Actor Amber Heard's team recently attempted to use a photo of Heard's bloody lip, allegedly caused by then-husband Johnny Depp, as part of her defense in the ongoing defamation trial. Judge Penney Azcarate barred the team from using the image as evidence.
According to reports, the reason behind the judge's decision was the fact that Heard's legal team had not submitted the photo during the discovery phase, prior to the trial. The image is available online and shows Heard with what appears to be a wounded lip, holding a note allegedly written by Depp, reading, "I shall return xxx." The metadata from the image reportedly shows the photo to be from 2012.
The photo was to be used as evidence supporting Heard's testimony that Depp struck her and one of his rings caused her to bite into her flip. Depp's team claimed the image has been fabricated, while Heard's team claimed, in a statement, "The panicked Depp's team is fighting tooth and nail to prevent compelling evidence and photos such as this from being introduced. They continue their losing strategy: distract the jury and demonize the defendant."
On the stand, Heard testified, "I was in one of these fights, I believe it's this one, in his downtown ECB, we call it, loft, and we're in the kitchen living room area and he backhands me... And... he wears a lot of rings. I remember kind of just feeling like my lip went into my teeth, and it got a little blood on the wall. Just that simple, a little bit of blood on the wall."
Before Heard took to the stand, her legal team requested that the case be dismissed-- a request the judge also denied. This is Heard's second failed attempt to have the case dismissed. In March 2020, Fairfax County Chief Judge Bruce White blocked the star's move to strike down the trial in Virginia.
The discovery phase of a court trial takes place prior to the trial itself and involves the legal teams of both parties exchanging information and clarifying what pieces of evidence and which witnesses they intend to present in court. This stage of the process prevents trials by ambush and allows both parties to prepare defenses to the best of their ability.
Source: CinemaBlend, TMZ