Johnny Depp’s lawyers were spotted pumping their fists when Amber Heard suddenly brought up Kate Moss during her testimony last week – because the name has the potential to help their case.
Attorney Benjamin Chew’s gesture in the Fairfax, Va., courtroom was a “celebratory acknowledgment,” a source close to Depp confirmed to the Post on Tuesday.
“Amber mentioned an ex of Johnny who she says was clearly not supportive of him, which couldn’t be further from the truth,” the source said, in an apparent reference to Moss’ potential to help the case. Depp.
Legal experts say Heard mentioning Moss on the stand could give her ex-husband’s team the chance to dispel a rumor that he pushed the British model down a flight of stairs when they met in the 1990s .
Heard’s possible mistake came on Thursday as the actress told the jury of a March 2015 fight where she punched Depp in the face for fear he would push her sister Whitney down a flight of stairs.
The ‘Aquaman’ actress said she “instantly” thought of “Kate Moss and the stairs” – prompting Chew to turn around and pump her fist.
Usually, alleged misconduct that isn’t related to a specific charge in a case — like this alleged incident — isn’t allowed to be raised by attorneys at trial.
But in this case, Heard’s mention of Moss could open the door for Depp’s lawyers to call the walker as a witness to respond to the allegation, experts told the Post.
“[Moss] is still allegedly friends with Johnny and her testimony was previously not allowed in because it was not as relevant,” California entertainment attorney Mitra Ahouraian said.
“It is a mistake that [Heard] fact, evoked Kate Moss, which potentially opened the door to [Depp’s team] bringing [Moss] as an impeachment witness,” — and Moss “saying ‘it never happened,’” Ahouraian explained.
Halim Dhanidina, a former California judge and current criminal defense attorney, agreed that Depp’s team could now try to use the Moss endorsement to their advantage.
Dhanidina said Depp’s team might say, “You brought up Kate Moss and she wasn’t going to be part of this trial, but now she is.”
“Johnny Depp’s team are going to argue that they should be allowed to call him to debunk any rumors that Johnny Depp is pushing [Moss] down the stairs,” he said.
Heard’s team could then counter that Moss’ statement was meant to explain Heard’s “state of mind” when she hit Depp, Dhanidina said.
Her lawyers could argue that “it is not necessary to bring additional evidence on Kate Moss to have a parallel trial on this other incident,” the former judge said.
At the very least, Depp’s team will likely cross-examine Heard on Moss’ comment.
Dhanidina explained that the judge handling Depp’s case, Penney Azcarate, has “a lot of discretion” about whether to go further and let Moss testify.
Heard previously alleged that the “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor pushed Moss down a flight of stairs during Depp’s other UK libel trial in 2020.
Describing the same fight involving his sister, Heard told the UK court at the time: ‘I remembered information I had heard [that] he pushed a former girlfriend – I think it was Kate Moss – down the stairs. I had heard this rumor from two people and it was fresh in my mind.
If the judge in the current trial allows this allegation to come into play, it could also open the door for Depp to raise past misconduct charges against Heard.
“For me, the most interesting question is whether the mention of [the Moss allegation] or the rumor of this incident entitles Johnny Depp’s team to bring evidence of Amber Heard’s past conduct of domestic violence,” Dhanidina said.
“If you go beyond the scope of the conduct in this case to include other violent conduct committed by your opponent, it is only fair that your opponent can do the same for you,” the attorney said.
In 2009, Heard was charged with domestic violence against his then-girlfriend Tasya van Ree – who later said the incident was a misunderstanding and the charges against Heard were quickly dropped.
Heard’s attorneys declined to comment.