Both sides in Amber Heard and Johnny Depp’s bombshell defamation trial rested their case on Thursday, after the actress made one last appeal on the stand.
The jury was dismissed around noon Thursday after Heard’s testimony, with Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Penney Azcarate telling them to “have a good restful afternoon and evening.”
The former couple’s respective legal teams are now gearing up for closing arguments, set to begin at around 9 a.m. EST Friday, after six weeks of testimony in the sensational trial.
Azcarate said the jurors will start deliberations Friday afternoon and she won’t be giving them a time limit for how long they have to mull over their ruling.
The court will break from Saturday through Monday for Memorial Day weekend, and jurors will continue deliberations on Tuesday, May 31, if needed.
Both sides rested their case during the half-day of court Thursday, in which Heard returned to the stand and made her final plea to the jury.
Depp, 58, is suing Heard for $50 million in damage, saying he was defamed in her 2018 Washington Post op-ed in which she wrote about becoming a “public figure representing domestic abuse.”
Heard countersued her ex-husband for $100 million, claiming she was defamed when his team made statements on his behalf that she fabricated domestic abuse allegations.
The jury will decide on both suits. It can find both Depp and Heard guilty, one of them guilty or both innocent. It’s unclear if and how much money they will determine to award either plaintiff.
Because juries are notoriously unpredictable, it’s impossible to guess how long the seven jurors and two alternates will take to deliberate, but they certainly have a mountain of evidence in front of them.
Both sides were given more than 60 hours to call forth their own witnesses and cross-examine the other side’s witnesses. Depp and Heard each testified for around four days, and both teams called a slew of character witnesses, expert voices, and people who were wrapped up in the couple’s explosive and toxic relationship to tesitfy.