NOTE: This article contains details and descriptions that are graphic and disturbing. Please read at your own discretion.
The couple split in 2016, but have been battling it out in various courtrooms since, as each tries to paint themselves as the bigger victim in the relationship.
This particular trial stems from an op-ed piece Heard wrote for The Washington Post in 2018, in which she claimed she had been abused, but never mentioned Depp by name.
Depp is suing Heard for US$50 million, while Heard is countersuing her former partner for US$100 million.
As Heard returned to the stand Tuesday, she was asked about the beginnings of her relationship with Depp. Again, Heard told the jury the first year together was “magic.”
However, tensions in the courtroom quickly rose as one of Depp’s lawyers, Camille Vasquez, interrogated Heard about an alleged sexual assault in Australia in 2015.
In her earlier testimony, Heard claimed Depp forcibly penetrated her with a glass liquor bottle. She testified Depp had taken 8-10 MDMA pills at the time of the alleged sexual assault.
Depp, alternatively, claimed he was the victim of assault in Australia. He testified Heard severed the tip of his finger when she threw a glass bottle at his hand.
Depp’s lawyer spent a large chunk of time trying to disprove Heard’s testimony, often comparing her previous testimonies.
Through exhibit after exhibit of evidence, Vasquez cross-examined Heard, attempting to poke holes in her claims.
Vasquez asked Heard about scars on her arm which Heard claimed she obtained during the alleged sexual assault in Australia. Vasquez implied Heard had a history of self-harm and caused the scars herself.
Depp’s lawyer also read several pages from the couple’s “love journal,” where Depp and Heard wrote many love letters to each other throughout their relationship. In various entries, Heard apologizes for “hurting” Depp, asks why they fight so often and proclaims her love for the actor.
Heard was asked about Depp’s drug and alcohol use. She has testified several times that Depp has numerous substance abuse issues. Depp claims he has never been addicted to alcohol or drugs (with the exception of Roxicodone, for which he received medical treatment).
Heard testified she had only taken drugs with Depp twice in their relationship, on a trip to the Hicksville Trailer Palace in California and on a flight to Russia.
Vasquez asked Heard about an email containing what Heard claimed was a tentative schedule for the couple’s wedding. The email included a scheduled time for “drugs and music.”
Vasquez also read a text sent by Heard the day before her 30th birthday where she asks Depp to bring wine “and maybe a joint.”
A new audio clip was also presented in court featuring another argument between the couple.
Heard, laughing, calls Depp a “sellout” and a “joke,” mocking his career. She also tells Depp to “suck my d—k” in the clip.
“Your jealousy is so tragic,” Depp said in the audio recording. He mocks Heard in return with a prolonged chant of “Aquaman!”
An old deposition of Heard was played in court following the day’s lunch break. In the clip, Heard — who is seen eating a snack while being questioned — is played audio of Depp accusing her of kicking a bathroom door into his head.
“I remember hitting you as a response to the door thing,” Heard said in the audio clip, also claiming Depp had pressed the door over her toes. Heard is visually dismissive in the clip, laughing at times.
In court Tuesday, Heard testified she was laughing because of the lawyers on the other side of the table, not visible in the recording. She claimed they were the dismissive ones and that they were “rolling their eyes” at her, causing her to have that reaction.
In closing their cross-examination, Depp’s lawyers asked Heard about a previous, much-discussed domestic violence charge against her.
(In 2009, Heard was arrested for misdemeanour assault in the fourth degree/domestic violence after allegedly striking her then-girlfriend Tasya van Ree at an airport.)
Since the incident, Ree has released a public statement saying Heard was “wrongfully accused” of domestic violence. In 2011, the arrest information was withdrawn.
Upon starting redirect, Heard’s lawyer asked her why she thought Depp wouldn’t “look her in the eye” throughout the trial, as questioned by Vasquez earlier.
“Because he’s guilty,” answered Heard, looking directly at Depp, who smiled and appeared to chuckle as he whispered with his counsel sitting next to him.
As the redirect continued, Heard’s lawyer faced constant objections from Depp’s team. After nearly 30 minutes and only a few viable questions, Heard told the court she did not ask for a higher divorce settlement from Depp because she “did not want it.”
After Heard’s cross-examination wrapped up, the court was shown video depositions featuring former friends of Depp and Heard – iO Tillett Wright and Raquel Pennington.
Wright, an author, photographer, and former journalist for the New York Times, shared details about his relationship with both actors, who he said he had close relationships with while the pair were married and dating.
He said he’d never witnessed Depp abuse Heard, but did say that the Pirates of the Caribbean star could be “cruel” and “surly” and “extremely paranoid” when drinking and using drugs, and he said he’d heard Depp say “awful” things about Heard in the past.
Wright lived on one of Depp’s properties for about nine months, he said, and formed a close bond with the actor in that time. He said he was also close with Depp’s children, who called him “Uncle iO.”
When Depp was sober, Wright described him as “lovely and magical and very funny.”
“Johnny, when sober, was incredibly ludic and imaginative and I felt a kindred connection with him and a shared perspective on life.”
However, when Depp drank or did drugs, which Wright said he witnessed often, he said Depp became a dark figure, talking poorly about Heard’s appearance and talent, occasionally throwing glasses or bottles, and acting jealous and paranoid.
He also recounted a time when he received a phone call from Heard and Depp after the incident where Depp found feces on his bed and tried to pin it on Heard.
Wright denied that he or Heard had defecated on the bed, but as he tried to explain this to Depp he said Depp became increasingly agitated.
“When I realized he was serious, I was like ‘Ok, first of all, I wasn’t there that day,'” Wright said.
“He became more and more agitated. Then I heard a noise and the phone dropped.”
Wright said he heard Depp’s voice say to Heard: “Oh, you think I hit you? You think I f–king hit you? What if I peel your f–king hair back?”
“Then I heard the phone drop and Amber screamed,” he said.
The court also heard the beginning of a deposition from Pennington, Heard’s former best friend.
Pennington said that while her relationship with Heard “grew apart” in recent years, she said she didn’t consider Heard an enemy.
She said she’d witnessed Depp and Heard’s fights over the years and described Depp’s behaviour as “angry and aggressive” during the fights.
However, she said she witnessed Heard become aggressive, too, noting one time when Heard either pushed or hit her when she was unable to find something in the house she was sharing with Heard after her divorce from Depp.
Pennington’s deposition continues Wednesday.
On Monday, lawyers attempted to paint Heard as a duplicitous witness, pointing to various photographs and television clips that were taken around the times of alleged abuse, arguing they did not show any visible injuries.
Heard defended herself, saying that she was often able to cover up the markings with makeup and reduce swelling with ice.
Heard also denied leaking photos of said injuries, which made their way to the cover of People Magazine in 2016. She also said she was not the one who leaked — the day before the deposition in her divorce settlement — a video of Depp smashing cabinets in a drunken rage.
Throughout Monday’s testimony, Heard insisted she “never wanted to hurt Johnny,” and said she intentionally tried to hide any physical injuries she sustained at the hands of Depp in an effort to “protect” him.
“All I have is my name. All I have is my integrity, and that is what he tried to take from me,” she said. She added that, in the divorce, she was “not interested in Johnny’s money.”
However, Depp’s lawyers argued that Heard was, in fact, out for Depp’s money, highlighting the fact that she has yet to make good on the charity donations she promised from her $7-million divorce settlement.
Heard had publicly promised to split the proceeds between two charities — the American Civil Liberties Union and a California children’s hospital.
“I use ‘pledge’ and ‘donation’ synonymously,” Heard testified.
“I don’t,” replied Vasquez.
Heard told the court she hasn’t been able to parcel out the money yet “because Johnny sued me.”
Earlier in the proceedings, which began on April 12 and will wrap up on May 27, Depp denied many of the allegations, insisting that he is a “Southern gentleman” and that he had not been addicted to alcohol or illicit drugs.
This week, the jury will also hear from Heard’s sister, Whitney Henriquez, as well as actor Ellen Barkin, who was in a brief relationship with Depp during the 1990s.
Depp is also expected to be called back to the witness stand as part of Heard’s case.