'I loved him so much': Amber Heard breaks down as she reveals why she filed for divorce
Heard informed the court that everything she’s testified till now 'has been the truth'
The defamation trial, in which Amber Heard has been sued ex-husband Johnny Depp, restarted on Monday, May 16, following a week's break. Heard's returned to the stand, recalling Depp's first act of alleged physical violence against her. The former couple were last seen in court on Thursday, May 5, when Heard documented many incidents of claimed violence at the hands of Depp. She stated that the violence began in early 2012, contradicting her prior statement that it occurred in 2013. Heard said Depp attacked her for the first time when she inquired about his 'Wino Forever' tattoo — the tweaked 'breakup' version of the 'Winona Forever' tattoo he got for his once-girlfriend Winona Ryder.
Heard's legal team provided multiple images of Heard at red carpet events in which the actress is spotted with "scars" on her arms. She said the scars were caused during an alleged incident in Australia, in which Depp allegedly held her against a glass-covered countertop and sexually abused her with a liquor bottle. On this excursion, Depp alleged Heard slashed the tip of his finger. Previously in the trial, he claimed that this happened when she hurled a glass bottle at his hand. Heard gave testimony Depp has a history of self-harm and would frequently push knives into his flesh, producing superficial bleeding. Heard also testified about an instance in which Depp claimed she defecated on his side of their bed when they were married. She rejected the claims, calling it "disgusting" and stating that she "was not in a pranking mood" since her "life was falling apart."
Heard later testified that she met with Depp in 2016 after a month apart. She stated that the incident happened shortly after Depp's mother died. According to Heard, Depp was still focused on the alleged feces, saying that she or one of her companions had done it as a joke. After a violent phone discussion between the ex-spouses and a friend of Heard's, she claimed Depp hurled a phone at her face.
She testified that the altercation escalated before another of her friends tried to de-escalate it. The companion placed her hands on Depp's chest and demanded that he calm down. Heard said that Depp remained aggressive and destroyed things in the residence. She testified that police were summoned to the apartment about an hour after the altercation. Heard stated that her companion took multiple images of her face, some of which were previously presented in court. Heard's cheekbone seems obviously red in the photographs, where she alleges the tossed phone hit her. Heard said that she chose not to report the assault to police in order to "protect" Depp. Heard sighed, saying she "didn't want the world to know." When asked why she filed for divorce, Heard told her attorney, "I knew if I didn't, I'd likely not literally survive. I was so scared that it was going to end really badly for me.”
“I really didn’t want to leave him, I loved him so much,” she said. “I couldn’t stay. I believe he would’ve taken it too far and I wouldn’t be here. The violence was normal and not the exception." She testified saying she obtained a TRO when she filed for divorce because “I just wanted to change my locks. The person I was scared of was the person I was also in love with.” Heard also informed the court that everything she’s testified till now “has been the truth.”
She referred to multiple images, text messages, and other pieces of contact disclosed in court, stating it would be "crazy" to make up stories for years. “I didn’t want this. I don’t want to be here,” she told the jury. Heard testified she never desired the details about their marriage to be made public. “I was begging him not to make me prove it.” “I didn’t want to hurt him. I loved him so much,” she stated the reason why she did not press charges against Depp.
“Ms. Heard — respectfully, that’s not my question”: #JohnnyDepp’s attorney repeatedly told #AmberHeard “that’s not my question” during a tense back-and-forth about her non-fulfilled pledge to donate her $7 million settlement to charity. @LawCrimeNetwork pic.twitter.com/PXZHR3SQbp— Law&Crime Network (@LawCrimeNetwork) May 16, 2022
On the stand, Heard looked to fight back tears, telling jurors she never intended to be labeled a liar. Heard said that following their divorce, Depp launched a "smear campaign" against her and her family, raising doubts about her accusations and her character. “All I have is my name. All I have is my integrity, and that is what he tried to take from me,” she explained. She added that, in the divorce, she was “not interested in Johnny’s money.” Heard's attorneys then went on to the counterclaim she filed against Depp, in which she seeks $100 million in retaliation for accusations made in the press by Depp's lawyer, Adam Waldman.
The court was given three distinct internet news pieces published in the United Kingdom's Daily Mail in 2020 in which Waldman branded Heard's allegations of abuse against Depp "a hoax" and "fake." She said that she was still trying to protect Depp and keep the specifics of the alleged abuse private at the time. When asked to characterize the emotional consequences of Waldman's comments, Heard stated that she is forced to relive the trauma every day and that her acting and modeling opportunities had dried up. She said that after the pieces were published, she was essentially dismissed from a L'Oreal beauty campaign she was working on, was dropped from the television show 'The Stand,' and her part in the 'Aquaman' franchise was severely reduced.
Amber Heard's cross-examination
During her cross-examination, Depp's attorney started questioning Heard about Depp's refusal to make eye contact with her during the trial. “He promised that you would never see his eyes again, didn’t he, Ms. Heard?” Camille Vasquez, a lawyer, inquired, referring to a commitment Depp made to Heard during one of their final encounters following their divorce. Vasquez also repeatedly questioned Heard about the rings Depp is known to wear on each finger, pointing to pictures and videos of Heard's body and face captured on the red carpet and tv appearances where huge ring-like marks were not noticeable, despite Heard's claims that Depp physically assaulted her.
Vasquez questioned the couple's many altercations, questioning why Heard did not offer pictures or medical documentation of those claimed incidents of violence to the jury. Heard also told the court that she did not receive medical attention following the event in Australia, in which Depp allegedly assaulted her sexually with a liquor bottle. Heard denied releasing photographs of her supposed injuries, which appeared on the cover of People Magazine in 2016. She also claimed she isn't the one who released the photos, as well as a video of Depp shattering cupboards in a drunken frenzy, the day before her divorce settlement deposition.
Prior to the completion of Monday's hearings, Heard was questioned about the $7 million settlement she received in her divorce from Depp. Heard had previously said that the earnings will be shared between the American Civil Liberties Union and a California children's hospital. Heard told the court that although she hasn't yet made the donation, she intends to "fully honor" her vow. “I use ‘pledge’ and ‘donation’ synonymously,” Heard testified. “I don’t,” responded Vasquez.
Heard testified in court that she is still not able to distribute the funds because "Johnny sued me." Earlier in the hearings, which began on April 12 and will conclude on May 27, Depp had disputed many of Heard's charges, claiming that he is a "Southern gentleman" who has never been addicted to alcohol or illegal narcotics. The jury will also hear from Heard's sister, Whitney Henriquez, as well as star Ellen Barkin, who had a short affair with Depp in the 1990s, in the following week.
As part of Heard's lawsuit, Depp is also anticipated to be brought back to testify. In their court struggle, both Heard, 36, and Depp, 58, claim to be victims of assault. The original court action began in late 2018 after Depp filed a $50 million defamation suit against Heard over a Washington Post op-ed she wrote about domestic abuse. Heard did not identify Depp in his piece, but the actor claims his reputation and career were "devastated" as a result. Heard sued Depp for $100 million in retaliation.