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In the audio, shared by the Daily Mail, the pair discusses an incident in which things got physical.
USA Today spoke to Depp’s lawyer Adam Waldman, who confirmed the audio is a real recording from 2015.
In the recording, Depp and Heard debate an incident in which she allegedly punched and injured him.
“After you got f—ing physically violent with me… I texted Travis and I said: ‘Come up here,'” Depp says in the recording.
“I know! Come and save me,” Heard says, mocking Depp. “Continue… Travis to the rescue.”
“Come what? Save me? That was the last one,” Depp says. “You can go.”
At another point in the conversation, Depp says: “I told you to tell Travis that you punched me in the f—ing face, and you said, ‘No, I didn’t, what the f–k are you talking about?”
“I didn’t punch you, by the way,” Heard interjects. “I’m sorry that I didn’t hit you across the face in a proper slap but I was hitting you. It was not punching you.
“Babe, you’re not punched … I don’t know what the motion of my actual hand was, but you’re fine. I did not hurt you, I did not punch you; I was hitting you.”
“Don’t tell me what it feels like to be punched when you f—ing have a closed fist…” the Pirates of the Caribbean actor says.
“You didn’t get punched. You got hit. I’m sorry I hit you like this but I didn’t punch you. You didn’t get f—ing decked. I f—ing was hitting you,” Heard tells Depp.
“You’re a f—ing baby. You’re such a baby,” Heard says.
Depp asks: “Because you start physical fights?”
(Warning: The recording below contains explicit language.)
At another point in the recording, Depp says: “I do not want to leave you. I do not want a divorce, I do not want you out of my life. I just want peace. If things get physical, we have to separate.”
Heard says she can’t promise she will “be perfect. I can’t promise you I won’t get physical again.”
“God, I f—ing — sometimes, I get so mad I lose it. I can f—ing promise you I will do everything to change. I promise you. I’m not going to throw around divorce,” she says.
“I love you and I want you to be my wife. And I want to be your husband,” Depp responds. “And I wanna be a good husband. If I haven’t been, I’ll do everything I can to find out how to be a good husband.”
Depp’s lawyer told USA Today that Heard “recorded her conversations with Depp.”
“The first confessional tape she made reveals a conversation any real abuse victim will recognize all too well,” Waldman said. “It exposes that Ms. Heard perpetrated serial violence against Mr. Depp, and then concocted an elaborate abuse hoax to cover it up. Ms. Heard gives a motive for her violence: Mr. Depp was always trying to ‘split’ to escape her abuse.”
Heard’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, told USA Today that she was also a victim of abuse and did not address the audio recording.
“The fact that a woman fights or talks back does not mean that she has not been the subject of repeated domestic violence and abuse,” the statement read. “It’s a myth to say, as Mr. Depp apparently is implying, that if Ms. Heard slapped him, then she can’t also be a victim. That is just not true.”
Fans of Depp took to Twitter after the audio was released and called for #JusticeForJohnnyDepp.
Depp and Heard — who met while filming The Rum Diary in 2011 — were married on Feb. 3, 2015. On May 23, 2016, Heard filed for divorce, seeking spousal support. She cited irreconcilable differences as the reason. They were officially divorced on Jan. 13, 2017.
Four days after filing for divorce, Heard requested a temporary domestic violence restraining order against Depp, which the judge granted after she submitted multiple photos as evidence of alleged assault, one of which purportedly shows the actress with what appears to be a bruise on her right eye. She claims that incident took place on May 21, less than 48 hours before she filed.
TMZ reported Depp had allegedly “smashed” his iPhone into Heard’s face, resulting in the bruise. Heard claimed Depp offered her money to stay quiet after he allegedly hit her but that she instead chose to file for divorce.
In March 2019, Depp sued Heard in a $50-million defamation lawsuit, citing a piece she wrote for the Washington Post about domestic abuse.
The complaint said that while Depp was not named in the Post article, it was clear Heard was talking about him. The lawsuit called her ongoing allegations of domestic abuse “categorically and demonstrably false.”
“They were part of an elaborate hoax to generate positive publicity for Ms. Heard and advance her career,” the lawsuit said, claiming: “She is the perpetrator.”
The suit said Depp has suffered financial losses because of the accusations, including being dropped from his role as Capt. Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean films.
In her article, published in the Post in December 2018, Heard also said she lost an acting role and a contract with a major fashion brand because she went public with her claims of abuse.
“I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath,” the 32-year-old actress wrote, adding that she felt as though she was “on trial in the court of public opinion.”
Heard asked a judge to dismiss the defamation lawsuit in April 2019.
Heard’s lawyers reiterated allegations that Depp had abused her and included exhibits such as photos of her with a bruised face and scarred arms.
In August 2018, Depp alleged Heard had assaulted him in April 2016 for being almost two hours late to her 30th birthday party.
According to the court documents, Depp claimed Heard “had been drinking” that evening and “began criticizing” him once her guests left.
Depp had a meeting with his business manager and accountants before the party but alleged he sent Heard multiple text messages to keep her updated.
Depp then allegedly “pushed her away from him onto the bed” and left the room.
In response to the accusations, a lawyer for Heard said: “These allegations are totally false. One needs only read the recent Rolling Stone article about Mr. Depp and the lawsuit filed against him by a location manager, among many other recent news stories and lawsuits, to understand his state of mind. Mr. Depp is currently being sued in multiple venues, including for assaulting a location manager on the set of City of Lies. On many occasions, eyewitnesses observed the extent of the abuse Mr. Depp inflicted on Ms. Heard.”
In May 2019, Depp said that “while mixing prescription amphetamines and non-prescription drugs with alcohol,” Heard “hit, punched, and kicked me. She also repeatedly and frequently threw objects into my body and head, including heavy bottles, soda cans, burning candles, television remote controls and paint thinner cans, which severely injured me.”
Depp submitted a photo of his black, puffy eyes and scratches. He also detailed an alleged attack by his ex-wife one month after their marriage in Australia and described his efforts to get Heard to sign a post-nuptial agreement.
The 56-year-old actor said the conversation resulted in the severing of his fingertip from a shattered glass bottle thrown at him by Heard.
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse or is involved in an abusive situation, please visit the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime for help. They are also reachable toll-free at 1-877-232-2610.
—With files from the Associated Press