Actress Amber Heard broke down on the stand as she recounted a trip to Australia that she said resulted in three days of alleged extreme violence and abuse at the hands of her former husband, Johnny Depp.
On the 15th day of the multimillion-dollar libel trial brought against her by Depp, Heard detailed alleged sexual and physical abuse she claims she suffered during her relationship with the Pirates of the Caribbean star, as well as one later incident when she said she feared for her life.
Warning – this article contains graphic descriptions of physical and sexual abuse which some may find disturbing
Heard, on the stand for a second day, became increasingly distressed – at one point saying “I don’t want to do this anymore” and “I can’t believe I’m having to do this” – when she told the Virginia court how Depp threw her on to a countertop and penetrated her with a bottle during a trip to Australia in March 2015.
“I kept thinking, I hope it’s not broken,” she said, in reference to the item inside her. She said the actor “had the bottle inside of me and was shoving [it] inside of me over and over again”.
Sobbing, Heard continued: “I convinced myself that the bottle wasn’t broken or it would be a lot worse.”
She added the “heartbreak” hurt the most, because “we’d just got married”.
Heard told the court the trigger for the argument had been Depp’s jealousy over her various male co-stars, including British actor Eddie Redmayne, whom she played opposite in The Danish Girl.
Although Depp refused to look at Heard throughout most of her time on the stand, during this part of her testimony he appeared to be listening intently and removed his glasses during Heard’s last graphic description.
Depp, 58, is suing Heard, 36, for $50m, claiming she defamed him in a 2018 article she wrote for The Washington Post in which she said she was a victim of domestic abuse.
Heard is countersuing him for $100m, saying the actor smeared her by calling her a liar.
It was during this infamous Australia trip that the tip of Depp’s finger became severed – something both sides agree on, although Depp maintains she threw a bottle at him and cut it off – and he used the injured digit to scrawl demeaning graffiti about Heard in blood and paint on a mirror and lampshades.
Photos of the alleged damage to the house was shown to the court, including a damaged ping pong table that she claims Depp through her on to, and drips of blood on one of the beds.
Heard also described an incident she alleges took place in December 2015 in LA, which she said left her with a busted lip and bruising, as well as hair torn from her scalp after, she claims, Depp dragged her along the floor by her hair. Photos of her alleged injuries were shared with the jury.
She described Depp “pummelling her” and “pounding the back of my head with his fist” while screaming that he hated her, at which point she said: “I got really still and it felt quiet in my body. And I thought – this is how I die, he’s going to kill me now and he won’t even have realised it.”
Shortly after the alleged attack Heard says she appeared on The Late Late Show With James Corden, and damage to her face and head had to be concealed by the makeup artist.
Depp and Heard had been due to spend their first Christmas as newlyweds at Depp’s private island with their families, but Heard said: “After they saw my face no one wanted to go to the island with Johnny, they wanted me to leave him.”
She alleges that during the festive stay another sexual assault occurred, when she angered Depp by commenting about wine he had spilt on her trousers.
The key moments from Heard’s testimony on Thursday, the 15th day of the trial:
• Heard said she began “negotiating” her career with Depp and stopped taking jobs with romantic scenes
• Depp allegedly sent threatening texts to Heard telling her “don’t test me”
• While filming in London, Depp would go on drink binges and miss work – including one incident where he had to be carried home “like a baby” by his security
• Heard said joining Depp on a detox on his private island was a “phenomenally dumb idea” as he accused her of having a man in the house and slapped her while crying
• Heard was accused of having an affair with Danish Girl co-star Eddie Redmayne
• Depp “hated” her working relationship with James Franco on The Adderall Diaries
• Depp said he would “carve up [her] face” while holding a broken bottle
• She found her nightgown, a wedding present, shredded and wrapped around pieces of raw meat during the Australia incident
• Court shown images of Heard with bruising and busted lip
Depp refused to sign prenup and fired her lawyer
Depp apparently refused to sign a prenup with Heard ahead of their 2015 wedding, reportedly telling her: “The only way out of this is death.” She said that was a phrase she heard many times during the relationship.
Heard told the court in Fairfax she felt “like the luckiest woman alive” after the actor proposed, presenting her with a “massive diamond” ring.
She began to think about a pre-nuptial agreement, however, Heard said Depp was strongly against the idea.
“He told me, ‘the only way out of this is death’,” the actress told the court.
After the couple married, and when she tried to arrange a post-nuptial agreement, Depp rang Heard’s lawyer and screamed at the legal representative before firing her, the Aquaman actress said.
The court was also shown images of Depp, allegedly taken after he went on various drug binges, including one “three-day bender”.
Heard later testified that Depp’s drug addiction was “maintained” with prescription pills while he finished filming Black Mass in 2015 before he went to detox on his private island.
‘Nothing would make him stop hitting me’
Heard began Thursday’s testimony by describing a press trip to Tokyo, where she claims Depp called her a “nagging b****”.
She said it was shortly after she met Depp’s children, Lily-Rose and Jack.
The couple had a loud argument in their hotel room during the tour, which she was very concerned about as it was in the room next to the children.
During this time he called her other “awful things” which she did not tell the court, adding: “I don’t think they need to be repeated here.”
Later, Heard said she was “so ashamed” of the names the couple would scream at each other: “It was so awful.
“It felt like nothing I could do… would make him stop hitting me.”
Jealousy and career control
In a day of graphic descriptions, Heard also described the moment she says Depp kicked her to the ground during a private flight between Boston and LA in May 2014, in a dispute she said started over Depp’s jealousy of her co-star at the time, James Franco.
The court was also played an audio recording which the Heard says she recorded on the flight, and which she says captured Depp howling and moaning incoherently.
The jury was also told that Depp attempted to control Heard’s acting career, leading to her only accepting parts that required “minimal make-up” and didn’t have romantic scenes . Heard described it as a “constant battle and negotiation” with Depp, adding that whenever she saw a sex scene within a script, “I’d look at it and I’d feel my gut tighten.”
On Wednesday, the actress choked back tears as she told the court about the first time Depp slapped her and said she knew she should leave him then, but she couldn’t bring herself to do it.
The trial now breaks for a week and continues on Monday 16 May.