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Judge Denies Amber Heard’s Team To Show ‘Bloody Lip’ Photo From Alleged Depp Abuse, His Team Calls It A Hoax

Andrea Raffin/Shutterstock

In the ongoing defamation trial between Amber Heard and Johnny Depp, Heard’s team has hit a snag they weren’t expecting: they tried to submit a previously-unsubmitted photo of Heard’s bloody lip as evidence and were denied.

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Heard’s legal team alleges that the photo in question shows what seems to be an injury to Heard’s face caused by Johnny Depp, along with a note that is purported to have been written by Depp that reads, “I shall return xxx.”

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Judge Penney Azcarate barred the team from submitting the photo as evidence because they hadn’t submitted it during the discovery phase, which occurs prior to a trial. The image itself is readily available online, and metadata associated with the image dates it to 2012, when Depp and Heard were together. It’s important to note that metadata can be falsified, however.

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The discovery phase of a trial is important, as it is when both teams share with each other what evidence and witnesses they intend to present during the trial. This enables courts to avoid trials by ambush and allows the teams to mount their best defense in the trial.

Heard attempted to use the photo as evidence supporting her claim that Depp struck her with a ring-covered hand, which allegedly caused her to bite her lip and split it.

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Depp’s legal team, however, denied the veracity of the image and claimed that Heard’s team created a false story around the image, and that it was fake.

Heard’s team was quick to jump on them, saying, “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.”

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In connection to the barred photo, 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.”

Prior to Heard taking the stand, her legal team asked for a second time for the case to be dismissed, and the judge denied them once again.

The first instance was in March of 2020, when Fairfax County Chief Judge Bruce White denied Heard’s request to strike down the trial in Virginia.