Amber Heard’s legal team wanted to bring up Johnny Depp’s alleged erectile dysfunction to put the actress’ allegation of sexual violence into context.
According to Yahoo News, in newly unsealed pre-trial documents obtained by Newsweek and Page Six, the 36-year-old actress’ lawyers argued in a March filing that Depp, 59, should disclose his alleged erectile dysfunction by submitting a fictional list of medications as evidence.
They suggested that the medical condition is “relevant” because it could explain why he would use a bottle to sexually assault Heard, which he categorically denied. “Though Mr. Depp would rather not disclose his erectile dysfunction condition, such condition is absolutely relevant to sexual violence, including Mr. Depp’s anger and use of a bottle to rape Amber Heard.
Mr. Depp’s erectile dysfunction makes it more probable that Mr. Depp would be angry or agitated in encounters with Amber Heard, and that he would resort to a bottle,” her legal team wrote, per Newsweek.
The outlet reported that Depp’s lawyers responded in a filing, taking issue with it and claiming his ex-wife “wants a circus, and clearly intends to take this trial down a number of unnecessarily salacious rabbit holes, including and especially with respect to Mr. Depp’s medical history.”
Heard testified under oath during the contentious trial, which was live-streamed and televised in front of millions, about a 2015 incident in Australia in which she claimed Depp repeatedly penetrated her with a bottle.
Speaking during his last time on the stand, Depp called Heard’s testimony “heinous,” “ridiculous” and “humiliating.” He told the courtroom, “No human being is perfect, certainly not. None of us. But I have never in my life committed sexual battery, physical abuse, all these outlandish, outrageous stories of me committing these things and living with it for six years and waiting to be able to bring the truth out.”
Depp was awarded more than $10 million in damages after the Virginia case, in which a jury of seven made up of five men and two women, found Heard to have defamed him in her 2018 op-ed. She was granted $2 million in one of her three countersuits claims that she had won. Both of them are currently challenging the verdicts.
In a sit-down interview after the verdict, Heard told NBC News‘ Savannah Guthrie that she still stands by her testimony and explained why being cross-examined about the alleged sexual assault was stressful for her. “The scariest, most intimidating thing for anybody talking about sexual violence is not being believed, being called a liar, or being humiliated,” said Heard.
In an interview with Good Morning America in June, one of the male jurors claimed that “some of us used the word ‘crocodile tears'” in reference to Heard’s emotional outbursts when discussing abuse and assault in front of the courtroom and millions of viewers at home. Depp “seemed a little more real,” the juror continued, and was “more believable.”
Also revealed in the pre-trial documents, Heard’s team pushed back on Depp’s side trying to bring up her “brief stint as an exotic dancer” plus nude photos of her in court. They claimed that Depp’s team was trying to “frivolously and maliciously suggest or imply that Ms. Heard was at one time an escort” prior to meeting the actor.