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Baruch took the stand on Wednesday as a witness for Team Depp. His testimony captured the attention of spectators inside the courtroom and those at home watching the live broadcast, especially as he claimed to be tired of the divorced couple’s drama, which he blames on Heard.
“It’s six years. Am I angry anymore? What I am is tired, and I want this all to end — her to go heal, him to go heal. So many people have been affected by this malicious lie that she started and she created,” Baruch said as he became emotional on the stand.
“I’m not angry at anybody. I want the best for her, for her to take her responsibility, heal and move on,” he said.
“And for Johnny, his family has been completely wrecked by all of this stuff and it’s not fair,” Baruch testified through tears. “It’s not right what she did, and what happened for so many people to get affected by this. It’s insane how this happened.”
The court hearing is the latest in a very public legal battle between the divorced couple, with Heard, 35, and Depp, 58, both claiming to be victims of domestic violence. Depp filed a $50-million defamation lawsuit over a Washington Post op-ed penned by Heard in late 2018 about domestic abuse.
Heard did not mention Depp by name in the article, though in court documents he alleges his reputation and career were “devastated” as a result.
The second day of the trial started with Depp’s sister and “personal manager,” Christi Dembrowski, testifying again. She answered several questions during cross-examination, claiming she had no reason to believe Depp romanticized drug culture, lacked patience or had fundamental anger issues.
Dembrowski was asked to read an email from Depp’s doctor alleging The Pirates of the Caribbean actor had been assessed for an addiction to pain medication. She claimed she was aware of the addiction but that it had no impact on Depp’s career.
Next to take the stand was Baruch, who claimed to have met Depp when they were teenagers around 1980.
During Depp’s marriage to Heard, Baruch lived in the same Eastern Columbia Building in Los Angeles, CA. He claimed, “They were very loving with each other. They treated each other like gold.”
Baruch moved into the building in 2013 and lived there for over three years.
He testified Depp helped him financially, claiming Depp allowed him to live in one of the building’s penthouses rent-free and gave him about USD$100,000. When Heard’s lawyers asked if he is “beholden” to Depp, he said, no. He said Depp is a “nice friend.”
Baruch testified that on May 21, 2016, he saw broken glass and a wine puddle on the floor in the apartment hallway. He recalled the next day that Heard told him, “Johnny came by last night and he got violent, so I’m changing the locks.”
Baruch said that over the next few days he did not see any signs of abuse on Heard. “There’s no redness, there’s no swelling, there’s no bruises, there’s no cuts, there’s no nothing. Just Amber looking like Amber,” he testified.
He laughed on the stand when Heard’s lawyers pressed about his knowledge of makeup and if he would have been able to tell if Heard had covered signs of abuse.
“I’m looking at a cheek, I’m looking at her chin, I’m looking at the other side of the face. I’m looking at the whole thing. And I don’t see anything,” he said.
When Heard’s lawyers asked if Baruch was mad at Heard, he asked them to clarify if he was upset about “the phoney pictures that were taken and put in the tabloids, and the fake narrative and the way she’s got a fraudulent (domestic violence) claim to extort and blackmail a man?”
“Yeah, that kind of got me frustrated, confused, angry, upset. Yes.”
During cross-examination by Heard’s attorney, Elaine Bredehoft, text messages from October 2016 between Depp and Baruch were read aloud.
In the text, Depp said he hoped Heard’s “rotting corpse is decomposing in the f—–g trunk of a Honda Civic.”
Depp also allegedly wrote “That c— ruined such a f—ing cool life we had for a while.”
Baruch corroborated the texts were indeed sent by Depp. “Yeah, it was written,” he said.
As the trial continues, jurors will hear from several potential witnesses, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk, actor James Franco and Marvel WandaVision star Paul Bettany.
Franco and Musk were brought into the case when Depp accused both of having an affair with Heard. Both Franco and Musk are on Heard’s witness list. Bettany, whose private and disturbing text messages with Depp, were read in court in 2020, will testify as part of Depp’s team.
Both Depp and Heard are planning to take the stand.
The court proceedings are expected to last about six weeks with the jury determining if Heard defamed Depp.