Amber Heard takes the stand: Actress testifies against Johnny Depp

Amber Heard takes the stand: Actress testifies against Johnny Depp

Amber Heard gives it her all: Actress recounts her humble beginnings, charity work with deaf children and ‘hustling from audition to audition’ before big break with Rum Diaries movie where ‘flirtatious’ Johnny Depp first kissed her with his tongue

  • Amber Heard took the stand Wednesday in Johnny Depp’s defamation case against her
  • The actress wore a black suit with her blonde locks curled and swept to the side as she testified under oath 
  • ‘I am here because my ex-husband is suing me for an op-ed I wrote,’ Heard, 36, said. ‘I struggle to find the words to describe how painful it is’ 
  • The A-list trial in Virginia, which started on April 11 and is set to last another three weeks, has so far seen Depp claim he was the victim of domestic abuse in his four days of testimony
  • Depp is suing Heard for $50million, claiming she defamed him and ruined his career after a 2018 Washington Post article in which she described herself  as a domestic abuse survivor 
  • Heard is countersuing for $100million, and after three weeks of sitting silently in the courtroom during Depp’s testimony, she is on the stand and ready to fight back today

Amber Heard has taken the stand in Johnny Depp’s $100million defamation case against her. 

The actress appeared to choke up as she testified under oath while wearing a black suit, a blue collared shirt with her blonde locks curled and swept to the side.

‘I am here because my ex-husband is suing me for an op-ed I wrote,’ Heard, 36, said seated in front of Depp. ‘I struggle to find the words to describe how painful it is. This is horrible for me to sit here for weeks and relive everything, hear people that I knew some well, some not, my ex-husband with whom I shared a life speak, about our lives in the way that they have.

‘This is the most painful and difficult thing I’ve gone through. For sure.’

The actress described humble beginnings being raised in a working class household in Texas. She recalled working at a children’s museums, soup kitchens and working with deaf children, and said she ‘loved it.

Depp and Heard met on the set of the 2011 movie The Rum Diary and she spoke of their budding romance. 

‘We had a kissing scene and it felt real. He really kissed me using his tongue,’ she said. ‘We just had this, it was a friendship, flirtatious thing. I felt chemistry. 

‘I felt this other thing that went beyond the pail of my job for sure. Johnny clearly felt that way about me but at the same time we were both in relationships and it’s a job and it was intimidating. I remember feeling intimidated and nervous about that. We went our separate ways and I didn’t hear from him for a long time.’

Amber Heard took the stand Wednesday in Johnny Depp’s defamation case against her ex-husband Johnny Depp 

Depp is suing Heard for $50million, claiming she defamed him and ruined his career after a 2018 Washington Post article in which she described herself as a domestic abuse survivor

The A-list trial in Virginia, which started on April 11 and is set to last another three weeks, has so far seen Depp claim he was the victim of domestic abuse in his four days of testimony. 

Depp and Heard met on the set of the 2011 movie The Rum Diary, turning up on the red carpet together for its London premiere

The Pirates of the Caribbean star is suing Heard for $50million, claiming she defamed him and ruined his career after a 2018 Washington Post article in which she described herself as a ‘public figure representing domestic abuse’, without naming her ex-husband.

Heard is countersuing for $100million, and after three weeks of sitting silently in the courtroom during Depp’s testimony, she is on the stand and ready to fight back today. 

Earlier on Wednesday, the court heard from Dr. Dawn Hughes, a New York-based clinical and forensic psychologist who is an expert about domestic violence, and testified that Heard went from 130lbs to 105lbs in weight.

Heard was taking ‘significantly more medication’ and had more episodes of panic and more outbursts of anger, Dr. Hughes testifies, and called the mixture of Depp’s substance abuse and the violence a ‘very, very disastrous mix.’

She said there is a ‘lot of lying’ when someone is a substance abuser, a lot of ‘blame for your inability to stay clean and sober.’

Depp would have tried to rationalize his behavior and promised to get better, Dr. Hughes said, adding, ‘The majority of the sexually violent episodes were in these alcohol and drug fueled rages.

‘When alcohol and drugs came together was when Amber Heard was more in danger of being hurt by him.’

According to Dr. Hughes’ analysis, while Heard was verbally abusive and did hit Depp, it didn’t rise to the same level as him because she was ‘never able to shift the balance of power and control.’

The court heard that the claims by Depp’s lawyers that Heard’s abuse was a ‘hoax’ – the basis of her $100million lawsuit against him – would have made her trauma worse.

Dr. Hughes said that reading these reports would have made Heard’s PTSD more severe with more nightmares and more sleeplessness.

Dr. Hughes said: ‘The one thing women are afraid of is that no-ones going to believe them. When someone comes out and calls your experience a hoax that lends itself to more severe trauma for her.’

Depp sued his ex-wife Amber Heard for libel in Fairfax County Circuit Court after she wrote an op-ed piece in The Washington Post in 2018 referring to herself as a ‘public figure representing domestic abuse’

Heard’s first witness was Dr. Dawn Hughes, a New York-based clinical and forensic psychologist who is an expert about domestic violence

Depp’s lawyer Wayne Dennison cross examined Hughes Wednesday morning. 

Dennison pressed Dr. Hughes on her use of the pronoun ‘she’ during her testimony the previous day.

Dr. Hughes said: ‘I was using she and her because my determination was Miss Heard was the victim of intimate partner violence.’

Dennison asked if Dr. Hughes even spoke to Depp during her evaluation and she said no.

Dennison said: ‘You can’t assess a relationship without talking to both parties?’

Dr. Hughes replied: ‘You can get a lot of information from one party, especially when it’s buttressed by therapy records and couple’s therapy.

‘I also read Mr. Depp’s transcripts, I reviewed his medical records, his texts message. I was not necessarily totally blind.’

Dennison asked: ‘So the standard now is not necessarily totally blind, I can assess it?’

Dr. Hughes said: ‘We assess relationships all the time. Certainly someone who has been trained in intimate partner violence looks for the dynamics.’

Under questioning Dr. Hughes said that she did not interview Dr. Laurel Anderson, the couple’s therapist who did a number of sessions with Depp and Heard.

Dr. Hughes said that Anderson’s notes, she said that Depp had been ‘well controlled’ for 20 or 30 years but ‘something in Miss Heard triggered him’.

Anderson did not conclude that Heard was the victim of spousal abuse but Dr. Hughes said that she disagreed with this.

Dennison said: ‘The stuff you disagree with you disregard and the rest you keep?

Dr. Hughes said: ‘That’s not correct.’

The court was shown the knife that Heard bought Depp as a present with the inscription ‘Hasta la muerte’, or ‘until death’ in Spanish.

Raising his voice, Dennison said: ‘A woman you suggest has characteristics of being afraid for her life gives her intimate partner a large knife on which she inscribes until death?’

Dr. Hughes protested that ‘there’s context’ to the gift. 


The court was shown the knife that Heard bought Depp as a present with the inscription ‘Hasta la muerte’, or ‘until death’ in Spanish. Raising his voice, Dennison said: ‘A woman you suggest has characteristics of being afraid for her life gives her intimate partner a large knife on which she inscribes until death?’ 

Dr. Hughes testified that Heard initially described occasions where Depp forced her to have sex as ‘angry sex’.

Dennison asked Dr. Hughes if she helped Heard to ‘reframe’ these encounters as non consensual but she denied it, saying her job was to evaluate her.

The court was shown results from one of the tests that Dr. Hughes carried out on Heard as she was cross examined Wednesday.

Under the section ‘potential for aggression,’ it read: ‘Sometimes my temper explodes and I completely lose control.’

Dr. Hughes said that Heard responded that this was ‘sometimes true.’

She said: ‘Miss Heard reported to me in her relationship that would happen. Her anger and affect regulation would become impaired’.

Going over another response, Dr. Hughes confirmed that Heard said it was sometimes the case that ‘my temper explodes.’

Another response from Heard read: ‘I think I have three or four completely different personalities inside of me’.

Heard said this was ‘sometimes true’, Dr. Hughes said.

Dr Hughes said that Heard admitted to her she cut herself once as a teenager in a ‘reckless, stupid moment’ and never did it again.


These photos were previously shown in court from May 2016 of Amber Heard with an apparently bruised cheek

Depp detailed the explosive fight he and Amber Heard had in March 2015 in Australia where the top of his finger was severed when Heard allegedly threw a bottle of vodka at him

Depp is fighting an uphill battle to salvage his reputation after Britain’s High Court ruled against him last year when he sued The Sun newspaper for calling him a ‘wife beater’.

After weeks of testimony, a judge concluded that the outlet’s 2018 article was ‘substantially true’ and that the father-of-two had attacked Heard a dozen times, causing her to fear for her life on three occasions.

The London court also heard a trove of shocking texts Depp had sent to Avengers star Bettany, vowing: ‘Lets burn Amber.’

‘Let’s drown her before we burn her !!!,’ he wrote in November 2013. ‘I will f**k her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure she’s dead.’

Sources close to Depp say he never contemplated settling or dropping the case and is desperate for a second bite of the cherry in Virginia where the London result will be kept from jurors.

Armed with a battery of highly-paid lawyers he’s confident of tipping the balance with additional evidence that didn’t feature in the ‘wife beater’ case.

DailyMail.com has led the world in revealing much of the material over the past two years, from explosive audio recordings to bombshell depositions and police videos.

The cache includes bodycam footage from LAPD officers who visited the ex-couple’s LA apartment on the night of the blowout 2016 fight.

Heard claims that her ex-husband assaulted her before smashing up their $1.5 million home – but his lawyers will argue the videos don’t show any trace of damage.

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp’s caustic relationship 

February 3, 2015

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard marry in a private civil ceremony at their LA home, four years after they met as co-stars on the set of The Rum Diary. The couple celebrate with a lavish reception on an idyllic private island in the Bahamas that Depp bought in 2004 for $3.6 million.

April 21, 2015

Heard breaches Australia’s biosecurity laws when she and Depp fail to declare their two Yorkshire terriers when they arrive Down Under on a private jet for the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Heard admits falsifying quarantine documents and is placed on a $1,000 one-month good behavior bond.

May 23, 2016

Heard files for divorce after 15 months of marriage, citing irreconcilable differences. Four days later a judge issues a temporary restraining order against Depp over domestic violence allegations. Pictures of Heard’s alleged injuries hit the tabloids but the LAPD finds no evidence of a crime.

August 16, 2016

Depp and Heard reach a $7 million divorce settlement which the actress promises to give to charity. Their marriage was ‘intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love,’ the former lovers say in a statement. ‘There was never any intent of physical or emotional harm’.

December 18, 2018

The Washington Post publishes an op-ed by Heard, an ambassador for women’s rights at for the American Civil Liberties Union, urging support for women who suffer domestic violence. ‘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,’ reads the headline.

March 1, 2019

Despite not being named in the article, Depp files a $50 million defamation suit in Fairfax Circuit Court, Virginia saying it implied he was an abuser and got him fired from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Depp dismisses Heard’s abuse allegations as a ‘hoax’ and claims he was actually the victim of her violence.

August 10, 2020

Heard countersues for $100 million, claiming vengeful Depp and his lawyer Adam Waldman targeted her with a vicious smear campaign, using media allies and internet trolls to amplify false stories about her and derail her acting career.

November 1, 2020

Depp faces an uphill battle to save his reputation after he loses a libel battle with a British tabloid that labeled him a ‘wife beater’. A judge in London’s rules that The Sun’s 2018 article was ‘substantially true’ and that the father-of-two had attacked Heard a dozen times, causing her to fear for her life on three occasions.

April 11, 2022

After lengthy delays due to the Covid pandemic, the former flames finally lock horns in Fairfax County, Virginia where the Washington Post servers that published the disputed op-ed are based. The trial is expected to last six to seven weeks and celebrities tipped to give evidence include James Franco, Paul Bettany and Ellen Barkin.

 

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