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Most damning things Amber Heard has said about Johnny Depp at defamation trial

Ms Heard says Mr Depp subjected her to sexual, physical, and verbal violence

Clémence Michallon
Monday 16 May 2022 23:16 BST
Amber Heard begs Johnny Depp to stop ‘smear campaign’ as court hears emotional audio

WARNING: This article contains allegations of physical and sexual violence that some readers may find distressing.

Amber Heard has taken the witness stand in the defamation case opposing her and Johnny Depp in Virginia.

Mr Depp has sued Ms Heard for alleged defamation over an op-ed she wrote in 2018 for The Washington Post. She doesn’t name him in the piece, but describes herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse”. Mr Depp has asked for $50m in damages.

Ms Heard has countersued Mr Depp, accusing him of allegedly orchestrating a “smear campaign” against her and describing his own lawsuit as a continuation of “abuse and harassment”. She has asked for $100m in damages and immunity against his claims.

Mr Depp was heard as a witness first, and Ms Heard took the stand on 4 May. Her testimony resumed on 5 May. There was a one-week break in the proceedings, after which Ms Heard returned to the witness stand on 16 May.

Here are the most damning parts of her testimony so far:

Amber Heard alleges Johnny Depp sexually assaulted her with a liquor bottle

On Thursday (5 May), Ms Heard told the court Mr Depp allegedly sexually assaulted her with a liquor bottle during a fight in Australia in 2015.

Ms Heard was visibly distressed during her testimony. She said Mr Depp struck her in a manner that “sent [her] down to the ground”, and that when she got up Mr Depp threw a bottle in her direction. She said at one point he had a broken bottle up next to her face and neck, and told her he would “carve up [her] face”.

Ms Heard said her memories of the night came to her as “flashes”. Eventually, she said, Mr Depp was throwing bottles in her direction and she could “feel glass breaking behind [her]” and one bottle going past her head, which left her “terrified”.

She said Mr Depp ripped her nightgown off her chest and that the nightgown was eventually ripped off completely, leaving her naked.

She alleged that Mr Depp started punching the wall next to her head and holding her by the neck. At some point, she said Mr Depp ended up “on top of [her]”, telling her she’d “ruined [his] f****** life”.

“I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t get through to him, I couldn’t get up,” she said. “I don’t know how that ended. I don’t know how – I don’t know what happened next.” Ms Heard sobbed as she continued: “The next thing I remember, I was bent over backwards on the bar, meaning my chest was up. I was staring at the blue light. My back is on the countertop and I thought he was punching me. I felt this pressure on my pubic bone. I thought he was punching me. I could feel his arm moving and it looked like he was punching me. But I could just feel this pressure.”

Ms Heard said she remembered being still, not wanting to move, looking around the room, and seeing broken bottles and broken glass. “I remember not wanting to move because I didn’t know if it was broken – I didn’t know if the bottle that he had inside me was broken,” she said. “I couldn’t feel it. I didn’t feel pain. I didn’t feel pain. I didn’t feel anything. ... I looked around and I saw so much broken glass. ... I just remember thinking ‘Please God, please. I hope it’s not broken.’”

Amber Heard testifies Johnny Depp penetrated her with a bottle

Amber Heard alleges Johnny Depp sexually assaulted her while searching for his cocaine

Ms Heard alleged on Wednesday (4 May) that Mr Depp once sexually assaulted her while searching for his drugs, after accusing her of hiding his cocaine.

“He starts patting me down or saying he’s patting me down, I can’t recall – but he ripped my dress, the strap, top part of my dress,” she told the court. “I had just dyed this thing myself, pink ... He’s grabbing my breasts, he’s touching my thighs, he rips my underwear off and he proceeds to do a cavity search. He said he was looking for his drugs, his cocaine. His coke.”

Ms Heard added: “I was wondering how somebody who didn’t do cocaine and was against it – that was in and of itself causing problems in our relationship. How could I hide, why would I hide his drugs? He was insinuating that I was doing it, or something? It made no sense. And he was telling me, ‘We’re gonna conduct a cavity search.’ He just shoved his fingers inside me. And I just stood there staring at the stupid light. I didn’t know what to do. I just stood there while he did that, he twisted his fingers around.”

Amber Heard accuse Depp of performing a cavity search on her searching for cocaine

Amber Heard alleges Johnny Depp’s jealousy affected her career

Ms Heard had alleged that Mr Depp made her feel “dirty” about her acting career, and that his jealousy made her avoid roles involving sex scenes and revealing outfits.

“I couldn’t have a sex scene,” she said. “It didn’t happen all at once of course, it was little by little.”

Ms Heard has also alleged that Mr Depp accused her of having affairs with some of her co-stars, and once subjected her to a violent grilling about a sex scene with James co-star Franco.

“I was polite. I made sure to answer the minimal amount that I could. I moved slowly. I was trying to be polite but not engage, because there was no win,” she said.

“And he kept going, he kept asking me. Eventually, he went from ‘Do you have something to tell me?’ to ‘You wanna tell me how much you liked it? Tell me, did he slip the tongue?’ It got worse and worse.

“It went from asking me about how my kissing scene went or how the sex scene went to asking me what James Franco had done in the scene, to being really explicit about my body ... he was saying really disgusting things about my body, about how I liked it, how I responded. And then he started just straight-up taunting me. ‘I know you liked it’. He called me a go-getter. He called me a slut.”

Ms Heard alleged that that conversation escalated into a physical altercation during which Mr Depp slapped her in the face and kicked her in the back with his boot.

Amber Heard claims Johnny Depp’s jealousy made her give up film roles with sex scenes

Amber Heard says she thought Johnny Depp was going to kill her during physical assault

Ms Heard has said she thought Mr Depp was going to kill her during a fight.

“I don’t even remember feeling the pain, I just remember hearing the sound of Johnny’s voice,” she said from the witness stand.

“He got next to my face and he was screaming over and over and over again, each time it sounded louder and more desperate, ‘I f***ing hate you, I f***ing hate you, I f***ing hate you’ over and over. ‘F***ing hate you.’

“Then pounding the back of my head, pounding it with his fist, and I don’t even remember feeling pain, I just could hear myself scream until I couldn’t hear myself any more.

“I could just hear him say that he was going to kill me and that he sounded like an animal in pain when he was saying that he ‘f***ing hated’ me.

“He sounded like he was almost crying, or something in his voice was different, he sounded different, he sounded like he was in agony, it was high-pitched and loud.”

She added: “I don’t know how many times, he just hit me over and over and over again and I got really still, and it felt in my body like quiet.

“And I thought, ‘This is how I die, he’s going to kill me now. He’s going to kill me and he won’t even have realized it.’ I couldn’t breathe. I remember trying to scream and I couldn’t scream.”

Amber Heard tells court she thought Johnny Depp was going to kill her

Amber Heard recounts the first time Johnny Depp allegedly hit her

Ms Heard has shared several accounts of incidents during which she says Mr Depp was physically violent with her.

Asked to recount the first time Mr Depp allegedly hit her, Ms Heard said: “It’s seemingly so stupid, so insignificant. I will never forget it. It changed my life.”

She alleged she and Mr Depp were “sitting on the couch... talking ... having a normal conversation.

“There was no fighting, no argument, nothing,” she said. “He was drinking and I didn’t realise at the time but I think he was using cocaine because there was a jar – a jar of cocaine on the table.”

She said she asked Mr Depp about a tattoo on his arm.

“And to me, it just looked like black marks,” she said. “I didn’t know what it said. It just looked like a muddled, faded tattoo that was hard to read.”

Ms Heard said Mr Depp told her the tattoo said “wino”.

“I thought he was joking, because it didn’t look like it said that at all. And I laughed. It was that simple. I just laughed, because I thought he was joking. And he slapped me across the face,” she said.

“And I laughed. I laughed because I didn’t know what else to do. I thought, ‘This must be a joke. This must be a joke.’ I didn’t know what was going on. I just stared at him, kind of laughing still, thinking that he was going to start laughing too, to tell me it was a joke, but he didn’t. He said, ‘You think it’s so funny? You think it’s funny, b****? You think you’re a funny b****?’ And he slapped me again. I was clear it wasn’t a joke anymore.”

Amber Heard testifies about Johnny Depp allegedly hitting her for the first time

Amber Heard testifies about Johnny Depp’s alleged drug use

Ms Heard’s testimony has included several mentions of what she says was his drug and alcohol use.

“I didn’t realise at the time that I had already become really sensitive to these little changes, because my life changed depending on what he was on,” she said during a part of her testimony concerning alleged incidents dating back to 2014.

Amber Heard says she had to get used to 'different versions' of Depp based on alleged drug use

Ms Heard also said she got used to “different versions” of her then-husband.

She said he had been “the love of [her] life”, but “he was also this other thing”.

“And this other thing was [this] awful, awful thing that would come out and take over,” she said. “And you couldn’t see the Johnny I loved underneath it. It was this other thing.”

Amber Heard recounts police being called after Johnny Depp attacked her

Ms Heard testified that on one occasion in May 2016, Mr Depp physically attacked her after a friend told her on the phone she “wasn’t safe”.

She alleged Mr Depp threw her phone at her face, adding: “I put my head in my hands and immediately start crying. I said, ‘You hit me with the phone. Johnny, you hit me.’ I’m sitting on the couch. I didn’t even have time to react. I didn’t even have time to put my hands up.

“I was still sitting cross-legged with my socks on the couch. I haven’t seen him for a month and the last several times now that I’ve seen him he’s hit me. I didn’t even have time to react to this.”

Ms Heard said Mr Depp verbally taunted her, then whacked her on the top of her head.

“This heavy ringed hand landed on top of my skull, grabs me by the hair, yanks me up off the couch. I’m struggling to stand up,” she said.

“I don’t know if he was intending to hit me in the face or if he was just trying to grab my face but he was making this gesture around my face to try to expose my face to him and he was like, ‘Yeah, let me see how bad I hurt you. Let me see it. Let me see how bad I hurt you this time. What if I pulled your hair back? What if I pulled your hair back?’

“And he yanks my hair back. I’m trying to prevent him from landing the blows to my face and trying to prevent my face from being exposed, and I just remember this mocking taunt he was doing with me as he’s yanking me around the room.”

Ms Heard said another friend, who lived in the neighboring apartment, came in and tried to protect her. She said Mr Depp’s two security guards eventually came in too. At some point, she said Mr Depp picked up a bottle and started “smashing things off the nightstand, the coffee table,” and “screaming.”

Eventually, she said Mr Depp exited the apartment, knocking things off and breaking things along the way.

Amber Heard sobs as she says she feared she wouldn't survive if she didn't divorce Depp

Amber Heard says she thought she wouldn’t ‘survive’ if she didn’t divorce Johnny Depp

Asked why she filed for divorce from Mr Depp, Ms Heard said: “Because I knew if I didn’t, I’d likely not literally survive. I was so scared that it was going to end really badly for me. And I really didn’t want to leave him. I loved him so much. I would have done anything but I couldn’t do that one thing. I couldn’t stay.

“The problem is that the hope that I had had become less and less regular and more and more rare. The monster had been this thing that was now the normal and not the exception. The violence was now the normal and not the exception. It was so hard. It was so hard, but I knew I had to do it.”

Amber Heard says Johnny Depp physically attacked her over London Fields sex scene

Ms Heard has alleged that Mr Depp became physically violent due to a sex scene in the movie London Fields.

“He was unhappy with me having done a sex scene in it that he claimed I didn’t tell him about,” she said. “I did not actually film the scene he was speaking of. He demanded that we watch a screener of it, which is like a version of the film before it’s released. We got one sent to where we were at the time, Johnny’s chateau in France.”

Ms Heard said the film contained a sex scene with someone who “looked like [her]”.

“They had used a body double,” she told the court. “Unbeknownst to me, without my permission, they used a body double to do a sex scene. So I have an incredibly jealous man who already is upset with me for breaking the rule that I had a sex scene, on top of that I’m telling him, ‘It wasn’t me, I didn’t shoot that scene.’”

According to Ms Heard’s testimony, Mr Depp became “upset” and “irate”, and called her “a liar, a whore, among other things.”

“That, combined with the fact that I had even entertained doing this job that involved James Franco, was a pressure cooker,” Ms Heard said.

“I called it a week of hell later. Johnny at one point slapped me in the face in our bedroom in the chateau that we were staying in. At another moment he punched me across the jaw. At one point he either pushed or threw, it’s hard to describe to you which of those two it is because I can’t tell you, I went flying into this old church furniture. I later thought I had a concussion. It was the first time I thought I had sustained a concussion.”

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