Depp-Heard defamation trial: A look at the celeb witnesses still set to testify

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As witnesses continue to take the stand or testify via video in the ongoing Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation trial, it was recently revealed that two celebrities — James Franco and Elon Musk — will no longer be testifying in the case. 

The witness list for the trial, which is expected to last six weeks, originally included Musk and Franco. However, Musk’s lawyer confirmed to Fox News Digital that the Tesla CEO would not take the stand. A source with knowledge of the trial confirmed to the New York Post that Franco also would not be testifying.

On Monday, Depp concluded a grueling four days on the witness stand, calmly telling jurors he filed his libel lawsuit against his ex-wife because it was his best chance to reclaim his reputation. The “Pirates of the Caribbean” star filed the suit over a 2018 op-ed. 

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With Franco and Musk out, there are still a few Hollywood figures who may take the stand, including Ellen Barkin and Paul Bettany. Heard is also set to testify. 

Here’s a look at which celebs we may hear from over the course of the trial:

Amber Heard

Amber Heard will testify in person. Heard will reportedly be the first witness for the defense and will take the stand next week. 

Amber Heard will testify in person. Heard will reportedly be the first witness for the defense and will take the stand next week. 
(John Phillips/UK Press)

Amber Heard will testify in person. According to Deadline, Heard will be the first witness for the defense and will take the stand next week. 

Depp sued Heard after she wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post. It was revealed in court Thursday that an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) staffer penned Heard’s piece, describing herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.”

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Heard’s op-ed never mentions Depp by name, but he argues that he was defamed nonetheless because parts of the piece clearly refer to allegations of abuse she made in 2016 when she filed for divorce and obtained a temporary restraining order.

Paul Bettany

Johnny Depp and British actor Paul Bettany arrive for the premiere of their new film 'Mortdecai' at the Zoopalast cinema in Berlin, Germany, Jan. 18, 2015.

Johnny Depp and British actor Paul Bettany arrive for the premiere of their new film ‘Mortdecai’ at the Zoopalast cinema in Berlin, Germany, Jan. 18, 2015.
(Stephanie Pilick/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Paul Bettany, a pal of Johnny Depp, was listed on the witness list and is expected to appear “via video link.”

Communications between Bettany and Depp have also been included in the trial as evidence. 

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During the first week of the trial, text messages between the two were shown. Depp also admitted on the stand that he texted Bettany about drowning and burning then-girlfriend Heard.

Depp claimed the texts were a reference to the film “Monty Python.”

Ellen Barkin

Johnny Depp and Ellen Barkin in 1994.

Johnny Depp and Ellen Barkin in 1994.
(Barry King/WireImage)

Ellen Barkin is also involved in the trial through a deposition, according to reports.

Barkin previously testified in Depp’s U.K. trial that the actor once threw a wine bottle at her head while they were dating in the 1990s.

Depp attempted to discredit her at the time saying that she held a “grudge” against him after he ended a casual relationship between the two.

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Johnny Depp and Amber Heard 

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard 
(Evelyn Hockstein/Pool via AP)

“Ms. Barkin and I had been friends for a number of years. A couple of years later (after her divorce), Ellen and I were hanging, just spending time together, a relationship,” Depp said in court at the time.

“A sexual element began with Ms. Barkin, which lasted for months on and off, really because she was making the film I was making at the time, ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,’ and I suppose her desires were … she wanted more than a relationship, she wanted a proper relationship with me and I did not want that.

“I didn’t feel the same about her as she did me, and I suppose from that moment on she became very, very angry, and, since then, I have not spoken to Ms. Barkin.”

Elon Musk

Elon Musk and Amber Heard pictured enjoying a meal. Elon Musk was set to testify via WebEx video link but no longer will, his attorney confirmed to Fox News Digital. 

Elon Musk and Amber Heard pictured enjoying a meal. Elon Musk was set to testify via WebEx video link but no longer will, his attorney confirmed to Fox News Digital. 
(BACKGRID)

Elon Musk was set to testify via WebEx video link, but no longer will.

Depp has accused Musk and Heard of having an affair while Depp and Heard were married. 

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Musk and Heard did have a romantic relationship, but the Tesla CEO insists the relationship didn’t begin until after the actress’ 2016 split with Depp.

“I wish to confirm again that Amber and I only started going out about a month after her divorce filing,” Musk told Page Six in 2020. “I don’t think I was ever even in the vicinity of Amber during their marriage!”

James Franco

James Franco was also set to testify via WebEx video link. It's been recently reported he no longer will take the stand. 

James Franco was also set to testify via WebEx video link. It’s been recently reported he no longer will take the stand. 
(Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)

James Franco was also set to testify via WebEx video link, according to reports.

Depp also accused Heard of having an affair with Franco during Depp’s marriage to Heard. The “Pineapple Express” actor was being called to the stand by Depp’s legal team, Page Six reported.

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May 2016 surveillance footage showed Heard and Franco entering an elevator together and exiting on the same floor where Depp and Heard lived. 

The footage was captured 24 hours after Depp and Heard had a fight that allegedly left her with a black eye.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Mojtaba Sadira

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