After one of her witnesses quit, Amber Heard's legal battle against Johnny Depp suffered another devastating blow following the withdrawal of her lawyers.
Heard is certainly facing a major headache after the "Time's Up" co-founder Roberta Kaplan expressed her desire to quit and leave her legal team.
In new legal documents obtained by The Blast, Kaplan, along with John Quinn, Julie Fink and Davida Brook, asked the judge to let them drop out of the case. According to the legal team, the "Aquaman" actress also signed off on and is fine with the decision.
"The undersigned moves for entry of an order permitting Robert Kaplan, John Quinn, Julie Fink, Davida Brook to withdraw as counsel of record for Defendant Amber Laura Heard," the document read.
They also stated that due to the coronavirus pandemic, their travel and logistics became more costly, pushing them to quit and let a closer legal counsel handle the case instead.
From this day forward, the licensed trial counsel in Virginia, Elaine Bredehoft, will be the one to lead the case.
"Ms. Heard does not object to the withdrawal of withdrawing counsel and has endorsed the proposed order granting leave to withdraw," the document continued.
Although they quit, a spokesperson for Kaplan Hecker & Fink LL said that they believe Heard and that they are so grateful to serve Heard through the years. They clarified that if the pandemic did not happen, they would still be pushing through the battle.
However, the decision did not impress the Depp's attorney, Adam Waldman.
In a separate communication with The Blast, Waldman said that he is not convinced with all the reasons that Heard and Kaplan stated behind the change in counsel.
"For years, #TimesUp and others inexplicably hitched their wagons to Amber Heard's abuse hoax. Ms. Heard's lawyers, one of whom co-founded the #TimesUp Legal Defense Fund, have now apparently unhitched from Ms. Heard's long-disproven frauds. We intend to discover why," Depp's legal counsel said.
Kaplan is indeed a well-known lawyer. She famously led the charge for same-sex marriage before the U.S. Supreme Court. She is also associated with the Time's Up movement in Los Angeles, having co-founded the legal defense fund.
The decision came after Heard's witness and makeup artist Melanie Inglessis refused to give a live remote testimony about her 2019 declaration that supports Heard's claims.
Through a motion, she asked the California federal court's Magistrate Judge Patrick J. Walsh to reverse his order that demands her to give a live testimony via video conference.
Inglessis reasoned that she has been receiving death threats and online harassment despite being quiet about the issue.
"This case, and the related U.S. case, are high-profile matters involving international celebrities and are receiving intense media scrutiny," her legal adviser, Attorney Anya Goldstein, said.
If Heard continues to lose key people in her team, it is highly likely that she will also lose the case in no time.