Amber Heard attorney Ben Rottenborn was just getting his closing argument warmed up Friday when a strange sound went up in the Virginia courtroom – a chorus of phones that were signaling a severe storm alert briefly mistaken for, of all things, an Amber Alert.
Rottenborn paused when the beeping started, and the judge quickly weighed in: “I think we’re getting an Amber Alert, some people forgot to turn off their phones.”
Indeed they did, as several phones could be heard making the solid alarm tone. After a brief awkward moment, Rottenborn continued – then kept going as the tones fired up one more time.
After that, it seems the offending parties had all powered down.
The judge wasn’t the only party who mistook the phone alerts for an Amber Alert.
Reporters for the YouTube-streaming Law & Crime Trial Network who were taking questions from social media during the day’s lunch break briefly addressed the moment during their live stand-up on what appeared to be the covered sidewalk of a nearby building.
“Biggest question I think people have right now is, ‘Why are we here? Why are we not outside the courthouse?’ There are severe thunderstorms outside,” reporter and show host Jesse Weber said. “In fact, there was an Amber Alert — kind of a weather alert, not an Amber Alert — that came on everybody’s phone in the courtroom today. So we are doing the best that we can with what we have.”
Lawyers for both Depp and Heard gave closing statements on Friday, the conclusion of the six-week civil trial. Depp is suing Heard for $50 million, claiming her 2018 Washington Post op-ed defamed him; Heard is counter-suing for $100 million.
The jury was expected to get the case Friday ahead of the long weekend.