Depp-Heard libel trial: A look at the famous witnesses who have yet to testify

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As witnesses continue to testify or testify by video in the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard libel trial, it was recently revealed that two celebrities – James Franco and Elon Musk – will no longer testify in the case.

The list of witnesses for the trial, which is expected to last six weeks, originally included Musk and Franco. However, Musk’s attorney confirmed to Fox News Digital that the Tesla CEO won’t take a stand. A source with knowledge of the lawsuit confirmed to the New York Post that Franco would not testify either.

On Monday, Depp wrapped up a grueling four days on the witness stand, calmly telling jurors he filed a libel suit against his ex-wife because it was her best chance to regain her reputation. The ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star sued for a 2018 editorial.

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With Franco and Musk out, there are still a few Hollywood personalities who could speak, including Ellen Barkin and Paul Bettany. Heard is also ready to testify.

Here’s a rundown of the celebrities we might hear from during the trial:

Amber Heard

Amber Heard will testify in person. Heard would be the first witness for the defense and will speak next week.
(John Phillips/British Press)

Amber Heard will testify in person. According to Deadline, Heard will be the first witness for the defense and will speak next week.

Depp sued Heard after writing an op-ed for The Washington Post. It was revealed in court on Thursday that an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) staffer wrote Heard’s article, describing himself as a “public figure representing domestic violence.”

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Heard’s op-ed never mentions Depp by name, but he argues that he was nonetheless defamed because parts of the article clearly refer to allegations of abuse she made in 2016 when she filed for divorce and obtained a temporary restraining order.

Paul Bettany

Johnny Depp and British actor Paul Bettany arrive for the premiere of their new film
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Johnny Depp and British actor Paul Bettany arrive for the premiere of their new movie ‘Mortdecai’ at the Zoopalast cinema in Berlin, Germany, January 18, 2015.
(Stephanie Pilick/photo alliance via Getty Images)

Paul Bettany, a friend of Johnny Depp, was on the witness list and is expected to appear “by video link”.

Communications between Bettany and Depp were also included in the lawsuit as evidence.

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During the first week of the trial, text messages between the two were released. Depp also admitted on the stand that he texted Bettany about the drowning and burning of his then-girlfriend, Heard.

Depp claimed that the texts refer to the movie “Monty Python”.

Ellen Barkin

Johnny Depp and Ellen Barkin in 1994.

Johnny Depp and Ellen Barkin in 1994.
(Barry King/WireImage)

Ellen Barkin is also involved in the lawsuit through a deposition, according to reports.

Barkin has previously testified in Depp’s UK trial that the actor once threw a bottle of wine at her head while they were dating in the 1990s.

Depp tried to discredit her at the time by saying she resented him after he ended a casual relationship between the two.

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Johnny Depp and Amber Heard

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard
(Evelyn Hockstein/Pool via AP)

“Mrs. Barkin and I had been friends for several years. A few years later (after her divorce), Ellen and I were on hold, just spending time together, a relationship,” Depp told the court at the time.

“A sexual element started with Ms. Barkin, which went on for months on and off, really because she was doing the movie I was doing at the time, ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,’ and I guess her desires were… she wanted more than a relationship, she wanted a real relationship with me and I didn’t want that.

“I didn’t feel the same for her as she did for me, and I guess from then on she got very, very angry, and since then I haven’t spoken to Mrs. Barkin.”

Elon Musk

Elon Musk and Amber Heard pictured enjoying a meal.  Elon Musk was scheduled to testify via a WebEx video link but will no longer do so, his lawyer confirmed to Fox News Digital.

Elon Musk and Amber Heard pictured enjoying a meal. Elon Musk was scheduled to testify via a WebEx video link but will no longer do so, his lawyer confirmed to Fox News Digital.
(BACKGROUND GRID)

Elon Musk was supposed to testify via a WebEx video link, but will no longer do so.

Depp accused Musk and Heard of having an affair while Depp and Heard were married.

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Musk and Heard once had a romantic relationship, but the Tesla CEO insists the relationship didn’t begin until after the actress split from Depp in 2016.

“I want to re-confirm that Amber and I didn’t start dating until about a month after she filed for divorce,” Musk told Page Six in 2020. “I don’t think I’ve ever been close to Amber during their wedding!”

James Franco

James Franco was also scheduled to testify via a WebEx video link.  It was recently reported that he will no longer be speaking.

James Franco was also scheduled to testify via a WebEx video link. It was recently reported that he will no longer be speaking.
(Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)

James Franco was also set to testify via a WebEx video link, according to reports.

Depp also accused Heard of having an affair with Franco during Depp’s marriage to Heard. The “Pineapple Express” actor was called to the stand by Depp’s legal team, Page Six reported.

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Surveillance footage from May 2016 showed Heard and Franco entering an elevator together and exiting on the same floor where Depp and Heard lived.

The footage was captured 24 hours after Depp and Heard got into an argument and allegedly left her with a black eye.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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