The multimillion dollar defamation trial between celeb exes Johnny Depp and Amber Heard is currently underway. Johnny has sued Amber for $50 million, claiming she implied he abused her during their marriage, which led to him losing work and social standing. Amber has counter-sued her ex-husband for $100 million. In the trial, underway in Virginia, Amber gave her testimony this week and many sources on social media claimed that several parts of it were ‘copied’ from movies. We fact check if that is indeed the case. Also read: Johnny Depp laughs after Amber Heard testifies that she ‘allowed him to take off his own boots’. Watch
On Friday, May 6, Amber took the stand to give her testimony in the trial, detailing the alleged abuse she suffered at the hands of her ex-husband Johnny. Several critics alleged that Amber was ‘performing for the jury’ and putting on act. Amid these allegations, a few social media users claimed that a part of Amber’s testimony where she talked about Johnny Depp was ‘copied verbatim’ from the movie The Talented Mr Ripley.
Several tweets claimed to share a part of Amber’s testimony. The text was indeed similar to a line from the 1999 film, which starred Matt Damon, Jude Law, and Gwyneth Paltrow. One account shared the comparison and wrote, “Check this out. Amber Heard on the stand yesterday and what she said compared to the lines in The Talented Mr Ripley. Holy smokes this is CRAZY.”
In the film, Marge (Gwyneth) talks about Dickie (Jude) with Ripley (Matt) and says, “The thing with Dicke…it’s like sun shines on you, and it’s glorious. And then he forgets you and it’s very, very cold. When you have his attention, you feel like you’re the only person in the world, that’s why everybody loves him so much.” Social media users claimed that Amber used the same monologue in her testimony, substituting Dickie for Johnny.
Hindustan Times was able to do a fact-check of Amber’s testimony based on the version live-streamed and available in public domain to ascertain that the actor did not actually steal lines from or quote The Talented Mr Ripley. In fact, the aforementioned lines do not feature in her testimony anywhere. In parts of her testimony, her language and tone is similar to the line being mentioned. One particular statement in the testimony is in which Amber claims, “When I was around Johnny I felt like the most beautiful person in the world—then he would disappear.” This is similar to the line from the film but is not a ‘verbatim copy’ as claimed.
International fact-checking website Snopes and news magazine Newsweek also carried out their independent fact-checking analysis of the testimony and arrived at the same conclusion. “The rumor that Amber Heard quoted the movie The Talented Mr. Ripley in her testimony is false, those phrases were not spoken during her testimony,” concluded Newsweek.
Snopes analysed other memes doing the round, which claimed that the statement was made in Amber’s opening arguments. It found, “The meme says the quote came from Heard’s ‘opening statement’. This is an odd claim, however, in that it was Heard’s lawyer, not Heard herself, who made an opening statement on her behalf.” Additionally, it stated that no video evidence of the actor saying that phrase has been presented.
The ongoing trial hinges on a 2018 newspaper article Amber did for the Washington Post. In it Amber had talked about being a domestic abuse survivor but had not named Johnny. Johnny claimed that the implication damaged his career. Over the next few years, a planned Pirates of the Caribbean film, where the actor was set to reprise his iconic role of Jack Sparrow, was put on hold. He was also replaced in the Fantastic Beasts film series by Mads Mikkelsen.
Johnny and Amber met while shooting for The Rum Diary. They married in 2015 but divorced less than two years later. Amber has claimed that she suffered physical and sexual abuse at the hands of her ex-husband. In response, Johnny has denied all these charges adding that it was Amber who abused him.