Morgan Night testified at the Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard trial on Tuesday.
He said Heard yelled at Depp during “the Hicksville incident” and the trailer they stayed in wasn’t trashed, as Heard claimed.
The trial went off the rails as Heard’s lawyer tried to discount his testimony, saying he knows “That Umbrella Guy.”
Johnny Depp’s trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard turned into an even more bizarre spectacle than usual on Tuesday as one of Heard’s lawyers questioned whether a witness on the stand communicated with a Twitter user who goes by “That Umbrella Guy,” who is one of Depp’s biggest cheerleaders online.
“I have no idea,” the witness, Morgan Night, told jurors as the courtroom tittered. “I don’t care or follow the Umbrella Guy.”
Night, testifying under oath, also said he did not follow “That Umbrella Guy,” and also said he was not familiar with Adam Waldman, one of Depp’s former lawyers.
Told by Heard’s lawyer Elaine Bredehoft that Waldman often spoke to “That Umbrella Guy,” Night appeared confused. Heard appeared to stifle a laugh at her own attorney’s question.
“Honestly, this sounds like schizophrenia,” Night said.
Night’s testimony comes close to the end of the six-week trial Depp brought against Heard, where he alleges she defamed him when she described herself as a victim of domestic violence in a Washington Post op-ed. In fact, Depp claims, Heard verbally and physically abused him throughout their relationship, which ended with divorce in 2016. Heard has denied the allegations and countersued, alleging Depp physically assaulted her numerous times while they were together.
Depp’s lawyers brought Night to testify as a rebuttal witness to describe what has become known as “the Hicksville incident.” In May 2013, Depp, Heard, and a group of friends took an overnight camping trip at the Hicksville Trailer Palace in Joshua Tree, California. Depp alleges that Heard yelled at him in their trailer after he interfered with a friend who appeared to put her hands on his then-girlfriend in an intimate way, and that he punched a wall. Heard claimed that Depp, high on shrooms, trashed the trailer in a fit of jealous rage and then sexually assaulted her by performing a “cavity search.”
Night founded the trailer park and oversaw its operations at the time. He testified that Heard appeared standoffish in his interactions with her. At one point, Night said, Heard took Depp away into their trailer.
“I was speaking with Mr. Depp just one-on-one, and Ms. Heard came over and she said, ‘I want to talk to you,’ and seemed really upset about something,” Night said. “So I went back in the house and they went back off on their own.”
Heard started screaming at Depp, Night said. He said the incident disturbed him, evoking abusive relationships from his past.
“She started yelling at him. And I didn’t want to hear it, really, because I had been in abusive relationships before,” Night said.
Night said Depp was “cowering” during the interaction and “seemed almost afraid,” which struck him as odd since Depp is much older than Heard. He also said that Depp apologized to him after the incident.
Night didn’t charge Depp a ‘piggy fee’
The next morning, one of Night’s employees told him about a mess in Depp’s and Heard’s trailer. Night was concerned, he said, since the trailer was originally from the 1950s and recently restored, keeping its vintage style.
But when he got there, he was put at ease. Aside from the broken light sconce, the place looked fine. He found a replacement on eBay a few weeks later and charged one of Depp’s assistants $62 for the trouble, Night testified. He even waived the trailer park’s “piggy fee” — which the facility charged to guests who left a big mess in the trailers before checkout — because the trailer’s interior otherwise looked neat.
Before Night testified, Bredehoft tried to have Judge Penney Azcarate, who’s overseeing the case, to block him from taking the stand. Night had tweeted about testimony in the trial with “That Umbrella Guy,” a Twitter power user who frequently criticizes Heard and supports Depp in online discourse.
On April 21, “That Umbrella Guy” tweeted that testimony about the Hicksville incident would indicate that Depp yelled at Heard. Night disagreed.
“That never happened. I was with them all night. Amber was the one acting all jealous and crazy,” he wrote.
Bredehoft argued that the tweet indicated Night had seen previous trial testimony and therefore shouldn’t take the stand. Azcarate ultimately permitted Night to testify after he said he only came across the tweet after a former employee told him that the Hicksville Trailer Palace was mentioned at the trial and that he searched for references to it on Twitter.
Otherwise, Night told the judge, he had not been paying attention to the trial and did not read anything about it after one of Depp’s lawyers told him they wanted to call him as a witness. Night said he wasn’t invested in the trial.
“I’m happy to tell what I saw and that’s the extent,” Night said. “I really don’t care outside of that.”
Bredehoft asked Night several other questions, including whether he wore “a mesh shirt.” Night appeared confused at the question.
“I would absolutely never wear that,” he said.
Asked whether he was a fan of Depp, Night’s answer, under oath, made the courtroom laugh.
“I am not,” he said.
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