Amber Heard says Johnny Depp subjected her to ‘disgusting’ and violent grilling about sex scene with James Franco

Heard is testifying in defamation trial in Virginia

Clémence Michallon
Friday 06 May 2022 01:01 BST
Amber Heard claims Johnny Depp’s jealousy made her give up film roles with sex scenes
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Amber Heard has alleged that Johnny Depp once subjected her to a “disgusting” and violent grilling about a sex scene she had filmed with James Franco.

Ms Heard returned to the witness stand for a second day on Thursday as part of the defamation trial opposing her and Mr Depp in Fairfax, Virginia.

She was asked about an incident she alleges occurred on a private flight in 2014. At the time, Ms Heard had been cast to star alongside Mr Franco in The Adderall Diaries, a thriller that was ultimately released in 2016.

“He was mad at me for taking the job with James Franco,” Ms Heard said. “He hated, hated James Franco and was already accusing me of secretly having a thing with him in my past, since we had done [the 2008 movie] Pineapple Express together.”

The alleged incident happened in May 2014 on a flight between Boston and Los Angeles.

She told the court Mr Depp sent a plane to pick her up, and that she boarded it first. She said that when Mr Depp arrived, she got a sense he was not sober.

“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. “He gets on the plane and I just knew, every cell of my body, something was wrong.”

Ms Heard said Mr Depp came “straight up to me”. “He doesn’t say anything to me, but he’s looking at me. He’s got his glasses on and he takes them off in this kind of aggressive manner,” she said.

According to Ms Heard, Mr Depp sat across from her, which was not his usual spot on the plane.

“We take off, and at some point, he’s asking me what’s wrong with me, do I have something to tell him. ‘You wanna talk to me about your day yesterday’,” she said.

“I already know that he’s drunk, I already know he’s using. He reeks of weed and alcohol. His breath smells so bad. I could anticipate that there was a no-win situation here. There was no me talking myself out of this or talking him down.”

Amber Heard at the Fairfax County Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia on 5 May 2022
Amber Heard at the Fairfax County Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia on 5 May 2022 (AFP/Getty)

Ms Heard said Mr Depp started asking her questions.

“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 said the scene unfolded in front of some members of Mr Depp’s staff.

“I remember I felt – I struggle to be able to tell you how embarrassed I was, because he was speaking to me in front of people in this way,” she said, alleging that Mr Depp used “sexually explicit descriptions of what he accused me of wanting or deserving”.

At some point, Ms Heard said she got up to move to the front of the plane.

“I remember getting up so slowly. I didn’t want to aggravate him. I didn’t want to give him any excuse to pounce on. I didn’t want to upset him. I didn’t want him to flip a switch and get worse,” she said.

When she moved, Ms Heard said Mr Depp started “throwing things at me – ice cubes, utensils. He’s calling me a go-getter and an embarrassment, talking about what an embarrassment I am.”

Ms Heard said she remembers moving more than once, “and Johnny came to me each time. Not the other way around.”

“He sits down in front of me at one point, and because I’m not answering him, I was looking out of the window, and he slaps my face,” she said. “His friend is in our proximity. It didn’t hurt my face, I just felt embarrassed that he would do that to me in front of people. It was the first time that anything like that had happened in front of somebody.”

Johnny Depp at the Fairfax County Courthouse on 5 May
Johnny Depp at the Fairfax County Courthouse on 5 May (AFP/Getty)

Ms Heard said Mr Depp taunted her, screamed, and called her names.

“I get up, slowly again, and I just resolved to sit the rest of the time at the front of the plane. And as I get up, he kind of kicks the swivel chair into my hip. I look at him, and he asks me, ‘What? What are you gonna do about it?’” she said.

Ms Heard said she stared at Mr Depp, but “it felt like there was a blackness in his eyes”.

“I wanted him to see me,” she said. “It didn’t even feel like him.”

Ms Heard said she walked away slowly, being “very deliberate” with her movements.

“I wasn’t saying anything, I wasn’t engaging. I’m walking away from him slowly and he tells me, ‘Hurry the f*** up. Hurry up’,” she said. “And I just look at him one more time wanting to penetrate the monster to see the man I loved underneath that.”

Ms Heard said Mr Depp told her to hurry up again and she walked away, her back to him.

“I feel this boot in my back. He just kicked me. In the back,” she said.

“I fell to the floor, I caught myself on the floor and I just felt like I was looking at the floor of the plane for a long time. I thought to myself, ‘I don’t know what to do. I can’t believe – did he just kick me?’

“No one said anything. No one did anything. You could hear a pin drop on that plane. You could feel the tension. But no one did anything. And I just remember feeling so embarrassed that he could kick me to the ground in front of people. And more embarrassing, I didn’t know what to do about it. I got up and I walked to the front of the plane. I sat down and I just looked out of the window.”

Mr Depp has sued Ms Heard for alleged defamation over an op-ed she wrote in 2018 for The Washington Post, in which she doesn’t name him but describes herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse”. Mr Depp has asked for $50m in damages. Ms Heard has filed a countersuit, asking for $100m in damages and for immunity against Mr Depp’s claims.

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