Amber Heard describes ‘unusual and remarkable’ first meeting with Johnny Depp before Rum Diary

‘I felt chemistry, I felt this other thing that went beyond my job, for sure. Johnny clearly felt that way about me,’ Heard says

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Wednesday 04 May 2022 20:16
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Watch live as Amber Heard testifies as Johnny Depp’s defamation trial continues

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Amber Heard described her “unusual and remarkable” first meeting with Johnny Depp before filming the move The Rum Diary as she took the stand for the first time.

The defamation trial between Mr Depp and Ms Heard began on Monday 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”.

Ms Heard said she first auditioned for The Rum Diary in 2008. The movie, a comedy drama, was released in 2011 and is based on Hunter S Thompson’s novel of the same name.

After auditioning a couple of times, Ms Heard said she was told that the film was important to Mr Depp and she was asked to meet him.

“We talked about books, and music, poetry. We liked a lot of the same stuff, obscure writers ... pieces of poetry I hadn’t heard anyone else reference,” she told the jury.

“I think I left the office with a few books that he gave me,” she added.

“I knew who he was, I wasn’t a fan of his work, I wasn’t familiar with him, but I knew who he was,” she said. “I’m a no-name actor, I was 22, I think ... He was twice my age, a world-famous actor.”

“I thought it was remarkable. I left there, just feeling ‘wow’,” she said, adding that she was told that Mr Depp would be calling her.

“You’re it, kid. You’re the dream,” Ms Heard said Mr Depp told her. She said her character was supposed to be a “dream woman”, the “American dream”, adding that they filmed in Puerto Rico.

Ms Heard said she didn’t encounter Mr Depp much on the set of the film until the two of them were set to film a kissing scene.

“It didn’t feel like a normal scene anymore, it felt more real,” she said. “He grabbed my face and pulled me into him and really kissed me.”

Ms Heard said Mr Depp used his tongue, adding that that isn’t something actors tend to do when filming.

She turned 23 during filming, and Mr Depp bought her a vintage bike, Ms Heard testified.

She told the jury that once when she was wearing a bathrobe on set, Mr Depp kicked up the back of the robe.

“I giggled,” she said. “I didn’t feel... I didn’t know what to make of it.”

She added that Mr Depp “playfully” pushed her onto a sofa bed, saying “yum”.

“I felt chemistry, I felt this other thing that went beyond my job, for sure. Johnny clearly felt that way about me,” Ms Heard testified. “But at the same time we were both in relationships and it is a job.”

She added that following the filming of The Rum Diary, she wasn’t in touch with Mr Depp until he called her and invited her to his house in Beverly Hills.

Actress Amber Heard reacts as she testifies during the Depp v Heard defamation case at Fairfax County Circuit Court, in Fairfax, Virginia, USA, 04 May 2022

Actor Amber Heard reacts as she testifies at the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Va., Wednesday May 4, 2022

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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