Warning: This article may be triggering for some readers. Please read at your own discretion.
Amber Heard alleged in a British court on Wednesday that her ex-husband Johnny Depp threw “30 or so bottles” at her as if they were “grenades or bombs” during a drunken and frenzied assault in Australia in March 2015 that also saw him accidentally sever part of his finger.
Heard took the witness box for the third day in a row at the High Court in London during Depp’s libel case against a British tabloid and she refuted his allegation that it was she who lost her temper and injured him.
Depp is suing publisher News Group Newspapers, which produces U.K. tabloid The Sun, and its executive editor, Dan Wootton, over an April 2018 article headlined “Gone Potty — How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?”
Depp strongly denies abusing Heard.
Heard previously described her stay in Australia with Depp as akin to a “three-day hostage situation,” during which Depp was “completely out of his mind and out of control” following a binge on alcohol and drugs. Heard has said she feared for her life while at the rented property on Australia’s Gold Coast during a visit while Depp was filming the latest Pirates of the Caribbean film.
The incident is central to The Sun’s labelling of Depp in an April 2018 article as a “wife-beater.” The Sun’s defence relies on 14 allegations made by Heard of violence by Depp between 2013 and 2016, in settings as varied as the rented house in Australia, his private island in the Bahamas and a private jet.
Depp, 57, denies the charges and claims Heard, 34, was the aggressor during their tempestuous relationship. He was present once again to hear Heard’s testimony.
Eleanor Laws, Depp’s lawyer, said Heard had worked herself “into a rage” during her stay in Australia and that she had a habit of just “losing it.”
Heard admitted that she got “angry at times but not into a rage that would cause me to throw anything at” Depp.
She also said she did break one bottle during their second evening together in Australia as they argued about Depp’s drinking.
“I regret I did that,” Heard said.
She also claimed that Depp would often credit her for saving him by trying to get him clean and sober.
After she smashed the bottle, Heard alleged that Depp started throwing bottles that were full enough that they broke a window behind her.
She said Depp “started picking them up one by one and throwing them like grenades or bombs.”
“One after the other after the other, in my direction, and I felt glass breaking behind me,” Heard alleged.
She said Depp threw all the bottles that were within reach, except for the “celebratory magnum-sized bottle of wine.”
“I would be shocked if Johnny remembers any of this himself, but I was there,” Heard said.
Heard denied severing the tip of Depp’s finger during the alleged bottle-throwing incident and that she put out a cigarette on his cheek during the same night.
She alleged that Depp used to put cigarettes out on himself.
“Johnny did it right in front of me. He often did things like that,” she said.
Laws said Heard was lying in relation to an alleged incident of domestic violence in Los Angeles in December 2015.
Heard described the incident in written testimony as “one of the worst and most violent nights” of her relationship with Depp.
In her testimony, Heard alleged that Depp slapped her and pulled clumps of hair out of her head when dragging her through their apartment before he repeatedly punched her in the head.
Depp’s lawyer Laws said medical notes made by a nurse, Erin Boerum, who saw Heard after the alleged incident, didn’t note any bruises and only mentioned bleeding on her lip.
Laws said the bleeding lip was self-inflicted.
“I had two black eyes, a broken nose, a broken rib. I had bruises all over my body,” Heard said in response.
In the first nine days of testimony at the High Court, Judge Andrew Nicol heard from Depp and several current or former employees who backed his version of events. In his testimony, Depp said he was the one being abused by Heard and that she had a history of being violent against him.
In written testimony released to the court, Heard said that at various times during their relationship she endured “punching, slapping, kicking, head-butting and choking.”
Heard said some incidents were “so severe” she was “afraid he was going to kill me, either intentionally or just by losing control and going too far.”
“Johnny attacked me a lot of times, on many different occasions,” she said.
According to Heard, Depp “explicitly threatened to kill me many times, especially later in our relationship.”
She also said he blamed his actions on “a self-created third party” that he referred to as “the monster.”
“He had a violent and dark way of speaking: the way he talked about our relationship being ‘dead or alive’ and telling me that death was the only way out of the relationship; the way he would describe what he wanted to do to me if I left him or hurt him. For example, carving my face up so no one else would want me,” she said.
She said that Depp “demeaned” her “any time I tried to wear anything that could be seen as sexy, calling me a ‘whore’, ‘s–t’, ‘fame-hungry’ and ‘an attention whore,’ but it got worse over time.”
Lawyers released Depp’s former partners Winona Ryder and Vanessa Paradis‘s statements last week. They both said they could not reconcile Heard’s accusations of violence with the kind and loving man they knew.
Depp and French singer Paradis had two children during a 14-year relationship that ended in 2012. American actress Ryder dated Depp for several years in the early 1990s.
“I understand that it is very important that I speak from my own experience, as I obviously was not there during his marriage to Amber, but, from my experience, which was so wildly different, I was absolutely shocked, confused and upset when I heard the accusations against him,” Ryder said.
Ryder said the “idea that he is an incredibly violent person is the farthest thing from the Johnny I knew and loved.”
“I cannot wrap my head around these accusations. He was never, never violent towards me. He was never, never abusive at all towards me.
“He has never been violent or abusive towards anybody I have seen. I truly and honestly only know him as a really good man – an incredibly loving, extremely caring guy who was so very protective of me and the people that he loves, and I felt so very, very safe with him.”
Paradis said in a witness statement that she had always known Depp to be “kind” and “non-violent.”
Depp and Paradis have two children together, Lily-Rose, 21, and Jack, 18.
“I have known Johnny for more than 25 years,” her statement began. “We’ve been partners for 14 years and we raised our two children together.
“Through all these years I’ve known Johnny to be a kind, attentive, generous, and non-violent person and father.
“I am aware of the allegations which Amber Heard has publicly accused Johnny of for more than four years now. This is nothing like the true Johnny I have known, and from my personal experience of many years, I can say he was never violent or abusive to me.”
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 her with what appears to be a bruise on her right eye. She claimed the incident took place on May 21, less than 48 hours before she filed.
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,” Heard 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.
While neither Heard nor Depp is on trial, the case is a showdown between the former spouses, who accuse each other of being controlling, violent and deceitful during their marriage.
Depp’s $50-million lawsuit is due to be heard next year
Thursday is expected to be Heard’s final day of testimony.
If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.Are you or someone you know experiencing abuse? Visit the Department of Justice’s Victim Services Directory for a list of support services in your area.Women, trans and non-binary people can find an additional list of resources here.
—With files from The Associated Press