The defamation trial between Mr Depp and Ms Heard began on 11 April in Fairfax, Virginia following Mr Depp’s lawsuit against his ex-wife in March 2019. Mr Depp is arguing that she defamed him in a December 2018 op-ed published in The Washington Post titled “I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change”.
Over the course of three and a half days on the witness stand, Mr Depp testified at length about alleged physical and verbal abuse he sustained at Ms Heard’s hands, as well as her drug and alcohol use.
Here’s a rundown of some of the most damning things Mr Depp testified about Ms Heard:
Audio of Heard admitting to hitting Depp
Much of Mr Depp’s case hinges on his claim that Ms Heard was in fact the abuser in their relationship, and he was the victim. During his testimony, his legal team sought to prove that point by playing audio recordings where Ms Heard admitted to striking Mr Depp.
Ms Heard and Mr Depp argued about a physical altercation on the recording, during which she said she hit Mr Depp but she didn’t “deck” him. She also told Mr Depp to “grow up”, calling him a “baby”. The recording was played in court on Wednesday.
“You told me to do it. You told me ‘go do that’,” Ms Heard said on the recording.
“You punched me in the f***ing thing,” Mr Depp said.
“You figured it all out,” Ms Heard responded. “I didn’t punch you by the way.”
“I’m sorry that I didn’t hit you across the face in a proper slap,” she added. “I was hitting you, I was not punching you. You’re not punched.”
“Don’t tell me what it feels like to be punched,” Mr Depp said.
Ms Heard told Mr Depp “you know you’ve been in a lot of fights, been around a long time”.
“You didn’t get punched, you got hit,” she added.
“I’m sorry. I hit you like this, but I did not punch you. I did not f***ing deck you. I f***ing was hitting you. I don’t know what the motion of my actual hand was. But you’re fine. I did not hurt you,” Ms Heard said.
“What am I supposed to do? Do this? I’m not sitting here bitching about it, am I? You are – that’s the difference between me and you. You’re a f***ing baby,” she added.
As Mr Depp begins to respond, Ms Heard can be heard raising her voice, saying “you are such a baby, grow the f*** up, Johnny”.
Mr Depp asked her if she started a “physical fight”.
“I did start a physical fight,” Ms Heard said.
“Yeah, you did, so I had to get out of there,” Mr Depp responded.
“You did the right thing. The big thing. You know what – you’re admirable,” Ms Heard said in a tone described in court by Mr Depp as sarcastic.
Finger injury in Australia fight
Mr Depp described in graphic detail a fight with Ms Heard during which he claims she threw a vodka bottle at him, severing his finger.
“She then grabbed that bottle and threw that at me,” Mr Depp said, demonstrating to the jury how he was sitting at the time. He said his fingers were resting on the edge of the bar and that the large vodka bottle “made contact and shattered everywhere”.
“I felt no pain at first all,” he said. “I felt heat and as if something was dripping down my hand.”
“I was looking directly at my bones sticking out,” he added. “Blood was just pouring out.”
Photo of faeces on Depp’s bed
Mr Depp described seeing a photo of faeces on his bed days after a fight with Ms Heard.
Mr Depp said on that he didn’t see Ms Heard between 22 April and 21 May 2016 as he had “received some news that was as absurd and grotesque and cruel, and then I was shown a picture of what the problem was”.
He said he was shown a photo of “our bed and on my side of the bed was human faecal matter, so I understood why it wasn’t a good time to go down there”.
Mr Depp said his “initial response” was to “laugh”.
“It was so outside, it was so bizarre and so grotesque that I could only laugh,” he added.
Heard’s drinking and drug use
Mr Depp testified at length about Ms Heard’s drinking and drug use, at one point claiming she would drink two bottles of wine a night.
His business manager, Edward White, bolstered that claim in his own testimony when he said that by the end of the marriage between Ms Heard and Mr Depp in 2016, they had a $160,000 wine bill at LA vendor Twenty Twenty Wine Merchants.
The business manager said Mr Depp’s tab with the merchant has been almost paid off since the divorce, adding that Mr Depp still purchases wine at Christmas to give away as gifts.
“His wine bill has shrunk to virtually zero because he does not continue to consume much in the way of wine,” Mr White said.
The business manager said Ms Heard liked a bottle of wine costing around $500 from the Spanish winery Vega Sicilia.
In preparation for Ms Heard’s 30th birthday celebration, a night when one of the fights leading to the divorce occurred, she ordered five bottles of the Spanish wine as well as eight of another variety.
Mr Depp said “a number of people were taking MDMA” at his and Ms Heard’s wedding.
He mentioned “Amber”, a “couple of friends of mine”, and later added, “all of her gang were all partaking in the MDMA”.
Comparison between Heard and Depp’s mother
Mr Depp likened his marriage to Ms Heard to his difficult relationship with his mother, saying that it was an “endless parade of insults”.
He remembered how “demeaning name calling”, being “berated”, and “made a fool of” by Ms Heard would often lead to intense fights.
“If there’s a dialogue between two people, both people need to speak. But there was no way to fit a word in. It was a sort of rapid-fire, endless parade of insults,” he said from the stand, adding that he “was not allowed to be right and not allowed to have a voice”.
“You start to slowly realise that you are in a relationship with your mother, in a sense. And I know that sounds perverse and obtuse, but the fact is, some people search for weaknesses in people,” he added.
Heard pushes Depp to ‘tell the world’
At the end of his testimony, Mr Depp was confronted with a recording in which Ms Heard pushed him to “tell the world” that he’s a victim of domestic violence.
In the recording she is heard saying: Ms Heard: “Tell them, I, Johnny Depp, I’m a victim of domestic abuse ... and see how many people believe or side with you.”
One of Mr Depp’s lawyers asked him what he said in response when he was asked if he was a victim of domestic abuse.
“I said, ‘Yes, I am,’” Mr Depp responded.
In her 2018 op-ed, Ms Heard wrote that “like many women, I had been harassed and sexually assaulted by the time I was of college age. But I kept quiet — I did not expect filing complaints to bring justice. And I didn’t see myself as a victim”.
“Then 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,” she added at the time.
While Mr Depp isn’t named in the piece, his legal team argues that it contains a “clear implication that Mr Depp is a domestic abuser”, which they say is “categorically and demonstrably false”. Mr Depp is seeking damages of “not less than $50m”.
Ms Heard has filed a $100m counterclaim against Mr Depp for nuisance and immunity from his allegations.