Amber Heard testified on Monday within the defamation case brought by her ex-husband, Johnny Depp, that she filed for divorce and for a restraining order against him in 2016 after two blowout fights that made her fear for her safety.
“I knew I had to depart him,” Ms. Heard testified. “I knew I wouldn’t survive it if I didn’t.”
But after detailing the collapse of their marriage for several hours, Ms. Heard faced aggressive cross-examination from a lawyer for Mr. Depp, Camille Vasquez, who sought to discredit her account that the actor had beaten her repeatedly throughout their relationship.
Citing incidents during which Ms. Heard testified that she had been struck, Mr. Depp’s lawyers displayed photos taken on the time that show no apparent bruising or swelling. Ms. Heard testified that she covered the injuries with makeup so the abuse would remain hidden after lots of the incidents.
“It is best to see what it looked like underneath the makeup,” Ms. Heard said of 1 photo she described as being taken the night after Mr. Depp hit her so hard that she thought her nose had been broken.
Because the trial at Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia entered its final two weeks, Ms. Heard spent the opening hours of the day ending her testimony before facing off with Mr. Depp’s legal team, who questioned whether her accounts of spousal abuse were accurate and whether she had actually donated the cash she secured through her divorce to charity, as she had pledged.
Her testimony included her account of the primary time the difficulty of spousal abuse by Mr. Depp got here into public view, in May 2016, after paparazzi photographed Ms. Heard at a California court, where she obtained a brief restraining order against him. She had what seemed to be a bruise under one eye, and she or he told the court then, in a filing, that Mr. Depp had hurled a cellphone at her during an argument about every week earlier, hitting her within the face.
“The violence was now normal and never the exception,” Ms. Heard told the jury on Monday.
Mr. Depp, 58, sued Ms. Heard, 36, for defamation after The Washington Post published an oped by Ms. Heard in 2018 through which she called herself a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” The article didn’t mention Mr. Depp by name, but he has asserted that it clearly alluded to their relationship. The jury can also be considering a countersuit filed by Ms. Heard, which accuses Mr. Depp of defaming her when his former lawyer made statements saying her accusations were a hoax.
Along with repeated physical abuse, Ms. Heard has described multiple instances of sexual assault by Mr. Depp. He has accused her of being the aggressor in the connection and denied ever hitting or sexually assaulting her.
Ms. Heard testified on Monday about one confrontation that occurred after Mr. Depp missed her birthday dinner in April 2016 because he had a business meeting. After they were alone later that night, he initiated a physical fight, she said, and shoved her, grabbed her by the hair and threw a bottle of champagne at her, missing her.
Ms. Heard said she didn’t see her then-husband for a couple of month after that. But in May 2016, when Mr. Depp visited the penthouse in Los Angeles where Ms. Heard was staying, the couple ended up arguing about Mr. Depp’s accusation that she or a friend had defecated within the couple’s bed as a “prank.” Ms. Heard called the accusation a “delusion,” attributing the feces to one in all the couple’s dogs.
Throughout the confrontation, Ms. Heard said, she was on the cellphone with a friend, who, overhearing the commotion and screaming, warned Ms. Heard that she wasn’t secure. That prompted Mr. Depp, she said, to grab the phone from her.
“He pulls his arm back with the phone and throws it at my face,” she said. “I put my head in my hands and immediately start crying.”
Based on court papers, the friend on the phone called 911, but when the police arrived, Ms. Heard refused to cooperate.
“I desired to protect Johnny,” she testified on Monday. “I didn’t want him to be arrested.”
But two days later, she said, she filed for divorce, and a number of other days after that, she filed for the restraining order because she was experiencing extreme anxiety and wanted an assurance that Mr. Depp wouldn’t return to where she lived. (She agreed to drop a request for a everlasting restraining order as a part of their divorce agreement.)
Mr. Depp’s account of those two incidents was markedly different during his testimony earlier within the trial. He said he had a vital meeting about his funds and was late for Ms. Heard’s birthday celebration, prompting her to lash out at him later that night. He testified that she punched him within the face twice before he left the constructing and stayed elsewhere. His mother died while the couple was separated, and when he called Ms. Heard to inform her the news, he also told her he planned to file for divorce, Mr. Depp testified.
“Any individual needed to call it,” he acknowledged.
When he returned to the penthouse to select up a few of his belongings, Mr. Depp testified, the couple got into an argument concerning the feces that an worker had present in the bed the previous month. Mr. Depp said he didn’t throw the phone at her, but reasonably, he “flopped” it onto the couch. He accused Ms. Heard of faking that she had been injured throughout the confrontation with a purpose to persuade her friends that she was in some peril.
Johnny Depp’s Libel Case Against Amber Heard
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Within the courtroom. A defamation trial involving the formerly married actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard is currently underway in Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia. Here’s what to know concerning the case:
Ms. Heard’s op-ed. Mr. Depp’s suit was filed in response to an op-ed Ms. Heard wrote for The Washington Post in 2018 through which she described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” Though she didn’t mention her former husband’s name, he and his lawyers have argued that she was clearly referring to their relationship.
The domestic abuse claims. Within the 2020 trial, Ms. Heard accused her former husband of assaulting her first in 2013, after they began dating, and detailed other instances through which he slapped her, head-butted her and threw her to the bottom. Mr. Depp has since accused her of punching him, kicking him and throwing objects at him.
“‘Stop hitting me, Johnny!’ she’s screaming in her best freaked out, upset voice,’” Mr. Depp testified.
Also played in court Monday was an audio recording of a phone conversation between the couple from June 2016 through which Mr. Depp challenged Ms. Heard on whether she believed that the accusations she had put in the appliance for a restraining order were true.
“Do you think all this, Amber?” Mr. Depp said in the decision. “You suspect I’m an abuser?”
“Yes!” Ms. Heard replied repeatedly.
Greater than two years after she was granted the temporary restraining order, The Washington Post published Ms. Heard’s op-ed, which included broader policy-based arguments for national responses to gender-based violence. Ms. Heard testified that she had agreed to the op-ed because she wanted to boost awareness about those issues, not because she wanted to incorporate specifics about her experiences with Mr. Depp or drum up publicity for her movie on the time.
Making an argument for her countersuit, Ms. Heard also testified about statements by Mr. Depp’s former lawyer that attempted to discredit her accusations, saying that it was “torture” to relive the accounts of abuse that she has shared in court.
“I just wanted him to depart me alone,” Ms. Heard said of Mr. Depp. “I desired to move on with my life, and he won’t let me.”