Johnny Depp’s Defamation Trial Against Amber Heard Kicks Off With Juror Selection That Included Quiz Questions

Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean.
(Image credit: Disney)

Celebrity divorces are often messy, as one’s personal life becomes a very public affair. This is especially true if there’s legal issues involved, which is exactly the case with Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s years-long battle in court. And Depp’s defamation trial against Heard kicked off with juror selection that included quiz questions.

After years of abuse allegations and meeting in court across the pond, Amber Heard and Johnny Depp’s ongoing legal battle has finally come stateside. The stakes are definitely high, given the millions of dollars on the line and the suit’s possible effect on the actors’ careers. Juror selection is an important process, and according to The Independent, potential jurors are being quizzed on the careers of both actors.

Jury selection can be a long and tedious process for non-celebrities, as the legal team from both sides try to find folks who are neutral, and haven’t taken a side before their time in court begins. This is more difficult given just how famous Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are. As such jurors were reportedly quizzed about the actors’ resumes, as well as their opinions of both Depp and Heard. This should presumably help make sure that whoever is chosen doesn't pick a side before the case even begins in court.

Given just how long Johnny Depp has been a public figure, this might be a more difficult task than one might think. He’s got decades of beloved movies out there, which will no doubt influence potential jurors. Smart money says that Amber Heard’s team is going to be as selective as possible, but how long will this process continue on before the trial actually begins?

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard filed for divorce back in 2016, but the two have been battling in court for a number of years since. Their legal issues increased as a result of an op-ed that Heard wrote back in 2018, where she described how she’d dealt with a domestic violence situation. While she didn’t mention the Pirates of the Caribbean star by name, it would still negatively influence his career.

Things picked up even more when Johnny Depp sued the U.K. publication The Sun for libel, after the outlet referred to him as a “wife beater.” This is why he and Amber Heard met in court across the pond. In the end, the courts ruled in the favor of The Sun, and Depp was promptly asked to step down from his role as Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise.

Still, that libel case felt like the precursor to the main event: Johnny Depp’s whopping $50 million defamation case against in the state of Virginia. For her part, Amber Heard is also counter suing her former husband. And to make matters even more public, the court proceedings are going to be aired on television.

Amber Heard can be seen in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom on March 17th, 2023, despite some fan petitions to have her axed. Meanwhile, Johnny Depp has started booking movie roles again. In the meantime, check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.