Amber Heard has doubled down on the Los Angeles Police Department in her legal battle with Johnny Depp, months after she first went after the cops.In a subpoena approved by Fairfax County courts clerk John Frey on September 20, Heard and her legal team in the $50 million defamation case initiated by the former Pirates of the Caribbean star want to gather seemingly everything they can on the department and a quartet of officers who dealt with a 2016 domestic disturbance incident between the then-married Rum Diary co-stars in downtown Los Angeles.
Similar to a subpoena sent to the LAPD by Heard’s lawyers on January 12, this new notice requests that the cops “produce the books, documents, records, electronically stored information, and tangible things designated and described below.”
Similarly to the Aquaman star’s previous subpoena, this one focuses on body-camera footage or the lack thereof from Officers Melissa Saenz and Tyler Hadden when they were called to Depp and Heard’s plush pad at the Eastern Columbia Building on May 21, 2016. But now Heard appears to want to put the officers’ and two other people’s records and reputations in the spotlight in what has become a bitterly contested case of she said/he said over what really happened that spring night five years ago and who allegedly abused whom.
The recently issued subpoena requests “all documents and communications of any nature respecting any investigation into whether Officers Saenz and Hadden followed LAPD policy, procedures, and/or protocols in responding to the call at Eastern Columbia Building on May 21, 2016 respecting Ms.So far, the LAPD has taken a prudent approach in its response. “We don’t comment on ongoing or pending litigation,” LAPD Public Information Officer Jeff Lee told Deadline today.
A law enforcement source confirmed today that the department had received the subpoena.Among the other materials sought by Team Heard are “all documents and communications of any nature respecting any investigation of, and any disciplinary actions taken against Officers Saenz and Hadden for any conduct up to December 2016.”
The subpoena seeks “the audit trails for any deletions, modifications, or viewing of the body camera footage uploaded to evidence.com by Officers Saenz and Hadden between October 1, 2015 and August 1, 2016.”
It continues, “this request includes any documents that show any deletions, modifications, or viewing up to the present for footage uploaded during that timeframe.”Both Saenz and Hadden testified via satellite at Depp’s failed attempt to sue Rupert Murdoch’s UK tabloid The Sun for libel over the paper’s characterization of the actor as a “wife beater.”
Last year, Saenz testified in court that, while Heard claimed Depp hit her in the face with a cell phone, she “did not see any injuries.” Furthermore, footage from the officers’ bodycams showed the apartment to be in a relatively calm and orderly state when they arrived that night.
Nonetheless, as you may recall, photos of Heard with bruises and other marks on her face quickly circulated as the first salvo in what became a messy public end to the couple’s brief marriage. In the end, Depp paid out $7 million that Heard had promised to donate to various organisations such as the ACLU – a series of contested donations that even her own lawyer admitted to Deadline earlier this year had not been fully given.
“Amber has already been responsible for seven figures in charitable donations and intends to continue contributing and eventually fulfil her pledge,” Virginia-based attorney Elaine Bredehoft stated on January 7.
Heard sought “all documents and communications of any nature with Mr. Depp, and/or any of Mr. Depp’s agents, attorneys, or others acting on his behalf, from May 21, 2016 through the present” in her subpoena to the LAPD earlier this year.
In terms of its own long reach, Heard’s September 14 subpoena adds two more Los Angeles Police Department officers to the data and document. “All communications and documents reflecting all communications between Officers Hadden and/or Saenz and Officers Diener and/or Gatlin on May 21 and 22, 2016,” according to the request. The subpoena requests “the Watch Commander’s log for May 21, 2016, and May 22, 2016, reflecting or concerning the shifts of Officers Saenz, Diener, Gatlin, and/or Hadden,” as well as whether Officers Diener and Gatlin were issued bodycams or other equipment from “the LAPD kit room.”
Officers Diener and Gatlin, who were also on the scene at the Depp/Heard residence in May 2016, have previously been deposed in the case. They both stated that they saw no marks on Heard and that the apartment was in good condition. This new subpoena is an attempt to delve deeper into the night in question, with the strong implication that something is being overlooked, ignored, or both.
Of course, the LAPD isn’t the only outside organisation that has been caught in the leghold trap of this more than two-year-old case. Heard has been unsuccessful in numerous attempts to have the case dismissed, most recently last month, but Disney, the ACLU, and Elon Musk have also been served with subpoenas. The Washington Post, which published the Heard-penned op-ed on domestic violence that sparked all of this, was also involved in the case but was let go fairly early on.
On the heels of his new subpoena, fired Fantastic Beasts actor Depp, who was let go by Warner Bros after losing his UK libel suit late last year, was honoured with the Donostia Award at this year’s San Sebastian Film Festival. Perhaps because he was aware of Heard’s subpoena, the usually reserved star was unusually forthright about his apparent take on his unsuccessfully appealed UK case and other issues. “It doesn’t matter if a judgement, in and of itself, has taken some artistic licence,” Depp told reporters at a festival press conference on Wednesday. “When there is an injustice, whether it is against you, someone you care about, or someone you believe in, stand up, don’t sit down.” Because they require your assistance.”
The actor also stated in Spain on Wednesday, “It only takes one sentence and there’s no more ground, the carpet has been pulled.” This hasn’t just happened to me; it’s happened to a lot of people. This has happened to both men and women. Unfortunately, at some point, they begin to believe that it is normal — or that it is them. When it isn’t.”The trial of Depp and Heard is scheduled to begin on April 11 before Fairfax County Chief Judge Penney Azcarate.
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