Why the Amber Heard vs Johnny Depp trial is not on this week

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Photo credit: JIM LO SCALZO - Getty Images
Photo credit: JIM LO SCALZO - Getty Images

If, like us, you've been absolutely glued to the Amber Heard vs Johnny Depp legal case – which has raised some seriously important conversations around how mental heath is depicted – you might be wondering why the trial isn't on this week, given that there's been a notable absence in clips from the courtroom on our TikTok feeds.

To recap, Pirates of the Caribbean star Depp is suing his ex-wife for $50 million (£40.6 million) over a 2018 Washington Post article in which she alleged that she had been a victim of domestic abuse during their relationship. In the article, she wrote that she is "a public figure representing domestic abuse", which ultimately derailed Depp's decades-long career and damaged both his reputation and finances. As such, the actor is seeking compensation in the form of $50mil.

But, Heard's article did not explicitly name Depp and she is now counter-suing him for $100 million, claiming that she was in fact a victim of physical abuse throughout their relationship. Depp has repeatedly denied the allegations made against him.

Given the famed celebrities at the heart of the trial, the case has been highly-publicised in the mainstream media – including a daily live-stream via Court TV – as well as on social media platforms like TikTok, enabling many of us to keep up with the case. But, this week will be different, as the case is on a hiatus.

Photo credit: JIM LO SCALZO - Getty Images
Photo credit: JIM LO SCALZO - Getty Images

So, why is the Heard vs Depp trial not on this week?

The reason for the trial's momentary break doesn't actually have anything to do with Heard or Depp, and is instead due to the judge who is presiding over the proceedings.

In fact, Judge Penney Azcarate reportedly has a previous engagement at a conference scheduled from Monday 9 May to Thursday 12 May, meaning the pause button has been pushed on the trial (which is taking place in Fairfax County, Virginia).

The trial's hiatus won't last long though and is set to recommence next week on Monday 16 May. Once the trial has resumed, Heard is expected to continue giving her testimony.

Next week will also mark the end of the trial, which is due to close on Thursday 19 May after six weeks. At this point, the jury will deliberate and decide on a verdict.

Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247, is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week for free, confidential specialist support. You can also visit click here to request a safe time to be contacted or to access live chat (live chat available 3pm-10pm, Monday to Friday). For support with tech abuse, see Refuge Tech Safety.

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