Who is Elaine Bredehoft? Veteran lawyer is defending Amber Heard in Johnny Depp defamation trial

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Amber Heard and Johnny Depp are going to face each other again in court as a defamation case opposing the two is set to start on Monday, April 11, in Virginia. As per reports, the former couple will give evidence personally in court with many high-profile names like James Franco, Paul Bettany, Elon Musk, and representatives of the Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros, scheduled to testify.

Depp has sued Heard in 2019 over a 2018 op-ed written by her for The Washington Post. The ‘Aquaman’ actress had written in the piece titled ‘I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change’, “Like many women, I had been harassed and sexually assaulted by the time I was of college age. But I kept quiet — I did not expect filing complaints to bring justice. And I didn’t see myself as a victim.”

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The actress also noted, “Then two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.” Though Depp was not named by Heard, his legal team argued that the essay was a “clear implication that Mr Depp is a domestic abuser,” while calling it “categorically and demonstrably false”.

Amber Heard (L) and Johnny Depp attend the 27th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala at Palm Springs Convention Center on January 2, 2016, in Palm Springs, California (Jason Merritt/Getty Images for PSIFF)

 

The ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ star has asked “not less than $50m” as compensatory damages and in response, Heard filed a suit against her ex-husband, demanding “not more than $100m” as well as immunity from his complaint. As per a Guardian report, during the trial, Heard’s legal team will probably argue that she “should be immune from the libel suit because of a Virginia law known as an anti-Slapp provision (strategic Lawsuit against public participation). The provision is designed to protect people from nuisance lawsuits when they speak about matters of public concern.”

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard attend the premiere of Focus Features’ ‘The Danish Girl’ at Westwood Village Theatre on November 21, 2015, in Westwood, California (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Who is Elaine Bredehoft?

Heard is reportedly being represented by attorney Elaine Bredehoft, who has noted that the actress’ 2018 piece “addresses a very serious issue of public concern: domestic violence.” Bredehoft is a veteran in her field with over three decades of experience. Washingtonian has mentioned that she “has also served as counsel in matters before the United States Supreme Court, and has served as an Arbitrator and Mediator at the request of counsel in multiple jurisdictions.”

Besides, the Northern Minnesota-native is the recipient of several awards, honors, and recognition, such as “Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America, National Trial Lawyers ‘Top 100 Trial Attorneys’, Fellow, International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and The Legal Times’ Almanac of Leading Lawyers.”

In 2020, after Depp lost the defamation battle with a UK-based tabloid after being called “wife beater”, Bredehoft reacted to it and said, “For those of us present for the London High Court trial, this decision and judgment are not a surprise. Very soon, we will be presenting even more voluminous evidence in the US. We are committed to obtaining justice for Amber Heard in the US court and defending Ms Heard’s Right to Free Speech.”

Actors Amber Heard and Johnny Depp attend the ‘Black Mass’ Boston special screening at the Coolidge Corner Theatre on September 15, 2015, in Boston, Massachusetts (Paul Marotta/Getty Images for Warner Brothers)

 

Also in February 2022, Bredehoft reasoned that cameras should not be permitted inside the courtroom during the April trial. She shockingly claimed that her client was “the victim of assault ‘including rape’ during and before her marriage to Depp, which lasted from 2015 to 2017.” But Depp’s lawyer Benjamin Chew of Brown Rudnick labeled the accusations “false and outrageous” while calling Heard “a liar”.

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