Amber Heard testimony continues in Johnny Depp defamation trial: Key takeaways
Heard took the stand for the second day in the high-profile case.
Amber Heard took the stand Thursday for her second day of direct examination in the high-profile defamation trial between her and her ex-husband, Johnny Depp.
Heard's testimony began Wednesday afternoon in a courtroom in Fairfax, Virginia. Depp is suing Heard for $50 million over a 2018 op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in which she wrote about surviving domestic abuse without identifying her abuser by name. Heard has filed a $100 million countersuit against Depp.
While the former couple, who were married from 2015 to 2017, have lobbied abuse claims at each other during their individual testimonies, the public appears to have chosen a side on social media.
On TikTok, videos with the hashtag "#justiceforamberheard have been viewed 26.3 million times while videos with the hashtag "#justiceforjohnnydepp" have been viewed 7.5 billion times, both figures as of the morning of May 5. These numbers do not represent the number of times the hashtags have been used, rather they indicate how often videos containing them have been watched.
Below are key updates from Heard's testimony.
Heard alleged Depp kicked her on a private flight in 2014
Heard alleged that Depp became jealous due to her filming 2015's "The Adderall Diaries" with actor James Franco, whom she said Depp "hated" and with whom he accused her of having an affair.
One incident Heard described was when she claimed Depp slapped and then kicked her on a private plane ride from Boston, where he was filming 2015's "Black Mass," to Los Angeles. Heard said she "just knew in every cell of my body something was wrong" when she boarded the plane and claimed that Depp "reeked of weed and alcohol." She claimed he then began to question her about her time on set with Franco and said "sexually explicit" things about her.
Heard said Depp repeatedly questioned if she had “something to tell him” on the flight. She said he continued questioning her and she attempted to “not engage” because she felt there was “no win.” She claimed she moved away from Depp on the plane several times but said he continued following her. She claimed Depp first slapped her face and that he continued “taunting” her, throwing verbal abuse at her.
She claimed at that point, she was walking away from him, “being very deliberate” about her movements and “not engaging. She said Depp told her to ‘Hurry the f--- up.’” Heard then claimed that he told her to hurry up again, and after turning away from him, she said she felt Depp’s boot in her back.
"My back is turned to him, and I feel this boot in my back,” Heard said. “He just kicked me, in the back. I fell to the floor, I caught myself on the floor, and it just felt like I was looking at the floor of the plane for what felt like a long time. And I thought to myself, 'I don't know what to do. I can't believe -- did he just kick me?'"
Heard said multiple people witnessed the assault but "no one said anything -- no one did anything" about it. "You could hear a pin drop on that plane," she claimed. Heard said she felt "embarrassed" that Depp allegedly kicked her in front of people.
Heard described what she felt was concerning behavior from Depp, including "howling like an animal," which she said led her to begin recording him. "In my experience, when Johnny was that inebriated, he would not remember what he had done," she claimed.
Following the alleged plane incident, text messages from Heard to her "best friend" Rocky Pennington were shared in court, one of which her lawyer read, sharing to the court that Heard had texted Pennington, "I'm not good."
When asked by her lawyer what she meant by the message, Heard said: "That I needed help -- that I was scared. I was scared of what had just happened to me, I was scared of what was going to happen to me. I was scared if I left him, I was scared if I didn't. And I needed help. I just needed support … I didn't feel safe going home."
Heard said she sought support from friends after the alleged plane incident and "resolved" to leave Depp. "I felt powerless, nothing I did made a difference," she said.
Heard claimed she communicated with Depp through texts and phone calls after the flight from Boston to Los Angeles. The actress claimed that Depp told her "he was in a blackout" and said "he didn’t remember everything" from the alleged plane incident and "begged" her to forgive him. Heard claimed that Depp told her he "had a chip" and was going to meetings to focus on his sobriety.
Depp denied being drunk on the flight in question in his testimony but admitted to having taken two opiates. He said he and Heard had argued the night before the flight and claimed it was Heard who was "looking for a fight" on the plane. Depp claimed he locked himself in the plane's bathroom and slept there to avoid Heard.
According to a text message entered into evidence, Depp texted his friend and fellow actor Paul Bettany that he hadn't eaten for days and had consumed powders, half a bottle of whiskey, "a thousand" Red Bull vodkas, pills and two bottles of Champagne on the plane.
Heard details Depp's 2014 detox struggles
After sending an email to Depp, which she did not describe on the stand, Heard said Depp came to New York to "fight for the relationship" and "to prove that he was sober and he was committed to changing." She claimed she believed that Depp was "embarrassed and sorry" so she took him back "on the condition that he would uphold his promise to do the treatment, to do the full detox, clean up and never go back."
Heard claimed that in the months following, a doctor was brought in to assist with Depp's recovery. She said she saw Depp's medications changed and claimed that "his behavior, his whole personality, changed drastically."
"He would be speaking to me … and he would -- in mid-sentence, mid-word -- fall asleep,” she said. She says she became increasingly worried as she claims she saw his behavior "got worse and worse."
Heard then claimed Depp was taking "about double" the amount of his medications, and she claimed that, at the time, she realized he was "lying" about his medications to her and the doctors so he could "get extra high before he had a detox."
Heard said when Depp was detoxing in 2014 she witnessed erratic mood changes from him, describing one incident when Depp "slapped" her across the face because he said she had "embarrassed" him. She claimed she was with him on his island in the Bahamas at the time because he had asked her to be there.
Following the stint Heard spent with Depp in the Bahamas while he was detoxing, Heard said she made the decision to move to a hotel while he completed the detox. Text messages were shared in court in which both parties expressed their devotion to one another.
In his testimony, Depp claimed there were times when Heard refused to give his medications during the detox process because it was not time for them. He said having to beg for the medications was "the lowest I'd ever felt as a human being, because I had to say please."
Heard recalls emotional lead-up to marrying Depp
Following the lunch break, Heard continued her testimony, describing a phone conversation from 2015 with Depp in which she said he accused her of having a "boyfriend or a lover" in New York.
She said he was "incoherent" on the call and accused her of having admitted to him that she was seeing someone. She said no such conversation had taken place.
Heard continued speaking of her allegations of abuse, speaking about a trip to Tokyo for the movie premiere of Depp’s 2015 film "Mortdecai."
She claimed that after an argument, Depp grabbed her by the arm and slammed her against a wall. She said a struggle ensued and the alleged abuse intensified. She claimed that she went into a closet and alleged that he continued attacking her and wrestled her down to the floor.
As the two were struggling, she said she remembered receiving verbal abuse from Depp and alleged that he said he did not want to marry her.
Heard reflected on her wedding day with Depp, recalling how the two married in a small ceremony at Depp's mother's house before having a larger celebration on Depp's island in the Bahamas. Heard said deciding to go ahead with the nuptials after what had transpired between them was "complicated," but that she thought she was marrying the love of her life.
Heard details alleged altercation with Depp in Australia, severed finger incident
While filming "The Danish Girl" in London, Heard said she kept in constant communication with Depp while he was shooting the fifth "Pirates of the Caribbean" film in Australia. She said things were going well at first but he eventually began accusing her of having an affair with the film's director, Tom Hooper, and then the film's star, Eddie Redmayne. She denied both accusations.
Upon arriving in Australia, Heard said she noticed Depp had "lost a ton of weight" and she claimed he had a bag of MDMA. Depp testified that Heard asked him to obtain the drugs for her, but she denied this in her testimony. She said he suggested the two of them do the drugs together, which she said "absolutely not." Heard claimed he told her MDMA specifically wasn't on the list of drugs he wasn't allowed to take. She later claimed Depp took a "handful of pills," estimating the number of pills to be "eight or 10."
Heard then turned to a fight the former couple had in Australia, one in which Depp lost the tip of a finger. "I don't remember the exact sequence of things. I wish I did," she said of the alleged altercation.
Leading up to the altercation, Heard claimed she and Depp were arguing over several matters, including Heard’s "animosity" with his sister, their wedding, relationships with her co-stars and more. She said the two also argued over a possible postnuptial agreement.
Heard claimed she urged Depp to get some sleep, in order to get him to "come down off the drugs." She said they had an interaction that she "couldn’t describe" and said that at the time he was "belligerent" and drinking heavily. The actress said she couldn’t recall exactly how the ensuing violence "actually even initiated."
Heard, getting emotional while addressing the jury, claimed Depp allegedly slammed her against a wall. She said he held her against the fridge by her throat, threw her across the room, threw bottles and cans at her. She claimed the two struggled over a bottle, which she eventually got ahold of and slammed on the ground between them. She said the move "set him off."
Heard claimed Depp was throwing bottles at her and after some time had passed, the two were involved in a struggle by the bar. Detailing that her nightgown was ripped completely off of her, Heard tearfully claimed Depp, who she said was on top of her and had her by the neck, allegedly penetrated her with a bottle.
Heard said she was "heartbroken" but eventually realized she could be hurt because she was bleeding. Though she said she was initially unaware if the bottle that had penetrated her was broken or not, she "convinced" herself that if it had been broken she would be in "a lot worse" pain.
Heard said she woke up the next morning, after taking sleeping pills, and found Depp with a severed finger and a message she couldn't read written in blood and paint on the walls.
In Depp's testimony, he alleged that Heard threw a vodka bottle at him which resulted in the severing of a finger on his right hand. "She came down to the bar and found me there and of course started screaming, ‘Oh, you’re drinking again,’" he said before claiming that Heard then took the bottle and "hurled" it at him.
He claimed he then retrieved another bottle of vodka, which he says Heard then grabbed from him again and threw at him.
"She threw the large bottle and it made contact and shattered everywhere," he claimed. "I honestly didn't feel the pain at first at all, I felt no pain whatsoever … I looked down and realized that the tip of my finger had been severed."
He said he didn't report the incident as assault because he didn't want it to negatively affect either of their careers. Depp denied a text message that suggested the severed finger was self-inflicted, saying it wasn't literal because it would have impacted his ability to play the guitar.
Heard claims she hit Depp in defense of her sister after confronting Depp over alleged affair
After arriving back in the U.S. from the Australian incident, Heard claimed that she discovered Depp had allegedly been texting another woman when he passed out and left his iPad open.
Heard said the date of the messages with the woman, whom he had seen on and off prior, was "right after" their wedding and they indicated that Depp had gone to the woman's house.
The identity of the woman Heard alleges Depp was seeing has not been revealed.
During an alleged altercation that occurred when Heard said she accused Depp of having an affair, Heard said she punched Depp in the face because she feared he was going to push her sister, Whitney, down the stairs.
"I swung at him," Heard said. "In all my relationship to date with Johnny, I hadn't landed a blow. For the first time, I hit him. Like, actually hit him square in the face." Heard said she had fought back against Depp in previous altercations but never "landed anything" on him before now.
Heard said Depp "kind of looked stunned" after she hit him and then he "laughed" at her. "And then he hit me again," she claimed.
Depp and witnesses called to the stand by his lawyers testified that Heard instigated this specific altercation and the actor did nothing in retaliation.
Here are some of the key points from Heard's testimony on Wednesday:
Heard recounted the first time Depp allegedly hit her during their relationship upon taking the stand. She said in court Wednesday she will "never forget" the moment, adding: "It changed my life."
Heard described the reason why Depp allegedly hit her for the first time as "so stupid" when recounting the scene. Heard said she and Depp were sitting on the couch having a "normal conversation" when she asked what one of his tattoos said, to which he replied that it said "Wino," referring to his previous relationship with actress Winona Ryder.
"I just laughed because I thought he was joking. And he slapped me across the face. And I laughed. I laughed because I didn't know what else to do," she said, recalling how she thought the situation "must be a joke."
Heard said Depp allegedly slapped her again and told her, "You think you're a funny b----." After an alleged third slap, Heard said she fell down onto the carpet.
"I knew it was wrong and I knew that I had to leave him," Heard said. "And that's what broke my heart, because I didn't want to leave him."
Heard said Depp had been drinking at the time and said she believed he may have been using cocaine.
During his testimony last week, Depp denied hitting Heard because of his tattoo, which he changed to read "Wino forever" after his split with Ryder. Depp testified that it was Heard who took issue with the tattoo.
Heard said she began confiding in her mother about her relationship with Depp from the early stages and ultimately opened up about the abuse she allegedly experienced with her.
"At first I just wanted someone to talk to about how scary it was, the rage and the uncontrolled violence," Heard said. "I felt safe talking to my mom because I knew she understood these dynamics and she wouldn't judge me for staying with him, for loving him even though this was happening."
Heard also emotionally detailed the alleged abuse Depp inflicted upon her, at one point detailing a photo of a bruise on her arm she alleged she sustained from the "Pirates of the Caribbean" actor.
Depp previously testified he never assaulted Heard and claimed that it was Heard who abused him. Audio recordings were played in which Heard admitted hitting him and can be heard belittling him. Depp also testified to how Heard severed a piece of his finger with a vodka bottle she threw at him during an argument.
During redirect examination, Depp was asked by his lawyer, "What did you say in response when Ms. Heard said, 'Tell the world, Johnny. Tell them, Johnny Depp, I, Johnny Depp, a man, I'm a victim, too, of domestic violence'?" To that, Depp responded, "I said, 'Yes, I am.'"
At the beginning of her testimony, Heard said she struggled to find the words for how it felt to sit through this defamation trial but called it "the most painful and difficult thing I've ever gone through, for sure."
"This is horrible for me to sit here for weeks and relive everything," she said. "Hear people that I knew -- some well, some not -- [and] my ex-husband with whom I shared a life, speak about our lives in the way that they have."
Also in her testimony, Heard provided an overview of her life from growing up in Texas to becoming a Hollywood actress. Later, she detailed how she and Depp met while filming 2011's "The Rum Diary" together, a role which Depp hired Heard for, and their "whirlwind romance" that began on the film's press tour.
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