The drama continues in Johnny Depp’s $50 million defamation suit against Amber Heard in Virginia. Heard has countersued for $100 million.
Depp is suing his former wife over an op-ed that she wrote in 2018 about domestic abuse that he claims defamed him and ruined his career. My colleague Jennifer Oliver O’Connell wrote a great piece on how toxic Heard was to Depp — how we hear about “toxic masculinity” but no one ever writes about “toxic feminity” like this. Depp has testified that indeed it was Heard who physically injured him, on one occasion even leaving him with a severed finger when she threw a bottle of vodka at him.
But on Tuesday, the trial had a truly funny moment — and a laugh for Depp — amid all the heavy drama when one of Heard’s attorneys, Adam Nadelhaft, was questioning Ben King, Depp’s house manager, regarding the argument during which Depp’s finger was injured. That’s when he committed that first sin that attorneys are taught never to do: Don’t ask an open question to which you don’t know the answer. Unless you want to step in it, big time. But that’s exactly what he did. That’s when things went sideways and Heard’s lawyer ended up objecting after his own question.
“You didn’t know what could cause damage to Mr. Depp’s hand while you were there on March 8, correct?” Nadelhaft asked King.
King testified a doctor told him that Depp sustained an injury to one of his fingers, prompting Nadelhaft to quickly cut him off, video shows.
“Uh, objection, hearsay,” Nadelhaft interjected.
“Wait – you asked the question,” Judge Penney Azcarate responded. “Next question.”
King’s eyebrows go up like he can’t believe that the lawyer is objecting after he asked the question. The judge’s response is classic. But the best part was the reaction of Depp and his attorney, who couldn’t help themselves and tried to stifle giggles, while Nadelhaft stammered, “Oh, ok.” King went on to testify that he found part of Depp’s finger below the bar.
Now, an attorney objecting after his own question is something you don’t generally see and is likely to become an instant classic and meme. It’s already making a lot of people laugh as it goes viral on social media. Some are phrasing it as “objecting to his own question” but technically, he’s not doing that, he’s objecting to the answer, saying it’s hearsay when King is saying what the doctor told him.
Not a good look for the attorney and safe to say that didn’t help the case being put on by Heard’s attorneys. But that’s already suffered a lot.