Judge Penney Azcarate warned courtroom attendees to maintain order or be thrown out during proceedings Monday, when laughter erupted as Johnny Depp struggled to recall his own movies.
As Depp’s legal team did their follow-up questioning after his cross examination concluded, the Pirates of the Caribbean actor was asked to list his other movie franchises. After quickly rattling off Alice in Wonderlandhe was unable to recall other projects and then joked about how he avoids watching his films.
“I’m so pathetic when it comes to knowing what movies I’ve done,” Depp, 58, said on the stand with a smile. “I’m sorry. I just, I don’t watch them. I feel better not watching them. What was the question again?”
Several people in the Fairfax, Virigina courtroom then laughed loudly, prompting Judge Azcarate to say, “Order in the court or I will have you removed. Understood? Thank you.”
Depp is suing ex-wife Amber Heard for defamation over a 2018 op-ed she wrote for the Washington Post about surviving domestic violence, though she never mentioned Depp by name in the article. Depp originally filed the $50 million lawsuit in March 2019 and has argued that being painted as an abuser has ruined his Hollywood career.
He resigned from his role in the Fantastic Beasts franchise in November 2020 after losing his highly publicized UK libel lawsuit against British tabloid The Sun for calling him a “wife-beater.” The court upheld the outlet’s claims as being “substantially true” and Heard testified to back up the claims. In March 2021, his attempt to overturn the decision was overruled.
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Heard and Depp met while making the 2011 movie The Rum Diary, and they wed in 2015. They broke up in May 2016, when Heard sought a domestic violence restraining order against him, accusing him of abusing her. Depp denied the claims, and the former couple settled their divorce out of court in August 2016.
During opening statements earlier this month, Heard’s attorney Ben Rottenborn said evidence will show she suffered domestic abuse by Depp that “took many forms,” including physical, emotional, verbal and psychological, as well as “sexual violence at the hands of Depp.” A spokesperson for Depp denies the claims, calling them “fictitious.”
Ahead of the trial, Judge Azcarate ordered that neither Depp or the Aquaman Actress, 36, could “pose for pictures or sign autographs in the Courthouse or on Courthouse grounds” or be found in contempt of court and “punished accordingly,” per a court document.
She also ordered that there “will be no overnight camping on Courthouse grounds” and “all spectators are expected to dress in a consistent manner with the decorum of a judicial proceeding.” Chewing gum, food and beverages are also prohibited inside the courtroom.
“Audible comments of any kind during the court proceedings or provocative or uncivil behavior within the courtroom or courthouse will not be tolerated,” the document added. “There shall be no gestures, facial expressions, or the like, suggesting approval or disapproval during the proceedings. Anyone violating this Order will be expelled immediately from the courtroom and will not be able to return during the pendency of the trial.”
The trial has attracted fans of Depp, who hold signs outside the courthouse that read messages like “Justice for Johnny.” At the end of court dates on Thursday, Depp waved to fans in the courtroom as he made his way to the exit.
Prior to the trial, Heard wrote on Instagram that she will be avoiding social media until after the trial, thanking her followers for their support.
She said, in part, “Hopefully when this case concludes, I can move on and so can Johnny. I have always maintained a love for Johnny and it brings me great pain to have to live out the details of our past life together in front of the world. At this time, I recognize the ongoing support I’ve been fortunate to receive throughout these years, and in these coming weeks I will be leaning on it more than ever.”