Even if you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard court case that’s been going on recently.
With the case entering its fourth week since it started on 11 April, it has clearly been the centre of attention for many fans (and kaypoh aunties and uncles) around the world, regardless of how much they know about lawsuits.
And if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that the phrase “hearsay evidence” gained much traction after Heard’s own lawyer basically objected to his own question.
I’m genuinely not kidding. pic.twitter.com/XalyKjMZnP
— Strawberry Fields ミ☆ (@sunflxwervolsix) April 25, 2022
This hilarious and now-viral moment happened when Ben King, Depp’s house manager, was testifying in court.
He was asked about a fight that Heard, 36 and Depp, 58, had in 2015.
Depp had claimed that Heard threw vodka bottles at him during the fight, which resulted in one of Depp’s fingers being severed.
“You didn’t know what could cause damage to Mr Depp’s hand while you were there on March 8, correct?” Ben Rottenborn, Amber Heard’s attorney, asked King.
To that, King replied, “Dr Kipper told me he’d sustained an injury on one of his fingers…” before Rottenborn cut his speech.
“Objection! Hearsay,” Rottenborn said.
Upon seeing this, Judge Penney Azcarate replied, “But you asked the question.”
And of course, this led to some laughter in the courtroom, which was initially solemn and serious.
With millions of people who have viewed the clip of Heard’s lawyer objecting to his own question on various social media platforms, there’s no doubt that people all across the world have been left amused by this otherwise cutthroat lawsuit.
But maybe we might end up seeing a lot more wannabe lawyers who definitely aren’t using hearsay evidence wherever they go, but that’s a topic for another day.
Earlier, Depp had mentioned “hearsay” in court on 21 April as well, when he jokingly predicted that Heard’s team would oppose his evidence.
Depp was recounting evidence regarding a chef cooking Heard her favourite Mexican meal for her 30th birthday when he mentioned that Heard’s team would probably object to his recount.
Amusing moment from trial.
Anticipating an objection to his testimony, Depp said: “That’s hearsay, I guess.”
Judge: “I’m not sure it’s even being offered for the truth of the matter [asserted].”
Heard’s lawyer: “He got it.”
Depp: “I’m learning.” pic.twitter.com/gIO4n6sqX0
— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) April 20, 2022
And because we all are clearly just like Depp and we’re always learning, here’s all you need to know about hearsay evidence so that you don’t get lost when you follow another celebrity’s court drama next time.
Definition of Hearsay Evidence
While we probably found the sight amusing just by seeing other people’s reactions, most of us are probably wondering: What on earth is hearsay evidence, and what’s the difference between that and normal evidence? (I mean, all evidence is evidence what.)
But there’s a pretty distinct trait about hearsay evidence.
According to Thomson Reuters Practical Law, hearsay evidence is “a written or oral statement made otherwise than by a witness giving their own first-hand evidence in proceedings, which is tendered as evidence of the matters stated and which is relied on in court to prove the truth of the matters stated”.
This basically means that whatever is said is supposed to not be taken as proper trial evidence, since there is no actual proof to support the claims.
So it’s like when you hear rumours from other people about your best friend striking 4D and retiring from his job, but then you end up realising that you can’t confirm that fact because he actually didn’t tell you if he actually struck 4D lah.
And of course, if people ask you about it, you’re technically not lying if you say that he struck 4D because you heard from someone else that he did mah.
So in the case of Rottenborn, he essentially objected to his own question, which is definitely something that you don’t want to do if you’re a lawyer.
In the latest update of this high-profile lawsuit worth US$50 million (approximately S$69 million) lawsuit, Heard fired her PR team from Precision Strategies on 1 May.
She is expected to begin testifying against Depp on 3 May.
The petition to remove Heard from the sequel of the Aquaman movie has also recently reached three million signatures.
As for Depp, he is suing Heard ex-wife Amber Heard for US$50 million over a piece she wrote for The Washington Post in 2018. In the piece, Heard wrote about the domestic abuse she had allegedly suffered.
Even though Heard did not specify who her abuser was, the identity of the abuser was assumed as Depp. The couple were married from February 2015 to January 2017 before divorcing.
Depp accused Heard’s piece of causing him to lose out on work, and sued for US$50 million in damages.
In response to Depp suing her, Heard counter-sued for US$100 million (approximately S$138 million).
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