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Day 19: Amber Heard’s witnesses testify at trial over Johnny Depp’s drug and alcohol use

Heard’s ex-best friend, ex-agent and ex-entrepreneur, as well as his former lawyer, gave an account of Depp’s “erratic behavior” in court on Thursday.

Ellen Barkin who had sex with the actor in 1994 also testified that he was a “jealous man” was “to control” as well as “angry and demanding”.

A former close friend of long time testifies

Bruce Witkin was the first witness to be called Thursday for Heard’s defense.

Witkin had been Depp’s longtime former friend since 1982 and ‘best friend’ by 2018.

When reminiscing about what ended their friendship, Witkin says he wasn’t sure, except he got a text from Depp saying Witkin had “stabbed him in the back.”

Witkin also says that during their friendship he observed Depp abusing substances and recommended Depp get sober, which he did on a few occasions.

However, Witkin alleged that while sober from opiates, the star continued to use other substances.

Witkin testified saying, “It just seemed weird to me that there was weed and wine in sobriety.”

He also shared his surprise when he saw his friend first start using cocaine in 2014 and then again in 2016.

“In my experience, these are deep-rooted issues he faces,” Wikin said.

“It had nothing to do with Amber, in my opinion.”

former agent

Depp’s former agent, Tracey Jacobs, who helped him become ‘the biggest star in the world’ appeared via video link in the star’s multimillion-dollar libel lawsuit against his ex-wife.

Testifying to the difficulties of representing the actor for around 30 years and his experience of his problematic behaviors during the last decade of their professional relationship.

Jacobs told the court that Depp exhibited ‘unprofessional’ conduct on sets, including being unprepared and escalating anger issues due to increased alcohol and drug use .

“Arriving late to put on consistently on virtually every movie,” said Jacobs.

“I would get yelled at. I never told him, ‘you’re a difficult customer’, but I was very honest with him and said, ‘you have to stop doing this, it hurts you.’ And it did.

Jacobs testifying to Depp’s disgrace says the actor “the star has faded” because of his bad reputation.

On Depp ending their professional collaboration in 2016, Jacobs says, “All I know is he basically ended everyone in his life, and I was in on it, I guess.”

Former business manager

Depp’s former business manager Joel Mandel, who met the actor around 1999 and worked with him until 2016, said he saw the actor’s behavior become “erratic”.

Along with displaying “disproportionate” reactions to things, Mandel also attested to Depp’s income and expenses during their time working together.

He describes the star’s lifestyle as having changed when he rose to fame, saying increased income was followed by increased spending to maintain the new lifestyle.

Mandel says there came a time when Depp’s income could no longer support his lifestyle, asking the business leader to make severe cuts.

As a result, Mandel says he was unable to pay the actor’s taxes in October 2015.

“His financial situation in 2015 had reached a point where I was extremely concerned and I was very regularly expressing this concern,” Mandel said.

However, he says his concerns about dire circumstances were not welcomed by the star when he fired him.

Libel lawsuit continues in court

In 2018, Depp sued Heard for $50 million over an op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in which she described surviving domestic violence — without mentioning her ex-husband by name.

Heard filed a countersuit against the actor for $100 million in 2020, which is ongoing and nearing completion with testimony expected to wrap up next week and closing arguments scheduled for Friday, May 27.

Danaya Malenda contributed to this report.

Javier E. Swan