Did Witness Fart Loudly While Testifying in Depp v. Heard Trial?

This rumor doesn't pass the smell test.

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Claim

The sound of a witness farting loudly during testimony in the Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard defamation trial was captured on video.

Rating

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Context

Though a video clip appears to document a woman farting quite loudly on the witness stand during questioning, no such sound was audible in the original courtroom video, a portion of which was clearly altered after the fact to create the viral “farting” clip. Evidence is lacking to rule conclusively on whether an actual instance of flatulence took place at that moment.

Fact Check

In May 2022, a video supposedly showing a woman loudly farting while testifying in the highly-publicized defamation trial between actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard racked up millions of views on social media. The following version from TikTok, for example, received more than 13 million views:

This video featured some flatulence fakery, however. While it’s possible that the witness truly passed gas while on the witness stand — Snopes could not find adequate evidence to prove or disprove that allegation — the viral video includes a fake farting noise added after the fact.

This video features Georgina “Gina” Deuters, a longtime friend of Depp and wife of one of Depp’s employees, Stephen Dueters. Lawyers for Depp, who sued Heard for defamation after she claimed in a 2018 op-ed that she had been physically abused by the actor, called Deuters to the stand in the early days of the trial, in April, to testify on Depp’s behalf. While the most newsworthy moment from Dueters’ testimony occurred at the end of her comments, when the judge dismissed her from the stand and struck her testimony from the record after she admitted to watching clips of the trial online, the moment that caught the internet’s attention was an alleged act of wind-breaking.

About 18 minutes into Deuters’ testimony, she was asked about arnica cream, a product that can be used to reduce swelling. As she was responding to the question, Deuters shifted in her seat, appeared to startle herself, then said, “Oops, sorry, that was me.”

While her actions certainly resembled those of someone who had just farted, we lack enough evidence to say conclusively that that’s what happened. We can say, however, that the audio in this clip was altered in such a way as to encourage that interpretation.

You can see the viral moment at the 18:35 mark of this video from Fox News. Below is a side-by-side version of that genuine footage (left) and the version featuring the doctored audio (right).

[See also on Snopes: Did Biden Fart in Front of the Duchess of Cornwall?]


Sources:

ARNICA: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-721/arnica. Accessed 9 May 2022.

Johnny Depp Drugs: Explosive Testimony of Actor’s Aggressive Use of Drugs at Hollywood Parties. www.youtube.com, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6lVu7xeGBE. Accessed 9 May 2022.

“Judge Throws Out Johnny Depp Witness Testimony After She Admits to Watching Trial Online.” Toofab, https://toofab.com/2022/04/14/johnny-depp-amber-heard-gina-deuters/. Accessed 9 May 2022.

Shamsian, Ashley Collman, Jacob. “Johnny Depp Suffers Major Blow as Witness Is Dismissed after Admitting to Watching Clips of Amber Heard Defamation Trial Online.” Insider, https://www.insider.com/johnny-depp-witness-dismissed-from-the-stand-for-watching-trial-online-2022-4. Accessed 9 May 2022.