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Amber Heard Makes Bizarre New Accusation, Says Johnny Depp Lawsuit Verdict is Void as It Was Held in The Wrong US State



Johnny Depp, left, and Amber Heard have each filed appeals in a defamation case.Credit...Steve Helber/Associated Press

Ms. Heard’s lawyers argue in their appeal that the trial was held in the wrong state, and that the judge erred in prohibiting evidence they say supports her claims of domestic abuse.

Months after Johnny Depp prevailed in a defamation case against Amber Heard, who accused him of physical and sexual abuse, he has begun testing the status of his public image, appearing in a fashion show backed by Rihanna and an awards show in which he delivered tongue-in-cheek laugh lines about his derailed career.

But in a Virginia appeals court, the legal battle continues.

Last week, Ms. Heard’s lawyers filed an appeal in hopes of overturning a jury’s verdict that Ms. Heard had defamed Mr. Depp, her former husband, in 2018 by describing herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse” in an opinion essay in The Washington Post. Mr. Depp, who was not named in the essay, was awarded more than $10 million in damages.

Claims that are factually accurate cannot be ruled defamatory. So although the case technically hinged on statements from Ms. Heard’s essay, much of the trial focused on whether her accusations that Mr. Depp had subjected her to repeated physical abuse — including punching, head-butting and sexual assault — were true.

Mr. Depp vehemently denied Ms. Heard’s accusations, and during the trial, he argued that she was the aggressor in their relationship.

In their 68-page appeal, Ms. Heard’s lawyers lodged an array of legal objections, arguing that the trial was held in the wrong state and taking issue with the judge’s decision to exclude certain pieces of evidence, including contemporaneous notes from therapists that they say document allegations of abuse. They asked for the jury’s verdict to be reversed, either with a dismissal of Mr. Depp’s claims or a new trial entirely.

“The trial court improperly prevented the jury from considering several separate instances in which Heard reported Depp’s abuse to a medical professional,” the lawyers wrote.

Mr. Depp’s legal team has also appealed part of the verdict — the jury awarded Ms. Heard $2 million in damages, agreeing that a lawyer for Mr. Depp defamed her in comments to a newspaper — while otherwise declaring victory.

“The jury’s emphatic favorable verdict on all three defamatory statements alleged in his complaint fully vindicated Mr. Depp and restored his reputation,” Mr. Depp’s lawyers wrote in their court filing, which was submitted to the Court of Appeals of Virginia this fall.

A manager for Mr. Depp testified that it became “impossible” to get his client cast in a studio film after Ms. Heard’s essay was published, and Mr. Depp said his career prospects tanked after it was made public that Ms. Heard had obtained a temporary restraining order because she said he had assaulted her. (Ms. Heard’s lawyers argued that there were other reasons for his career troubles, including “unprofessional behavior” described by his former agent, such as showing up late to sets and having trouble with lines.)

During the trial, Mr. Depp’s fans flooded the courthouse to support him. Now, six months later, there are signals that he is again being embraced by some in the entertainment world.

Last month, he had a cameo in a streamed fashion show for Rihanna’s lingerie line, Savage x Fenty, in which he swaggered for the camera in loungewear as dancers flanked him. During MTV’s Video Music Awards, his face was digitally superimposed onto the body of the network’s moon man mascot, and he jokingly offered his services for weddings and bar mitzvahs, quipping, “I needed the work.”

“It’s pretty clear that Johnny Depp is back,” said Evan Nierman, a public relations executive. Even if Ms. Heard prevails on appeal, he said, “the public has already moved on.”

Still, it is unclear whether major Hollywood studios will be willing to back Depp, who for decades was a coveted leading man. In addition to his starring role as Jack Sparrow in five “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, he received Oscar nominations for “Sweeney Todd” and “Finding Neverland.”

Mr. Depp, 59, is now involved in at least two movies: a French historical drama by the filmmaker Maïwenn in which Mr. Depp plays King Louis XV, and a film about the Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani, which Mr. Depp is set to direct. Neither appears to have backing from a major American studio, though Al Pacino and Barry Navidi are involved in producing the Modigliani film.

Ms. Heard, known for her work in films including “Aquaman” and “Pineapple Express,” has largely retreated from public life since the trial, when she was the subject of intense online criticism. At one point, she called the ridicule of her testimony “agonizing” and said she had received thousands of death threats. The actress is also in a legal dispute with an insurance company over whether the judgment in the defamation case is covered by her policy.

A week before Ms. Heard, 36, filed her appeal, a group of women’s and domestic violence organizations, as well as professors, activists and lawyers, signed an open letter condemning a “monetized social media environment where a woman’s allegations of domestic violence and sexual assault were mocked for entertainment.” Among the signatories were the feminist activist Gloria Steinem, the actress Constance Wu and the filmmaker Amy Ziering.

Nicole Bedera, a sociologist who studies sexual violence and signed the open letter, called Mr. Depp’s re-entrance into the mainstream entertainment world “hugely disappointing” but ultimately unsurprising.

“In our society, when we think a man has been wrong and has not gotten the opportunities we believe he was entitled to,” she said, “then we’re very quick to correct it by offering more opportunities.”

Ms. Heard’s appeal criticizes the lower court’s decision that the case could be heard in Virginia, based on an argument by Mr. Depp’s lawyers that The Washington Post’s computer servers are there. Ms. Heard’s lawyers wanted the case moved to California, where both actors lived, arguing that it was otherwise difficult for Ms. Heard to call live witnesses.

Ms. Heard’s appeal also challenged Judge Penney Azcarate’s decision to allow the defamation case to proceed at all after a judge in a separate case in Britain had ruled there was evidence that Mr. Depp had repeatedly assaulted Ms. Heard. Mr. Depp lost that libel suit, which he had filed after The Sun, a British tabloid newspaper, called him a “wife beater.”

Evidence presented in the British case that Ms. Heard’s lawyers argue was unfairly kept from Virginia jurors included 2015 records kept by a psychologist about a fight in which Ms. Heard related that Mr. Depp had “started the physicality — pushed her down,” as well as reports to a nurse of physical violence. Judge Azcarate excluded the evidence as hearsay.

“If not reversed, the trial court’s exclusion of contemporaneous reports of domestic abuse to medical professionals will make it more difficult for other abuse victims to prove allegations of abuse, and likely deter them from coming forward,” Ms. Heard’s lawyers wrote. (A lawyer working on her appeal, Jay Ward Brown, has represented The New York Times in the past.)

Mr. Depp’s appeal contends that Ms. Heard’s victory on one of three claims in her countersuit should not stand, arguing that Mr. Depp was not responsible for statements made by his lawyer at the time. In comments to The Daily Mail, the lawyer, Adam Waldman, had accused Ms. Heard of damaging the couple’s penthouse and blaming it on Mr. Depp.

“If clients cannot control the details of their attorneys’ work, it makes little sense that clients should nonetheless be held accountable for their attorneys’ tortious actions,” Mr. Depp’s current lawyers wrote.

A panel of judges will decide on both appeals, after which either side can seek to revive its claims once more in the Virginia Supreme Court.



Tina Turner’s Cause of Death Revealed




More details on Tina Turner’s passing have come to light.

One day after the legendary performer died at the age of 83, her cause of death has been attributed to natural causes, her representatives confirmed to Her publicist also told NBC News her death came after a long illness.

E! News has reached out to her manager for comment but hasn’t heard back.

On May 24, her team shared that she passed away at her home in Switzerland.

“With her music and her boundless passion for life, she enchanted millions of fans around the world and inspired the stars of tomorrow,” a statement posted to her social media pages read. “Today we say goodbye to a dear friend who leaves us all her greatest work: her music. All our heartfelt compassion goes out to her family. Tina, we will miss you dearly.”

During the latter years of her life, the “Proud Mary” artist opened up about battling several health issues, including high blood pressure, vertigo, a stroke, intestinal cancer and kidney failure.

In her 2021 documentary, Tina, the singer also shared she experienced post-traumatic stress disorder as a result from her tumultuous marriage to her ex Ike Turner.

“I’ve been on such a wild roller-coaster in the four years since my wedding,” Turner—who wed music executive Erwin Bach in 2013—wrote in her memoir, My Love Story, per Today, “that even I have difficulty keeping my medical catastrophes straight.”

Turner’s passing came just five months after the death of her and Ike’s son Ronnie and nearly five years after her son Craig passed away.

Tina Turner's Cause of Death Revealed

Her death sent shockwaves through Hollywood, with many celebrities speak out about the influence her achievements had on the industry.

“Through her courage in telling her story, her commitment to stay the course in her life, no matter the sacrifice, and her determination to carve out a space in rock and roll for herself and for others who look like her,” Angela Bassett, who played the legend in the 1993 biopic What’s Love Got to Do With It, said in a statement. “Tina Turner showed others who lived in fear what a beautiful future filled with love, compassion, and freedom should look like.”

As the actress—who won a Golden Globe for her role—noted, it was an honor knowing the icon on a personal level.

“Her final words to me, for me, were ‘You never mimicked me. Instead, you reached deep into your soul, found your inner Tina, and showed her to the world,’” she added. “I shall hold these words close to my heart for the rest of my days.”


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Tina Turner survived an abusive relationship with Ike and death of two sons




Tina Turner escaped an abusive relationship to find true love with her second husband, Erwin Bach.

The singer, who passed away aged 83 on Wednesday following an unspecified illness, was in a relationship with the record executive for 38 years. The pair married in 2013.

Tina had publicly praised Erwin for helping her find happiness after fleeing from her first marriage to husband, Ike Turner, which was plagued with physical and emotional abuse.

Ike first met Tina when she was a vulnerable teenager named Annie Mae Bullock. He renamed her Tina, and went on to form the musical duo, Ike & Tina Turner. According to Tina, he micromanaged her career, withheld her finances and beat her while she was pregnant.

After filing for divorce in 1978, Tina was left in debt and had her children to support. She went on to establish a successful solo career.

The songstress met Erwin in 1985 when he was working as an executive with EMI. The pair had an instant connection the moment they met, when he arrived to collect her from Düsseldorf airport.

She said Erwin had taught her how “to love without giving up who I am”, and that he had never been intimidated by her fame or success. He even donated a kidney to her in April 2017, which saved her life.

Writing in her book, Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good, Tina said: “Falling in love with my husband, Erwin, was another exercise in leaving my comfort zone, of being open to the unexpected gifts that life has to offer.

“The day I first met Erwin, at an airport in Germany, I should have been too tired from my flight, too preoccupied with thoughts of my concert tour. But I did notice him, and I instantly felt an emotional connection.

“Even then, I could have ignored what I felt — I could have listened to the ghost voices in my head telling me that I didn’t look good that day, or that I shouldn’t be thinking about romance because it never ends well. Instead, I listened to my heart.”

Tina’s spokesman confirmed she died “peacefully” at home and added: “With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model. With her music and her inexhaustible vitality, Tina Turner thrilled millions of fans and inspired many artists of subsequent generations.”

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Tina Turner: legendary rock’n’roll singer dies aged 83




Tina Turner, the pioneering rock’n’roll star who became a pop behemoth in the 1980s, has died aged age of 83 after a long illness, her publicist has told the PA news agency.
Turner affirmed and amplified Black women’s formative stake in rock’n’roll, defining that era of music to the extent that Mick Jagger admitted to taking inspiration from her high-kicking, energetic live performances for his stage persona. After two decades of working with her abusive husband, Ike Turner, she struck out alone and – after a few false starts – became one of the defining pop icons of the 1980s with the album Private Dancer. Her life was chronicled in three memoirs, a biopic, a jukebox musical, and in 2021, the acclaimed documentary film, Tina.

“Turner’s musical character has always been a charged combination of mystery as well as light, melancholy mixed with a ferocious vitality that often flirted with danger,” scholar Daphne A Brooks wrote for the Guardian in 2018.
Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock on 26 November 1939 and raised in Nutbush, Tennessee, where she recalled picking cotton with her family as a child. She sang in the tiny town’s church choir, and as a teenager talked – or rather, sang – her way into Ike’s band in St Louis: he had declined her request to join until he heard her seize the microphone during a Kings of Rhythm performance for a rendition of BB King’s You Know I Love You.
She had suffered ill health in recent years, being diagnosed with intestinal cancer in 2016 and having a kidney transplant in 2017.

‘I was just tired of singing and making everybody happy’ … Tina Turner performs at the O2 Arena, London, in 2009. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

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