Amber Heard describes first time Johnny Depp allegedly hit her after she laughed at his tattoo

Actress said she was ‘heartbroken’ to be slapped three times across face

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Wednesday 04 May 2022 21:58
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Amber Heard testifies about Johnny Depp allegedly hitting her for the first time

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Amber Heard fought back tears and bit her lip as she described the first time Johnny Depp allegedly hit her after she laughed at his tattoo.

The actress told a jury at the former couple’s defamation trial in Virginia that she was “heartbroken” when Mr Depp slapped her across the face three times in an alleged attack that she said had “changed her life”.

She claimed that Mr Depp assaulted her after she asked him to explain a “muddled, faded” tattoo that read “Wino”, which the court has heard the actor had changed from “Winona forever” – a reference to his previous relationship with actor Winona Ryder – to “Wino forever”.

“He said it said Wino’. I thought he was joking and laughed, it was that simple, I laughed as I thought he was joking and he slapped me across the face and I laughed because I didn’t know what else to do. I thought this must be a joke,” she explained.

“I didn’t know what was going on. I just stared at him, kind of just laughing still, thinking he would start laughing to tell me it was a joke. He said ‘You think it’s funny b****, you think you’re a funny b****?’ and he slapped me again and it was clear it was not a joke anymore.

“I, as a woman, had never been hit like that. He slapped me for no reason, it seems like, and I missed the point. I just stared at him, I didn’t react or move or freak out or defend myself, I just stared at him, he slapped me one more time, hard.”

Ms Heard said all she could do was to stare down and look at the “dirty carpet” she was sat on and admitted that the slap itself had not physically harmed her.

“I didn’t know what to say, I didn’t know how to react, ‘God did he just hit me?’” she said.

“I didn’t want this to be the reality, I know you don’t come back from that, you can’t hit a woman or a man or anyone, you can’t just hit someone. I knew it was wrong and I knew I had to leave him and it broke my heart as I did not want to leave him.”

Ms Heard said that when she finally stood up to leave, Mr Depp had burst into tears.

“I had never seen an adult man cry,” she told the court.

“He said ‘Sorry baby, I thought I put the f***** away, I thought I killed it, I thought I put the monster away.”

Ms Heard said that before the alleged attack the couple had been listening to music, and that Mr Depp was drinking and had “a jar full of cocaine on the table”.

“I realise that sounds weird but it was a vintage jar of it,” she added.

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”.

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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