As the trial enters its final days here’s what we know about the possible outcomes.
Could Amber Heard go to prison?
No, Heard will not go to prison even if the jury decides in Depp’s favour.
This is a civil trial, not a criminal case. Neither Heard nor Depp are being tried on any criminal charges.
A civil case is a court case in which a person or entity (the plaintiff) can find another person or entity (the defendant) liable for some type of harm or wrongful act. When someone is sued, this is a civil case.
If the plaintiff is successful, they will normally receive some form of compensation from the defendant.
A civil lawsuit can be brought over anything from a contract dispute or a residential eviction to injuries sustained in a car accident, or countless other harms or disputes.
In this case, Depp is suing Heard for defamation – the act of damaging someone’s reputation.
Civil cases are intended to compensate the person who is harmed rather than punish the defendant. If the defendant loses a civil case they are not convicted of a crime, as they would be in a criminal case, and they do not face prison – even if they are found guilty of committing what would be a criminal act.
The burden of proof is also lighter in a civil case than a criminal case. In a criminal case the defendant’s guilt must be proven “beyond reasonable doubt”, whereas in a civil case the jury simply has to decide which side of the dispute they believe to be more likely.
Civil cases can also be settled out of court. The plaintiff and defendant’s lawyers will often debate and aim to come up with a sum that can be paid to defendant, ending the court case without a need for it to reach its resolution.
What are the possible outcomes of the trial?
After the lawyers for both sides have presented their closing statements, the jury will go off to deliberate their verdict.
They will decide whether, on the balance of probability, Heard did defame Depp in the 2018 Washington Post article.
If the jury decide she did not, Heard will not have to pay her ex-husband any damages.
However, if they decide she did defame Depp then he will be awarded damages.
He is seeking $50m (£40m) in compensation, but the jury may recommend he is awarded more or less than this amount.
How can I watch the Depp vs Heard trial?
The trial is being streamed live on YouTube by the following outlets:
The trial is running on Mondays to Thursdays from Fairfax, Virginia – where The Washington Post is printed. It starts at 9am eastern time and finishes at 5pm.
That means it starts at 2pm in the UK, and finishes at 10pm.
This is scheduled to be the the fifth and final week of the trial. Heard will return to the stand to continue giving evidence, before her lawyers call their remaining witnesses.
What has happened so far?
This section includes descriptions of alleged sexual assault
Depp concluded his testimony by saying he was the victim of domestic violence in their relationship and was “broken” by the time their marriage fell apart.
His fourth day on the witness stand in a Virginia court ended with his lawyers playing audio from a conversation that took place after Heard had secured a restraining order against him in 2016.
The Pirates of the Caribbean star said he had agreed to Heard’s request to meet in a San Francisco hotel room because he thought she might retract her accusation that he had abused her.
In the recording, Depp proposed the couple issue a joint letter saying they loved each other and the media had created a storm around them. The suggestion was an attempt to find a “peaceful settlement,” Depp said.
Heard resisted the idea and challenged him to go public with his claim that he was the one who had suffered abuse. “Tell the world, Johnny,” she said. “Tell them I, Johnny Depp – a man – I’m a victim too of domestic violence.”
Depp said he responded: “Yes, I am.”
Heard alleged in 2016 that Depp was “verbally and physically abusive” to her, according to a complaint she filed that year.
She claimed Depp bruised her face after throwing a phone at her in their Los Angeles home.
Depp denied the allegation and was never charged with a crime.
He said during testimony: “Never did I myself reach the point of striking Ms Heard in any way nor have I ever struck any woman in my life.”
Depp claims his middle finger was partly severed in 2015 after Heard threw two bottles of vodka at him.
“She threw the bottle, and it made contact and shattered everywhere. I honestly didn’t feel the pain at first, at all. I felt heat, and I felt something were dripping down my hand, and then I looked down and realised the tip of my finger had been severed, and I was looking at my bone sticking out, and blood was just pouring out,” he said.
Heard’s lawyers have claimed Depp injured his finger himself.
Speaking about his claims that Heard’s article affected his career, Depp said: “I would be a real simpleton to not think that there was an effect on my career based on Ms Heard’s words, whether they mentioned my name or not.”
Heard’s lawyers have claimed Depp was already set to be dropped from Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, in which he starred as Captain Jack Sparrow, or have his role reduced for the sixth film before publication of her opinion piece.
She also claimed Heard exaggerated signs of PTSD, which the actress said she experienced as a result of her relationship with Depp.
Dr Curry said PTSD was a “really tough disorder to find out if someone is faking it or not”.
She added: “It’s one of the most easily faked disorders, most of us know what it’s like to feel anxious and a lot of people have seen war movies that depict someone having PTSD.”
Asked about her conclusions, Dr Curry said: “Ms Heard did not have PTSD and there were pretty significant indications that she was grossly exaggerating the symptoms of PTSD when asked about them.”
She told the court Heard endured multiple acts of violence and sexual abuse at the hands of Depp.
She said the alleged acts of sexual violence, which she graphically detailed to the court, were often a result of the actor’s “drug-fuelled rage”.
Depp has denied all accusations of abuse against his former partner.
Dr Hughes, an expert on interpersonal violence and traumatic stress, said multiple incidents had occurred in which Depp had “penetrated” Heard in “moments of dominance”.
The court heard that Dr Hughes had interviewed Heard multiple times for a total of 29 hours, and the Aquaman star reported multiple incidents of violence to her.
“There was a number of incidents of sexual violence reported in this relationship,” she said.
“These are documented early on… where when Mr Depp was drunk or high he threw her on the bed, ripped off her nightgown and tried to have sex with her.
“There were times when he forced her to give him oral sex when he was angry, these weren’t in loving moments they were angry moments, moments of dominance, moments of him trying to get control over her.”
Dr Hughes then described multiple alleged instances of sexual violence to the court, including one where the actor allegedly performed a “cavity search” of Heard in an attempt to look for drugs.
“These incidents often happened in a drug-fuelled rage,” she said.
Dr Hughes told the court an alleged incident in Australia in March 2015 was “one of the most severe instances of sexual violence that Ms Heard had to endure”.
“When he was beating her and choking her and telling her, ‘I’m going to fucking kill you… I hate you’… when he grabbed a bottle that was on the bar and penetrated her with that bottle,” she said.
Dr Hughes added that Heard had later told her she had gone “outside of her body” during the incident and thought: “I hope it’s not the broken bottle.”
Heard looked visibly distressed in the courtroom as the incidents were described.
When she took the stand herself, Heard tearfully described several incidents in which she claimed Depp had been violent towards her during their relationship.
She told jurors that the early days of their relationship were “a beautiful and strange time” and that she had “fallen head over heels in love” with Depp, who she met when they played love interests in 2011 film The Rum Diary.
But she claimed he went on to be both physically and verbally abusive towards her.
Describing an alleged incident in May 2013, Heard told the court Depp had become upset about “affection” being shown to her by one of her female friends and accused her of “touching my f***ing girl”.
“He ripped my dress… he rips my underwear off and then he proceeds to do a cavity search… he said he was looking for his drugs, his cocaine. It made no sense,” she said.
“I just stood there staring at the stupid light. I didn’t know what to do… while he did that. I didn’t say ‘stop’ or anything.”
Earlier, the actress told the court she had been “heartbroken” the first time Depp had allegedly been violent towards her, by slapping her three times across the face.
“[It was] seemingly so stupid and insignificant [but] I will never forget it, it changed my life,” Heard said.
“He slapped me across the face, and I laughed because I didn’t know what else to do.
“I thought this must be a joke… I didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t want this to be the reality.”
She continued: “I knew it was wrong and I knew that I had to leave him and that broke my heart because I didn’t want to leave him… the best thing that ever happened to me.
“I wish I could sit here and say I stood up and I walked out of that house and I drew a line and I stood up for myself.
“I was just looking at the dirty carpet trying to will myself to get up, to walk out of the door.”
Heard told the jurors Depp had then started crying, got on his knees to apologise and told her he had “put the monster away”.
“(He said) I’ve done it before, I’ll do it again, it’s done,” she said.
“I sat in my car and I felt like I sat there forever… just trying to will myself to have the strength to know what I should do in this moment because I was heartbroken.”
Asked if she had stayed in the relationship following the incident, she replied: “Yeah I did. I believed there was a line, he wouldn’t cross it again and that was it.”
Heard burst into tears and struggled to finish sentences as she returned to testify on Thursday, and detailed how Depp allegedly violated her with a bottle.
She told the jurors that following a struggle they had ended up on a countertop and she had felt “pressure on my pubic bone”.
She said: “I felt this pressure, I thought he was punching me. I saw his arm. I could feel his arm and it looked like he was punching me.
“I felt pain and pressure on my pubic bone.
“I don’t remember what I said, I just remember being really still… looking around the room, all the broken bottles, broken glass.”
Heard’s lawyer Elaine Bredehoft asked the actress to clarify the graphic details, which she did.
“I was heartbroken… the discomfort I was feeling afterwards paled in comparison with how scared and shocked I was,” she said.
She alleged Depp had also broken a phone at the property “into smithereens”, ripped her nightgown off, and screamed at her repeatedly that he would “f***ing kill” her.
Jurors heard that the morning after the alleged incident Heard had discovered “incoherent” messages written in navy-blue and brown paint, and food smeared on the walls of the property.
She added that pieces of raw meat wrapped in a silk gown she owned had been hidden in various locations around the property.
“It was bizarre,” she said.
She later added that she had been “destroyed” by the incident and had feared leaving to go home because Depp might harm himself.
“I was worried we couldn’t come back from what had happened… that there was no way we could turn it around,” she said.
During another incident she claimed Depp had held her into a pillow and she had feared she could die as she struggled to breathe.
The court was also shown several pictures of Heard displaying injuries she allegedly received during violent altercations with Depp.
The trial continues.