On the stand, she got emotional detailing an alleged "cavity search" Depp subjected her to … and claimed one time he "hit me in the face when I denied having an affair with my ex wife."
On Day 14 of Johnny Depp’s defamation trial, his ex-wife Amber Heard finally took to the stand to detail the early stages of their relationship and how his alleged abuse of her began.
Throughout her time testifying Wednesday, Heard was emotional as she recalled a number of alleged incidents of violence, as well as drug and alcohol abuse, she was subjected to or witnessed in their time together. One such incident, which she got into at the end of the day, even involved his children.
She ended her testimony recalling a “goodbye” trip she, Depp and Depp’s kids Lily-Rose and Jack took on Johnny’s yacht, after he agreed to sell it to J.K. Rowling.
“Johnny was upset that he had to sell the boat, he was off the wagon again, but he didn’t want to tell his kids. He was hiding it from them, putting it in coffee cups and drinking,” said Heard, who described Depp’s behavior as “emotional.” As he kept drinking, she said he “started getting more obviously drunk … there’s just no off button with Johnny.”
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Heard said Lily-Rose started getting “panicky” and was asking about his drinking. Concerns intensified as he started jumping off the boat in a way she said “looked a little scary” and not like “something somebody would do if they’re completely okay.” At that moment, she said Lily-Rose started crying and had a near panic attack, with “rapid breathing, crying, lots of questions.” She said she was comforting the teen when Johnny came back into the boat and “within a few seconds I realized he shifted his attention on me and then he seemed very angry.”
“He asked Lily-Rose to leave, Lily-Rose looks at me, leaves crying and Johnny starts accusing me of kind of telling on him, calling him a drunk in front of his kids. I hadn’t done that. I was actually trying to protect Johnny,” she said. “It didn’t feel like my place at all to share that with his daughter or anyone at the time, other than adults who might help with it, not his kids.”
“He basically was accusing me of making them aware he was drinking again. He slams me up against the side wall of the cabin, slams me up by my neck, holds me there for a second and tells me that he could f—ing kill me and I was an embarrassment, I was embarrassing, this whole thing was a joke, I made him feel sick,” she said. “I’ll never forget. I was very, very, very much in love with this whole family now and he says I’m embarrassing to him and that somehow stuck more in me more than I could f—ing kill you. The names he was calling me, pushing me up against the wall by my neck, hurt my feelings, it hurt.”
Heard said she and Lily-Rose called for a helicopter to take them out of the area, though she “felt bad about leaving” him there and also “felt like I had done something wrong, like he was mad at me.” As she was “holding his daughter crying,” she said she was getting “all these text messages from him calling me all these names and barely coherent.”
The day ended with one of those texts being shown to the court. It read: “Rears??? Ahh!! Tears??? Beers??? Sheers??? Saphires??? Leers??? Jeers??? Peers??? Queers??? Here’s??? Faquirs??? Mousketeers ears??? I can go all night … DJ Maxipad!!! The old vintage motherf—er you went for … Dumbass.”
Last week, Depp’s estate manager said it was true she got a call that Lily-Rose and Jack Depp were “upset and wanted to leave” a yacht trip they were on and wanted to “have a helicopter take them away” with Amber. She also said that Depp was “passed out on the beach” when she arrived to pick them up.
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That alleged incident was just one of many Heard detailed on the stand today, which began with her saying that being on trial and having to “sit here for weeks and relive everything” has been “the most painful and difficult thing I have gone through, for sure.”
Describing her upbringing and what led to the romance certainly sounded like a fairytale, from her “working class” (although privately educated) upbringing in Texas, training horses with her father, until she moved to L.A. aged 17 to pursue a career in acting.
She said she worked hard, running to 10 auditions a day, landing stronger and stronger roles — until her life took a sharp turn when she landed an audition for “The Rum Diary” in 2008. The lead man, who was a very close friend of the author Hunter S. Thompson, had insisted on a one-on-one meeting with her, because the project was so important to him.
“We talked about books and music, poetry, we liked a lot of the same stuff,” Heard recalled to the court. “Obscure writers, pieces of poetry I haven’t heard anyone else reference or like.”
“He was very well read, charismatic. I knew who he was, I wasn’t a fan of his work, but I knew who he was. It was a weird thing to get called into his office, I’m a no-name actor, I was 22 and I thought it was unusual. It was weird, because he’s twice my age, this world famous actor and here we are getting along about obscure books, weird old blues, I thought it was remarkable. I thought it was unusual and remarkable.”
“I left there feeling just like ‘wow’,” she recalled.
After being told she was “the one” and landing the role, she said Johnny began doing very sweet and considerate things for her on set, but they didn’t physically interact much … until it came time to shoot their kissing scene. “It didn’t feel like a normal scene anymore,” she recalled, “It felt more real.”
“There are certain things that you do to be professional when you have to do that sort of scene … don’t use your tongue if you can avoid it,” she explained. “Theres certain things you do to maintain a certain line, and it just felt like those lines were blurred.”
Depp, she said, “Grabbed my face, pulled me in and really kissed me…. but we were filming a scene.” Asked by her attorney if he “used his tongue”, she replied in the affirmative.
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She said the chemistry between them was instant, and the flirting continued. At one stage, when she brought a bottle of wine to his trailer while wearing a bathrobe over the underwear she was wearing for a scene, she remembered him lifting up the back of the robe with his boot, which she batted away playfully and giggled.
“I didn’t know what to make of it at the time,” she said, recalling how Depp — again, playfully — pushed her down on a bed in the trailer and proclaimed ‘Yum.” But as they were both in relationships at the time, she insisted nothing else happened.
“It was a friendship, flirtatious thing,” she said, “I felt chemistry. I felt this other thing that went beyond the pale of my job.” She added: “Johnny clearly felt that way about me. I remember feeling intimidated and a little nervous about that.”
But again, as they were both in relationships, she said that after filming wrapped they went their separate ways, and she didn’t hear from him again for months. The relationship didn’t start until some years later, during the press tour for the film.
Heard said Depp invited her up to his hotel room to have a drink with him and director Bruce Robinson; she only realized when she got there that Robinson wasn’t. They asked each other about their relationship status, and both claimed to be going through separations. “It felt like there was an electricity to the room,” she recalled.
She said they talked and drank wine all night; but when she went to leave, he grabbed both sides of her face – just as he had done during filming – “and kissed me. And I kissed him back.”
“And then,” she told the court, “we fell in love.”
Heard said they had to keep the relationship a secret, as “the world didn’t know about the split between he and his former partner”; Heard said he swore to her he hadn’t shared a bed with the mother of his children (she never mentioned Vanessa Paradis by name), and that the former couple were protecting their kids by not publicizing it. “We had to be really under the radar,” she said, adding that Johnny pointed out “the world would blame me and call me a home wrecker, even though I had nothing to do with it.”
“So we were secretly dating. and it was beautiful. I felt like this man knew me and saw me in a way no one else ever had. When I was around Johnny I felt like the most beautiful person in the world — like a million dollars. I fell head over heels in love with this man.”
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It was at this point the attorney asked about Johnny’s infamous boot claim; the actor had previously testified she got upset if he took off his own shoes, as that was her job
“I suppose that I took off his boots, and it made an impression on him … I was happy to. anything I could do to show love,” she said, but quickly added: “But if he wanted to take off his own boots he certainly could.”
She continued to gush about her early relationship with Depp, how he showered her, her friends and her family with gifts — even buying her a horse, despite her protests. “I think my dad would have married him himself if I hadn’t,” she smiled.
“It was always intense,” she said of the relationship. “It didn’t become intense, it almost started that way. I couldn’t see straight. I felt to me at the time there wasn’t any love like that.”
She also felt Depp was that in love with her too, and wasn’t faking it. But then, things changed, she said.
“And then, he started to do this thing again where he would disappear, and he’d come back,” she said, her expression darkening. “When he first started drinking I didn’t really think much of it, but all of a sudden the behavior started to go in line with the disappearing. And he’d come back, and he’d just be different.”
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Depp started making snide comments, she said. “It was mostly my clothing at the time, and me working – that was the main thing,” she claimed. “I found myself trying to not talk about auditions because it would change the mood so dramatically.”
She said he constantly accused her of “whoring myself out” — but in the context of acting. “It felt really dirty to be an actor,” she said, even though — as she pointed out — Depp himself was one. “It was dirty that I wanted to do this job.”
She recalled how he would ask, “That really what you’re wearing, kid?” whenever going to an event, and said there was a particularly bad reaction where he didn’t talk to her for weeks over a low-cut dress she wore to a charity red carpet. Asking him afterwards if he’d saw the dress, she said he replied: “I think the whole world saw it. That’s what you’ll be remembered for, kid.”
She said that while he stopped short of banning her from wearing certain outfits, he would make comments like “Oh really? No wonder you get cast in those roles. That’s what you are, that’s what you’re making it.”
Then, she claimed, things started to get physical.
“He loves to smash up apartments,” she said, claiming he threw glass across the kitchen, which didn’t hit her, but shattered very close to her head. She said he would call her a whore, throw glasses, turn over tables, punch the wall really close to her head … then would disappear, come back “clean and sober”, and go back to being wonderful.
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“Do you recall the first time he physically hit you?” her lawyer asked. “Yes,” she replied, “It was seemingly so stupid and insignificant. I will never forget it. It changed my life.”
She said the couple were sitting on the couch that night, talking over a bottle of wine, and there was no argument.
“I didn’t realize at the time but I think he was using cocaine, because there was a jar – a jar of cocaine – on the table,” she claimed. “I realize that sounds weird, but it was an actual vintage jar.”
Conversation turned to one of his tattoos, which she said was hard to read, She asked what it said, and he told her “Wino” (the remnants of his Winona Forever tattoo). “I thought he was joking, because it didn’t look like it said that at all to me,” she said, “And I laughed. It was that simple.”
“And he slapped me across the face. And I laughed. I laughed … because I didn’t know what to do. I thought, ‘This must be a joke. This must be a joke,'” she continued. “I didn’t know what was going on. I just stared at him, kind of laughing still, thinking 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 so funny, bitch? You think you’re a funny bitch.’ and he slapped me again,” she claimed. “It was clear it wasn’t a joke anymore. I stopped laughing because I didn’t know what else to do. As a woman, I had never been hit like that. I’m an adult and I’m sitting next to the man I love, and he slapped me for no reason. And I missed the point, it was that stupid.”
After the second alleged slap, she said she didn’t react or move or say anything or defend herself. And she said, he slapped her a third time, “hard.” She claimed she lost her balance and fell on the carpet; she said all she could think about was why she hadn’t realized how dirty the carpet was before.
“All of a sudden, I’m realizing that the worst thing has just happened to me, that could possibly happen to me,” she said. “I wished so much he said he was joking. It didn’t hurt, he didn’t hurt me.”
“I didn’t want to leave him, I didn’t want this to be the reality … I know you don’t come back from that, I’m not dumb,” she went on. “I know you can’t hit a woman, you can’t hit a man, you can’t hit anyone. You can’t just hit someone because they … I knew it was wrong and I knew that I had to leave him. And that’s what broke my heart.”
She said that before she knew it, Depp suddenly burst into tears. “I had never seen it, an adult man crying,” she claimed. She said he got down on his knees, and said: “‘I will never do that again, I thought I put the f—er away, I thought I killed it, I thought I put the monster away … it’s done.'”
“I knew I couldn’t just forgive him, ’cause that meant he would do it again, right?” Amber said she asked herself. So she silently left. She drove home, and did not remember what she did after that. Eventually, she said Depp begged her to take him back, telling her he’d “‘rather cut my hand off'” than touch her again.
“I wanted to believe him. So I chose to,” she said. “I believed it. I believed there was a line he wouldn’t cross again, and that was it.”
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Heard told the court she didn’t recall how long it was until things got bad again. But Depp did start drinking again. She claimed he began disappearing and reappearing drunk in the middle of the night, accusing her — although not directly — of cheating, grilling her on what she was wearing and who she was with. If she didn’t text back right away, he would come over and check on her, she said. Whenever she went to auditions, he was almost guaranteed to be angry afterwards.
Through 2012, she said the punching of walls near her head was “a constant.” “Eventually that became him accusing me of cheating,” she claimed, “I’d defend myself, and it would escalate to the point that he would push me or shove me.”
She said she would stand up and look him in the eye, her only way of defending herself; she alleged he would ask me if “I wanted to go again” — and “eventually just hit me.”
“I remember he hit me in the face when I denied having an affair with my ex wife, my ex-partner at the time,” she alleged of one occasion. “He said he had proof, I denied it. I was walking out of the bedroom, he slapped me across the face.”
If there was a rumor circulating she’s been with a friend, or she’s been photographed too close to a male person, “he would explode,” she claimed.
“It started with throwing things, destroying property, and screaming at me … I remember the screaming at me was the worst because I always felt like I had to defend myself so he wouldn’t think these things were true.”
She said he would shift accusations mid argument, and there was nothing she could do to calm him down. She claimed he would grab her hair or her arm and slap her multiple times in a row. Then he would disappear for days, come back sober, and the cycle would continue, she claimed.
She said he would claim “I’m going to meetings; I have a chip; I have a sober partner now; he would be extra nice and extra apologetic, and they would go back in the bubble, back in the warm glow.”
She said when she started to notice the patterns of drink and drugs — he started to hide it.
“It became less clear, so I had to look for clues as to what he was on,” she said. “Johnny on speed is very different from Johnny on opiates. Johnny on opiates is very different from Adderall and cocaine Johnny, which is very different from Quaaludes Johnny.”
And yet — she stayed. “I said I’m done with this relationship — I’ve said that so many times,” she admitted.
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Following a break, Heard’s testimony continued, as she opened up about the alleged “cavity search” Depp gave her during one of their fights. She said he accused her of flirting with another woman during a trip to the Hicksville trailer park, while “probably really high.”
“I wasn’t cheating on him, wasn’t secretly trying to engage this woman in some sort of sexual affair,” she said, before adding it then “became clear to me he was looking for something.” That something, she said, was his drugs.
“I went into the bathroom and as I come out he asks me where it is and how long I’d been hiding it. I said, ‘What are you talking about?’ He says, ‘You know what I’m f—ing talking about. Be honest with me. Where are you hiding it?'” she claimed, saying he then began to pat her down.
“He was grabbing my breasts, he’s touching my thighs, he rips my underwear off and then he proceeds to do a cavity search,” she said, choking up. “He said he was looking for his drugs, his cocaine, his coke. He was insinuating I was doing it or something, it made no sense. And he was telling me, ‘We’re gonna conduct a cavity search.’ Just shoved his fingers inside me. 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. I didn’t say like stop or anything.”
She said the next morning she just wanted everything “to be okay” and for everything “to just go back to normal.” She recalled making a joke about how messy their trailer was and said that although the manager “started out furious that Johnny had trashed the thing,” he was eventually “charmed” by Depp.
Heard then told of another incident where she, Depp and a flight attendant all took MDMA while on a flight to Russia. After the woman became a little touchy with Heard, Amber claimed he flew into a rage, allegedly slamming the attendant’s wrist on a table while telling her to stay away from Heard.
Her testimony will continue on Thursday.
Depp is seeking $50 million in damages after Heard claimed she was a survivor of domestic abuse in an op-ed in the Washington Post in 2018. While she didn’t name Depp in the piece, his lawyers argue it was implied to be about him and negatively affected his career. She countersued Depp for $100 million.
The actor has already lost an earlier lawsuit he took in the UK over the same article that appeared in The Sun. See all of our ongoing coverage here.
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