Why Johnny Depp and Amber Heard aren’t in court this week

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Johnny Depp superfans won’t be lining up overnight to get into his bombshell defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard this week.

The proceedings in Fairfax, Virginia, are in recess until Monday, May 16.

Here’s what you need to know:

Why aren’t Johnny Depp and Amber Heard in court this week?

Court adjourned on Thursday, May 5, for the break because Judge Penney Azcarate had a conference she needed to attend.

Azcarate told jurors about the scheduling conflict when the trial opened on April 11.

Details about the conference weren’t released, but it isn’t related to the trial.

Why is the former couple in court?

Depp, 58, is suing Heard, 36, for $50 million for defamation over a 2018 op-ed she wrote in the Washington Post in which she described herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.”

The “Pirates of the Caribbean” star wasn’t named in the piece, but he says it nonetheless ruined his reputation, damaged his career and cost him tens of millions of dollars in work.

The trial’s break is due to Judge Penney Azcarate attending a conference.
Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via REUTERS

Heard claims Depp did abuse her repeatedly. Her lawyers also argue Depp’s career was in freefall long before the op-ed.

Depp denies Heard’s abuse allegations and claims he was the victim in their relationship.


The latest from the Johnny Depp defamation trial:


When will the trial resume?

Depp and Heard will be back in court on Monday, May 16, with testimony beginning around 9:30 a.m.

The trial usually runs on a Monday-Thursday schedule.

Testimony is set to resume at 9:30 a.m. on May 16 in Fairfax, Virginia.
Testimony is set to resume at 9:30 a.m. May 16 in Fairfax, Virginia.
EPA/JIM LO SCALZO / POOL
Spectators observing the trial in the Fairfax County Circuit Court on May 5, 2022.
Spectators observing the trial in the Fairfax County Circuit Court on May 5, 2022.
EPA/JIM LO SCALZO / POOL

How much longer is the trial expected to last?

Judge Penney Azcarate promised the panel of 10 jurors that the trial would conclude before Memorial Day.

Last week, she announced that closing arguments would take place on Friday, May 27.

Who else will be called to testify?

When court broke for recess last week, Heard had just finished her second day on the stand, telling the jury Depp was a jealous partner who frequently attacked her during drug- and alcohol-fueled rages.

Judge Penney Azcarate announced that closing statements will begin on May 27.
Judge Penney Azcarate announced that closing statements will begin on May 27.
EPA/JIM WATSON / POOL
Heard will continue testifying when the trial resumes.
Heard will continue testifying when the trial resumes.
EPA/JIM LO SCALZO / POOL

The “Aquaman” actress will be back in the witness box when the trial resumes next Monday. Her lawyers will wrap up their direct questioning and she’ll then be cross-examined by Depp’s team.

After Heard concludes her testimony, her attorneys will likely call more experts and character witnesses to the stand.

Despite appearing on Heard’s witness list, James Franco and Elon Musk will not be giving testimony.

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