Amber Heard grew emotional as she took the witness stand on Wednesday and described in detail how Johnny Depp physically and sexually abused her over several years of their relationship.
Heard's testimony had been highly anticipated in the trial of the defamation lawsuit filed against her by Depp over an op-ed she wrote for the Washington Post in 2018 in which she said she was a victim of domestic violence. Even though Depp wasn't named in the op-ed, he and his legal team argue it's implied the op-ed is about him and because of it, he's lost out on opportunities and movie deals. Depp has denied ever hitting Heard and over four days of his own testimony accused her of being the aggressor in their violent relationship.
On Wednesday, Heard had the opportunity to tell the court about her experiences, and she recounted multiple instances of physical and sexual abuse. Heard testified that the first time Depp hit her was in 2012, before they were married, saying the two were sitting on a couch at his home and Depp had a "jar of cocaine." She asked about one of his tattoos, and when he explained it said "wino," Heard laughed. That's when Depp slapped her, she said. In disbelief, Heard said she responded by laughing more.
"I laughed," she said. "I laughed because I didn't know what else to do. I thought, This must be a joke. This must be a joke, because I didn't know what was going on. I just stared at him, kind of laughing at him still, thinking he was going to start laughing too to tell me it was a joke."
Heard said Depp then said, "You think you're a funny bitch?" and then slapped Heard a second time.
After the second slap, Heard said she stared at Depp and realized he wasn't kidding. She said she didn't move or react. "I just stared at him because I didn't know what else to do," she said.
He then slapped her a third time, "hard," Heard testified. She said she lost her balance.
"I'm all the sudden realizing that the worst thing has just happened to me that could possibly happen to you," Heard said. "I realize — I wish so much that he would have said he was joking."
She said she was on the ground, looking at the dirty carpet, wondering how she ended up there.
"I didn't want to leave him," Heard said. "I didn't want this to be the reality. I didn't want to have the man I was in love with — I know you don't come back from that, you know. I'm not dumb. I knew you can't hit a woman. I knew you can't hit a man."
Heard said Depp got on his knees and started crying and promised her he would never hurt her again. She left and drove home. The next day, she said, he brought her expensive wine and told her he "put this thing away" and that he "killed the fucker" and that she could trust him to never hit her again. She said she believed him and stayed in the relationship.
From there, Heard said Depp continued to physically abuse her. He would punch walls, shove her, push her, hit her in the face, and accuse her of cheating on him, she said.
Heard said March 2013 was a particularly rough time because Depp started drinking again after a bout with sobriety. Heard said it felt like a "never-ending fight." That same month, Heard told her mother about the abuse and sent her mother a picture of a bruise on her arm that she said Depp caused after he accused Heard of having an affair with her ex-partner.
"I remember thinking, How could this happen to me again?" Heard testified.
Heard described other instances of physical abuse from Depp, including while vacationing together at a trailer park. The couple and their friends were outside and had done drugs when a female friend leaned into Heard and put her head on Heard's shoulder. Depp got angry at both of them, and Heard said she took him inside their trailer, where he began smashing things and screaming at her. He then started asking her where something was. Heard said she didn't know what he was talking about, but soon he started patting her down and doing a "cavity search" on her. Depp ripped her dress, grabbed her breasts, and ripped her underwear off to look for his cocaine, Heard said, and then he "shoved his finger inside" of her.
"I just stood there and stared at the stupid light," Heard testified.
Heard said the next morning, she saw her friends at the pool and felt "so lonely" because none of them knew about the abuse.
Heard said that on June 26, 2013, on a flight to Russia, she and Depp both did the drug MDMA and Depp also convinced the flight attendant to take some. After the flight attendant became friendly with her, Depp grabbed the flight attendant's wrist and told her not to touch Heard again, she said. When Heard and Depp made it to their hotel in Russia, Heard said Depp "whacked" her in the face, and she got a bloody nose. She said she didn't feel pain; instead, she wanted Depp to realize what happened.
"I wanted him to care," Heard said.
"There was this sense that he didn't know what was going on," she continued.
On July 9, 2013, Heard and Depp went to Depp's island in the Bahamas with his kids. Depp was drinking but hiding it from his children, Heard said. After he and Heard got into a fight on a yacht, Heard said he slammed her down in a room inside. She and Depp's daughter then left the island on a helicopter shortly after.
Before Heard testified about Depp's abuse, she told the jury about how she fell in love with him during their press tour for The Rum Diary, the 2011 movie they starred in together. She said he would give her lavish gifts, and he spoiled her parents and friends, too. Depp hadn't gone public yet about his breakup with his children's mother, so she said they had to keep their relationship secret, which created a bubble.
"We were secretly dating, and it was beautiful. I felt like this man knew me and saw me in a way no one else had," she said. "I felt he understood me."