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Live Updates: Johnny Depp-Amber Heard Trial



Source: NBC News

The trial is nearing its end with testimony expected to end next week and closing arguments set for Friday, May 27.

Depp’s former attorney declines to elaborate on Daily Mail comments

Adam Waldman, Depp’s former attorney, claimed attorney-client privilege when asked questions about the comments he made in the Daily Mail that Heard’s abuse allegations are a “hoax.”

Those three statements to the Daily Mail made in 2020 are the center of Heard’s countersuit against Depp. Waldman admitted to making the comments quoted to him by Heard’s attorney.

“Did you make these statements on Mr. Depp’s behalf?” Heard’s attorney asked.

Waldman was instructed not to answer to protect communications made under attorney-client privilege.

“What were you trying to convey to the press making these statements?” Heard’s attorney asked.

Waldman was instructed not to answer to protect communications made under attorney-client privilege.

“Did you discuss these statements with Mr. Depp before making these statements?” Heard’s attorney asked.

Waldman was instructed not to answer to protect communications made under attorney-client privilege.

“Was Mr. Depp aware either before or after that you were making these statements?” Heard’s attorney asked.

Waldman was instructed not to answer to protect communications made under attorney-client privilege.

“Did Mr. Depp ever ask you to retract or correct these statements?” Heard’s attorney asked.

Waldman was instructed not to answer to protect communications made under attorney-client privilege.

Depp’s former attorney addresses Twitter suspension

Johnny Depp’s former attorney Adam Waldman said during a February video deposition that he was suspended from Twitter “for life.”

Waldman was asked about having a Twitter account. He said he previously had one, but was unable to pinpoint exactly how long he had it for or when he created an account.

He said he was suspended from the social media platform.

“I wrote several letters to Twitter to ask why I was suspended for life from their platform,” he said. In response, he said Twitter told him that he had violated its policies.

Adam Waldman, Depp’s former attorney and subject of countersuit, testifies

Adam Waldman, who represented Depp and claimed Heard’s allegations were a “hoax” in statements to the Daily Mail in 2020, provided video testimony that was played for the court on Thursday.

The video deposition occurred in February 2022, but Waldman was instructed by another member of Depp’s legal team on numerous occasions to not answer certain questions due to attorney-client privilege protections.

Waldman said he met Depp after his divorce settlement with Heard was reached. He said he represented him in his lawsuit against Depp’s former business manager and other suits.

In response to Heard’s attorney saying Waldman had no personal knowledge of Depp and Heard’s relationship, he said, “I wasn’t there if that’s what you mean.”

Speaking generally, Waldman agreed with Heard’s attorney that it is up to a client to determine whether to follow an attorneys advice or not.

Waldman was instructed not to respond to questions about his role in Depp’s lawsuit against The Sun newspaper in the United Kingdom, his interactions with Rolling Stone magazine on behalf of Depp regarding a 2018 interview, and whether it was Depp’s decision to file lawsuits.

Depp became increasingly ‘less filtered’ and erratic, former business manager said

Depp’s former business manager, Joel Mandel, testified that he saw the actor’s behavior became erratic and displayed “disproportionate” reactions to things.

“I felt things were less predictable,” Mandel said. “I felt like you know I was professionally in a place where I never knew day-to-day what to expect.”

Depp’s behavior began to change around 2010, according to Mandel, and at some point it appeared clear to Mandel that Depp’s “use of alcohol and drugs became a daily event,” he said. Depp’s stretches of sobriety helped but that Depp began to express his discontent in an aggressive manner.

Mandel said that Depp became increasingly “less filtered.”

“People moderate their behavior, they might moderate their behavior in public because things are inappropriate in particular settings … my experience was that Mr. Depp became increasingly less constrained,” Mandel said. “Less concerned with whether he was going to upset someone’s feelings or, or just increasingly comfortable venting in an aggressive way when he was upset or disappointed with something.”

Depp’s former business manager testifies on actor’s finances, spending

Joel Mandel, a former business manager who met Depp in around 1999 and worked with him until 2016, testified to Depp’s income and spending during the time they worked together.

Mandel denied accusations that he stole money from Depp or failed to file required tax returns on Depp’s behalf during his testimony. He also testified that he was never charged or found liable for malpractice during his time with Depp.

The former business manager described how Depp’s lifestyle changed as his star began to rise, saying that the increase in income also came with increased spending to maintain a lifestyle.

“I don’t want to fix dates, it’s a long stretch of time,” Mandel said. “But that meant a bigger life, it meant more employees. That meant buying additional property, buying additional personal property … a bigger life and more expensive.”

Depp spent about $10,000 a day on his personal security guard, Jerry Judge, Mandel testified, offering examples of how much Depp’s new lifestyle could cost. During the time Depp employed a personal doctor and nurses to help his sobriety, he spent $100,000 a month.

There became a point when Depp’s income could not longer support his lifestyle, Mandel said, requiring the business manager to require severe cutbacks.

“The spending levels had grown very, very, very large and require that level of incredibly high income to be maintained,” Mandel said. “And when it dropped off, that disconnect became untenable.”

Depp would acknowledge over numerous conversations that changes had to be made, Mandel said, but often commitments to adjust to new circumstances fell short. The actor’s financial situation became relatively dire between July 2015 and when Mandel was terminated in March 2016, Mandel confirmed.

Mandel testified that he was unable to pay Depp’s taxes in October 2015.

“His financial circumstances in 2015 had reached a point where I was extremely concerned and was on a very regular basis was expressing that concern,” Mandel said. “And it seemed as I increased my level of expressing that concern, there was anger directed, you know in my direction. And so, my warnings in 2015 that we were in very dire circumstances were not met very favorably.”


R. Kelly Promised 17-Year-Old McDonald’s Worker ‘Cuddles’ That Turned Into Him Filming Explicit Tape, Prosecutors Claim




Prosecutors accused R. Kelly of picking up one of his victims at a local McDonald’s with false promises of “cuddles” that turned into a relationship filled with horrific abuse filmed by the singer.

Last year, Kelly was found guilty of sex trafficking and racketeering by a New York jury. His sentencing is scheduled for June 28.

In court documents filed by New York prosecutors, they lay out the specific abuse each girl suffered at the hands of Kelly. They describe in great detail the disgraced singer’s encounters with a young girl named Stephanie.

In 1998, the government said Kelly noticed Stephanie working at a McDonald’s in Chicago. He had one of his associates approach her, point out Kelly, and gave her the singer’s telephone number — despite her informing the associate she was 16.

rkelly  pm #1

The court docs state Stephanie threw away the phone number. However, a year later, she approached Kelly after running into him at a store. She asked if he was willing to listen to her friend’s music and potentially help her out.

Kelly allegedly told Stephanie that “he thought he could arrange that, but he’d like to get to know [Stephanie] and he also said he liked to cuddle and would [Stephanie] be okay with that,” to which Stephanie responded yes.”

Kelly gave Stephanie his number and told her to call him. She eventually ended up at his Chicago studio where they had sexual relations. The government said the singer was well aware of Stephanie’s age because she told him.

“They continued to have sex over the next approximately six months. Stephanie’s sexual interactions with [Kelly] were “humiliating,” the motion reads.

rkelly  pm #2

Stephanie told investigators, “[Kelly] would be very specific in how he wanted me to be. He would put me in positions that he wanted me to be in. He would tell me that he wanted me — he’d tell me to get undressed and then he would position my body in a way and he would then say, all right, I’m going to go and when I come back I want you to be just like this,” she said. “So I would just be completely naked with my b— in the air and just like waiting there for him to come have his way … Sometimes hours.”

She told the feds if Kelly found her not in the right position when he returned he would become “disappointed and angry.” She said Kelly also took her to his townhouse and directed her to participate in his creation of child pornography, videotaping her naked and as he engaged in sexual activity with her.”

In 1999, Kelly allegedly paid for Stephanie to travel to Florida. While in a studio, he allegedly used a handheld video camera to record Stephanie’s face as his p—- was in her mouth and she was giving him oral sex. In yet another act of humiliation, [Kelly] ejaculated on her face and did not let her wipe it off”. He forced her to walk down the public hall to another bathroom to wipe her face.

Kelly also ordered Stephanie not to talk to other men.


The government writes, “On one occasion, she was at a Houston’s restaurant in Chicago with the defendant and two rappers. Stephanie was not allowed to speak to the rappers during the meal, but heard the defendant tell them “that he likes young girls and that people make such a big deal of it but it really isn’t a big deal because, even, look at Jerry Lee Lewis, he’s a genius and I’m a genius and we should be allowed to do whatever we want because of what we give to this world,”

Lewis infamously married his 13-year-old cousin in 1958. Prosecutors believe the judge should consider the story when sentencing Kelly next week.

Kelly has asked the judge not to throw the book at him. He said a 10-year prison sentence would suffice.

As previously reported, once Kelly’s New York case wraps up he will head over to Illinois to deal with a separate criminal case over similar allegations.


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38 Nigerians Have Been Killed While Fighting For Ukraine Against Russia: Report




According to the Russian Ministry of Defense (RuMOD), 38 Nigerians have been killed while fighting for Ukraine against Russia.

In a report published by the Russian Ministry of Defense, it was stated that 85 Nigerians arrived in Ukraine after a global call was made by Ukraine for assistance. While 38 have been killed so far in the war between Ukraine and Russia, 35 have returned to Nigeria and 12 are still fighting to defend Ukraine.

“Against the backdrop of the Kiev regime’s mounting military failures and massive daily losses in manpower and equipment, the flow of foreign mercenaries to Ukraine has not only decreased, but is actually turning in the opposite direction,” Russian Defense Ministry stated.

While dozens are left fighting for Ukraine in its ongoing war with Russia, there have been reports of many returning to their home country, despite the increase in payments to fight for Kiev, the Capital city of Ukraine.

“Despite the Kiev regime’s efforts and increased payments, the process of mercenaries leaving to the ‘other world’ or back to their countries of residence has not been stopped by the Kiev leadership”, the statement added.

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U.S Army Eases Tattoo Restrictions With New Policy




A Soldier from 325th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division poses after executing physical readiness training on Schofield Barracks, Oahu, Hawaii, May 18, 2022. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Rachel Christensen)

To help compete for top talent, the Army has updated its regulations for tattoos, cutting processing times for new recruits who have the body art.

Secretary of the Army Christine E. Wormuth made it official today by signing the updated directive that allows recruits and current Soldiers to receive tattoos on their hands, the back of their ears and the back of their necks.

The Army will now allow Soldiers to have one tattoo on each hand that does not exceed one inch in length. Soldiers also have the option to place one tattoo no larger than two inches on the back of their neck and one, inch-long tattoo behind each ear. Additionally, tattoos can be impressed between fingers as long as the designs cannot be seen when the fingers are closed.

Previously, recruits who had tattoos in these areas had to file waiver exceptions and sometimes had to wait weeks before they could be processed into service.

“We always review policy to keep the Army as an open option to as many people as possible who want to serve,” said Maj. Gen. Doug Stitt, Director of Military Personnel Management. “This directive makes sense for currently serving Soldiers and allows a greater number of talented individuals the opportunity to serve now.”

The Army will continue to prohibit tattoos on a Soldier’s face and the body art will continue to be allowed on a Soldier’s arms and legs as long as they do not become visible above a Soldier’s collar. Soldiers may not cover up tattoos with bandages or wrappings to comply with the regulation.

Sgt. Maj. Ashleigh Sykes, uniform policy sergeant major, said that a Soldier may choose to get tattoos for a wide range of reasons. Some see tattoos as form of creativity while others can get tattoos for religious reasons.

“Everyone has a different reason for getting a tattoo,” said Sykes who has tattoos herself. “Some see it as art, some see it as individuality, and some may even have cultural tattoos. Tattoos are more [accepted] now; it’s a change in society.”

Through May, Army recruiters have filed more than 650 waivers in 2022 for active duty and reserve recruits said David Andrews, Army Training and Doctrine Command enlisted chief.

Andrews said that tattoos have grown in popularity among younger people. According to research by TRADOC, 41% of 18 to 34 year olds have at least one or more tattoos. The Army originally began allowing Soldiers to have tattoos in 2015, granting more freedom for individual expression.

Sykes added that the waivers, which can take up to 14 days impacts the recruiting process because potential recruits who previously had tattoos in restricted areas could have decided to enlist in another military branch. He said that the Navy and the Marines have less restrictive tattoo policies.

Army Recruiting Command and TRADOC recommended the changes to Army senior leaders.

“Some may change their mind or go to a different service,” Sykes said. “[Or] they just didn’t want to wait anymore.”

According to the directive, tattoo designs must not contain any offensive, extremist or hateful words or images. Company commanders perform annual inspections of tattoos so that the tattoos remain within Army regulations.

Soldiers who have tattoos that do not meet the service’s restrictions will be counseled. They will then have 15 days to explain to commanders whether they will have the tattoos removed or altered. Soldiers who do not comply could potentially face separation.

While facial tattoos remain prohibited, Sykes said that some Soldiers may file for an exception if they would like to receive a facial tattoo for religious reasons. Previously, the service only allowed ring tattoos on hands.

“[The directive] gives us the opportunity to put people in [the Army] right away that have these types of tattoos,” Andrews said. “We don’t want people walking away from opportunities in the Army who are otherwise qualified.”

The Army relaxed restrictions on tattoos in 2015 when the service updated Army Regulation 670-1 to remove limits on the number of tattoos Soldiers could have on legs and arms. Andrews said the limits on tattoos impacted the Army’s ability to recruit top talent.

Several Soldiers have stated that the change allowed them to join the Army including Army Ranger, Staff Sgt. Matthew Hagensick a Madison, Wisconsin native who sports many tattoos on his arms.

Hagensick enlisted in the Army after the service updated the regulation in 2015 and he later went on to win the 2018 Soldier of the Year contest.

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