Amber Heard has told the court that Johnny Depp’s jealousy made her give up film roles with sex scenes and revealing outfits as she took the witness stand in the couple’s defamation trial on Thursday.
Telling how the couple’s relationship affected her career, Ms Heard spoke of feeling like she had to negotiate with Mr Depp when she received a job offer.
“I’ve always been really independent. I couldn’t imagine not working,” she told the jury on Thursday. “I never imagined myself having to explain or justify my job.”
“I had to bargain ... every time I got a script,” she added.
Ms Heard testified that when she first entered the entertainment industry and arrived in Los Angeles, she would send half of her paycheck back to her family to support them, adding that this made her independence very important to her.
She said Mr Depp told her, “you don’t have to work kid, I will take care of you, my woman doesn’t have to work”.
Ms Heard noted this may appear to have been kind, but she said she felt it was controlling. She added that she soon grew hesitant about what roles to accept to avoid angering Mr Depp.
She said she was thinking about “how I was dressing, what kind of behaviour would I have, did I have a sex scene” in any film role she was considering.
Ms Heard testified that she started “minimising kissing scenes” and that she would “change the wardrobe”.
“I couldn’t have a sex scene,” she added. “It didn’t happen all at once of course, it was little by little.”
She said she began only taking roles that asked for “minimal make up” and didn’t include intimate scenes, adding that it was a “constant battle and negotiation” with Mr Depp.
When she saw sex scenes in scripts she was offered, she said, “I’d look at it and I’d feel my gut tighten”.
She added that she would send the scripts to Mr Depp, as well as images of the wardrobe for a role, and share information with Mr Depp’s staff.
The defamation trial between Mr Depp and Ms Heard began on 11 April in Fairfax, Virginia following Mr Depp’s lawsuit against his ex-wife in March 2019. Mr Depp is arguing that she defamed him in a December 2018 op-ed published in The Washington Post titled “I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change”.
In her 2018 op-ed, Ms Heard wrote that “like many women, I had been harassed and sexually assaulted by the time I was of college age. But I kept quiet — I did not expect filing complaints to bring justice. And I didn’t see myself as a victim”.
“Then two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out,” she added at the time.
While Mr Depp isn’t named in the piece, his legal team argues that it contains a “clear implication that Mr Depp is a domestic abuser”, which they say is “categorically and demonstrably false”. Mr Depp is seeking damages of “not less than $50m”.
Ms Heard has filed a $100m counterclaim against Mr Depp for nuisance and immunity from his allegations.
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