Judge threatens to remove Johnny Depp fans for laughing during Amber Heard trial
The former couple's legal battle is ongoing.
The judge presiding over Johnny Depp's defamation trial against Amber Heard is reportedly getting fed up with the former's fans.
During court proceedings on Monday, Judge Penney Azcarate threatened to throw courtroom attendees out for laughing as Depp was questioned by his own legal team in the $50 million lawsuit.
Depp filed the suit against ex-wife Heard in 2019 for writing that she had suffered domestic and "sexual violence" in a Washington Post op-ed the year prior. While the article didn't mention Depp by name, the actor's legal team claims Heard ruined his reputation by "choosing to lie about him for her own personal benefit".
In Monday's follow-up questioning after his cross-examination had concluded, the Pirates of the Caribbean actor was asked by his legal team to list his other movie franchises, according to People.
He rattled off Alice in Wonderland but then struggled to recall other projects, joking about how he doesn't watch his own films.
"I'm so pathetic when it comes to knowing what movies I've done," the 58-year-old actor said with a smile. "I'm sorry. I just, I don't watch them. I feel better not watching them. What was the question again?"
Loud laughter then erupted from several people in the Fairfax, Virigina courtroom, prompting Judge Azcarate to demand order.
"Order in the court or I will have you removed. Understood? Thank you," she told the gallery.
Her warning comes just under two weeks after two Depp fans were kicked out of court for allegedly threatening violence against Heard online.
The New York Post reports that court officers removed two women from the crowd of Depp supporters sitting in the gallery on Thursday, April 14.
According to the publication, one of the women was escorted out of the courtroom and was told she was barred from entering after officials were made aware that she had allegedly tweeted "I Can’t Wait For The Day I Kill Amber Heard" and called the actress "that mermaid c**t" in reference to her Aquaman role.
The other woman allegedly wrote a tweet addressed to "Mr. Heard" that stated: "My legs are strong enough to break your face… Threaten Johnny Depp again and you’ll see what I mean."
The second woman told the Post that Depp's in-court supporters are there to support him as an alleged victim, as he has claimed he didn't abuse Heard and has actually suffered abuse at her hands instead.
"First of all we aren’t fans, we are abuse survivors who are supporting another survivor,” the woman said in reference to Depp. "But this is a private matter that we are still getting sorted with the sheriffs. This kind of thing does not belong in newspapers.
"This isn’t entertainment, this is a domestic violence trial where a man was almost killed, and we are private citizens."
The Post also reports that a source claimed Judge Azcarate has "grown frustrated with scores of Depp fans" disrespecting the courtroom and its proceedings.
Prior to the trial, the judge had ordered that neither Depp or Heard could "pose for pictures or sign autographs in the Courthouse or on Courthouse grounds" or be found in contempt of court and "punished accordingly," per a court document obtained by People.
She also stated there would be "no overnight camping on Courthouse grounds" and that "all spectators are expected to dress in a manner consistent with the decorum of a judicial proceeding".
"Audible comments of any kind during the court proceedings or provocative or uncivil behavior within the courtroom or courthouse will not be tolerated," the document continued. "There shall be no gestures, facial expressions, or the like, suggesting approval or disapproval during the proceedings.
"Anyone violating this Order will be expelled immediately from the courtroom and will not be able to return during the pendency of the trial."
In 2020, Depp lost a libel lawsuit he had filed in the UK against The Sun for calling him a "wife-beater" as the judge ruled the phrase was "substantially true" and that Depp had assaulted Heard on a dozen occasions and put her in fear for her life three times.
Last year, he lost his bid to have the ruling overturned.
If you have been affected affected by any of the issues raised in this article, contact Women's Aid 24/7 on 1800 341 900.