It means the actor’s legal team can ‘forensically inspect’ Heard’s phone records to determine whether widely-circulated photos of her battered face were doctored.
The actress has claimed that images of her bruised cheek are proof that her A-lister husband hurled his iPhone at her in a fit of rage in 2016 as their toxic marriage imploded.
But Depp – who is trying to vindicate himself in a Fairfax County court – contended that the abuse claims and photos are bogus.
‘Mr. Depp contends that Ms. Heard completely made up her claims of abuse, and that her purported evidence has been staged, modified or otherwise falsified,’ Depp’s lawyer. Benjamin Chew. said in a court filing.
‘Mr. Depp’s expert has already determined that at least some of Ms. Heard’s photographs appear to have been run through a photo editing program.’
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard were a Hollywood golden couple until their marriage started to deteriorate in 2016, when abuse allegations surfaced
A court handout that appears to show bruising on Heard’s face was used as an exhibit in the hearing of Depp’s libel case against The Sun last year
The former couple has been at war for years, and Depp is currently suing Heard in a $50 million libel case.
The case relates to a 2018 Washington Post opinion piece Heard, 35, wrote about surviving domestic abuse. She did not name Depp in the article.
Depp, 58, is trying to clear his name after losing a defamation suit against The Sun after the paper branded him a ‘wife-beater’ amid allegations of domestic abuse.
He lost his suit against the British tabloid in November 2020 after a judge ruled the paper’s claim he was a ‘wife beater’ was ‘substantially true’.
Depp’s legal team was granted access to Heard’s phone on Wednesday to see whether the texts, recordings and photos provided by Heard during the U.K. defamation case were manipulated or modified.
The Hollywood golden couple’s relationship came crashing down in 2016 after reports of Depp’s cocaine use, heavy drinking and alleged abuse emerged.
The Pirates of the Caribbean Star has staunchly refuted any claims of violence toward his former spouse.
He made the shocking accusation last year that he filed from divorce from Heard after discovering feces in their marital bed.
In a written statement, the actor said Heard or ‘possibly one of her friends’ was responsible for the incident, but claimed she dismissed it as ‘just a harmless prank’ – he said it was the final straw in their deteriorating marriage.
Depp’s lawyers have said they believe the widely circulated photos of Heard’s wounded face are doctored and won permission to have her electronic devices forensically examined
Depp has staunchly denied the attack, and in court last year accused Heard of being a ‘calculating, narcissistic sociopath’ who married him to further her career
The couple, shown together during happier times, has been at war since 2016
Depp claimed Heard attacked him on a number of occasions, while Heard’s legal team painted him as a domestic abuser who repeatedly attacked her when he was high on drugs or booze
While denying attacking Heard, he also launched a blistering attack on her, accusing her of being a ‘calculating, narcissistic sociopath’ who married him to further her career.
His defense reeled off a string of incidents in which she had allegedly attacked him throughout their marriage including when she threw a vodka bottle at him, severing his finger, in Australia in 2015.
Depp also cited another incident in which she ‘repeatedly’ punched him in the face on a private jet in 2014 and claimed that she punched him again as he fled to the toilet.
In contrast, the actress’ lawyers painted Depp as a domestic abuser who repeatedly attacked her when he was drunk or high on drugs.
Depp’s lawyers are now waiting on a court order that would permit them to inspect Heard’s devices and determine whether any evidence has been manipulated
The actor’s legal team is now waiting to receive a court order that would permit it to inspect Heard’s devices.
The devices will be examined by court-certified video, audio and digital photograph forensics expert Bryan Neumeister.
‘Mr. Neumeister already has analyzed photos Ms. Heard produced in this action that purport to show injuries she suffered from Mr. Depp, and he determined these photos have gone through a photo-editing application,’ the legal filing said.
‘Mr. Neumeister advises, however, that he cannot assess whether the metadata associated with these photographs, or any of the other electronic data Ms. Heard has produced, has been modified in any way… without obtaining a forensic image.’