Johnny Depp’s defamation trial against Amber Heard dove deep into the personal lives of both celebrities. Through the witnesses, evidence, and varied legal strategies, their lives were torn apart and numerous friends and associates wound up getting involved.
The jury eventually decided mostly in favor of Johnny Depp, thanks in part to the testimony of some of those associates. One associate in particular, Kate Moss, seemed to be especially important.
It wasn’t always clear, however, that she would be allowed to testify or even agree to testify, which was affirmed by Team Depp lawyer Camille Vasquez and others.
During the “Johnny’s Story” half of Discovery+’s new docu-series Johnny vs. Amber: The US Trial(opens in new tab), Vasquez and other media/legal analysts talked about the backstory behind her testimony and highlighted what a big deal Moss’s participation turned out to be.
Given how private of a person she is, there was a lot of worry about whether she’d agree to participate. Here’s what Depp’s lawyer Camille Vasquez herself said in one of her confessional interviews for the series:
“I hoped we would be able to convince Kate Moss to testify, but everything I knew about Kate indicated that she likely wouldn’t. Because she’s an extremely private person, and she has nothing to gain to testify.”
After dating Johnny Depp for a handful of years, there were rumors and accusations that Depp had abused Kate Moss during the course of that relationship.
This would eventually lead to her being called as a witness, but as Camille Vasquez mentioned in Johnny vs. Amber: The US Trial, there was no guarantee she’d participate. Moss would later say she felt compelled to testify because she “believe(s) in the truth.”
Through a three minute Zoom call, Kate Moss gave testimony that many analysts have said helped Johnny Depp’s case quite substantially. Johnny vs. Amber: The US Trial included further interviews that signaled as much, as Channel 4 correspondent Minnie Stephenson and legal analyst Emily D. Baker both commented on how Amber Heard’s own testimony made it happen. Here’s their take on why Moss became so important to Team Depp’s case:
“Minnie Stephenson: There’s an incredible moment where we see Ben Chew, Johnny Depp’s lawyer, fist pump the air. Because Amber Heard has named Kate Moss, which means his team, Depp’s team, can now call Kate Moss as a witness.
Emily D. Baker: It was wild. You can’t make this stuff up, and now Johnny Depp’s allowed to bring in an ex-relationship, who had nothing but kind things to say about him. Which, when you’re being accused of domestic violence, is very powerful testimony.”
Prior to a trial, it’s not always clear whether a judge will allow certain unrelated or semi-related stories to be told in front of the jury. As such, it was unclear if Moss would even be allowed to testify.
When Amber Heard mentioned on the witness stand, however, how she thought back to the accusations that Johnny Depp had pushed Kate Moss down some stairs, the door opened for Moss to testify.
Heard was trying to use the old story to explain why she wanted to defend her sister Whitney Henriquez against Depp in case he pushed her, but by bringing it up, it allowed the defense to directly refute the allegation.
It also led to lawyer Ben Chew’s infamous fist pump, which, you can see in Johnny vs. Amber: The US Trial, as it’s included as part of the footage showing off that very moment of Heard testimony.
The trial captivated the general public. Many watched portions of the proceedings and excerpts of witness testimony and/ or weird moments went viral on a weekly and sometimes daily basis, as the history of Depp and Heard’s relationship was dissected.
Johnny vs. Amber: The US Trial revisits the case and adds new perspectives to what happened. Both episodes are currently available for streaming through Discovery+, as is the previous docu-series Johnny vs. Amber.