Hollywood stars to give evidence during £115m Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial

A series of huge Hollywood A-listers are set to give evidence during Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's £115m court case.

The former married couple were brought into court on Monday (April 11) amid secrecy after Virginia Judge Penney Azcarate warned she did not want the trial to become a circus.

Judge Azcarate and both legal teams spent the day selecting the jury, which is set to hear from more than 100 witnesses and could last at least six weeks.

Along with domestic abuse experts and forensic experts, there are also some recognisable names among the long list of witnesses.

On Depp’s side, there’s British actor Paul Bettany, who exchanged texts with Depp about Heard.

Heard's list includes her ex-boyfriend Elon Musk and actor James Franco, whom the actress said once inquired about bruises on her face following an alleged abusive incident with Depp.

The latest trial between the warring star stems from a complaint filed in 2019 by Depp, who alleges Heard defamed him in an op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in 2018.

Heard, 35, described herself as "a public figure representing domestic abuse" in the piece.

Depp has asked for £38.4 million in damages.

The Pineapple Express actress filed a counterclaim, accusing Depp of allegedly orchestrating a "smear campaign" against her and describing his lawsuit as a continuation of "abuse and harassment".

She has asked for £76.7 million in damages and immunity from Depp’s claims.

The trial comes after Depp lost a libel case in which he sued News Group Newspapers, publisher of the Sun, for publishing a 2018 story with the headline Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife-beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?

Both actors appeared during the 2020 trial and detailed their volatile relationship.

Depp, 58, denied any physical abuse. Heard alleged he assaulted her 14 times.

It was later determined “the judge found there was enough evidence to support her claims about 12 incidents,” and he said "The Sun had proved its article was ‘substantially true.".

After the trial ended, Warner Bros. removed Depp from the Fantastic Beasts franchise.

Depp and Heard met in 2009 while filming the movie The Rum Diary and started dating around early 2012 and married three years later.

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In May 2016, Los Angeles police were called to a domestic dispute at Depp’s Los Angeles home but determined there was no evidence of a crime.

Heard filed for divorce days later, citing irreconcilable differences and a restraining order, accusing Depp of repeated domestic violence.

She was granted a temporary restraining order, while Depp’s representatives vehemently denied all abuse allegations.

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