The judge in the Johnny Depp v Amber Heard defamation trial was left temporarily lost for words on Wednesday after the court was shown the pre-recorded deposition of a doorman who was driving and vaping as he spoke.
A visibly flummoxed Penney Azcarate described Alejandro Romero’s testimony as “a first” and ordered the court to break early for lunch after the video played.
Laughter from the jury could also be heard throughout the recording, in which Romero, who worked at the Los Angeles apartment building where Depp and Heard had lived together, described the moment he investigated a possible intruder which he believed was just a dog.
Romero described searching the property after Heard had reported a scratching on the door that she believed may have been an intruder.
“They were talking about someone trying to get into their unit, and in my head I was saying ‘you really think someone is trying to get into your unit?’,” Romero said. “There’s scratches four inches above the floor on your door. That was a dog trying to get into your unit.
“They were so afraid – I actually went. They asked me to go inside the unit just to check room by room to make sure that no one was actually there.”
Romero added that he carried out the search because it was part of his job, but that he “didn’t understand why they wanted me to do that”.
At one point he also expressed his frustration with the case, saying that he had been “so stressed out” and didn’t “want to deal with this any more”.
When the video ended Azcarate told the court that it was a “good time to break for lunch”. She then took her glasses off, raised her eyebrows and shook her head from side to side.
After a long pause, she added: “Alright … that was a first, I’m sorry.”
Heard’s lawyer, Elaine Bredehoft, replied: “I will say your honour that was the most bizarre deposition …”
Azcarate cut her off, raised her hands and said: “Yeah, OK, I just got to say I’ve never seen that before. I’ve seen a lot of things, but I’ve never seen that.”