An emotional Amber Heard took the stand May 4th as she recounted her 23-month relationship with actor Johnny Depp. In her three-hour testimony, the Never Back Down actress disclosed intimate details of her life prior to meeting Depp, explaining her humble beginnings; and allegations of both the sexual and physical abuse she experienced during their marriage.
As the Aquaman actress settled into the witness stand, attorney Elaine Bedcroft wasted no time before asking Heard why she was before the court in the first place. Heard took a deep breath and proceeded to explain how her then-husband was suing her for an op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in December of 2018. “I struggle to find the words to describe how painful this is. This is horrible for me to sit here for weeks and relive everything.” Heard shared.
Heard’s “humble” beginnings and first meeting with Johnny Depp
During the beginning of her testimony, the Aquaman star shared her humble, working-class childhood, explaining to the court how she was often on scholarship for the majority of her education and worked all sorts of odd jobs in order to make her way out of the small Texas town she had grown up in. “I took any job that I could.” Heard said. She also revealed how she worked at a modeling agency which after some time, granted her the opportunity to take the headshots she needed for acting work.
Prior to her breakout role alongside ex-husband Johnny Depp, Heard took on what she described as “small bits”, calling her growth in the business a “slow progression”. Throughout the mid-2000s, she starred in minor roles for major films such as Pineapple Express, Zombieland, and Friday Night Lights. Heard also elaborated on her struggles, revealing that she’d attend over 10 auditions in a day and change in the back of the busses because she didn’t have a car.
After receiving her call-back for The Rum Diary, Heard met with Depp for the first time at a meeting which ended up in hours of conversation. “We talked about books, music, poetry. We liked a lot of the same stuff. Obscure writers, interesting books,” She explained how she found the Sweeny Todd actor charismatic, describing their first encounter as “unusual and remarkable because we were so alike.” At the time, both Heard and Depp were in long-term relationships.
The early days of their relationship
Amber Heard described her relationship with Johnny Depp as secretive in the beginning. Although both had split from their respective partners, Depp had not yet disclosed to the public his separation from Vanessa Paradis when he and Heard began seeing each other. Paradis and Depp were together for 14 years and share two children, Lily Rose, and Jack. “I had to sneak around and get brought to his house because he said everybody would blame me for the split with his ex,” Heard told the jury.
However, despite the grounds of their defamation trial, things weren’t always so bad between Heard and Depp. In a report by Fox News, she described their relationship in her testimony as beautiful. “I felt like this man knew me and saw me in a way that no one else had. I felt he understood me, I felt he understood where I came from. When I was around Johnny I felt like the most beautiful person in the world. I felt seen. It made me feel like a million dollars.”
Heard also shared how Depp often showered her with gifts — one of which included a Colt horse. “I couldn’t see straight, practically. I was head over heels in love, and he felt like that to me — he felt like he was also in love.”
Johnny Depp’s alleged abuse
After a few months into their marriage, Heard explained to jurors the beginning of her then-husband’s behavioral changes whenever he would be on drugs. “Johnny on speed is very different from Johnny on opioids, Johnny on opioids is very different to Adderall and cocaine Johnny – but I had to get good at paying attention to the different versions of him,”. Throughout their relationship, Depp was alleged to have gone through periods wherein he would fall off the radar sporadically; and upon his return, he would usually be “different”. In a report by Vulture, “Depp would turn Heard’s words around and “accuse me of saying something else,” she said. “He made comments about whoring myself out,” Heard said, saying Depp’s criticism related to her clothing and roles she auditioned for.”. Gradually, Heard claimed Depp’s anger to be more explosive, explaining that he would throw things at her like glasses that he used for alcohol or flip over tables.
When asked by Bedroft if she recalled the first time the Edward Scissorhands lead hit her, Heard quickly responded with a yes. “It’s seemingly so stupid,” Heard said. “But I will never forget it. It changed my life,”. The actress began to explain how it all started with her asking Depp about the tattoo he had on his arm. “I just laughed because I thought he was joking,” she said of it reading “Wino Forever,” “and he slapped me across the face.”. The tattoo, originally “Winona Forever”, was dedicated to Depp’s ex-fiancé Winona Ryder, but was later altered after they ended their engagement in 1993.
In Depp’s own testimony only about a week ago, the actor shared his own account of the story and clarified how that alleged incident did not happen and emphasized how he never hit his then-wife or any other woman for that matter. Instead, he shared how he was pressured by Heard to get a tattoo of her name on his body, which she succeeded in doing.“I was doing anything I could to put a smile on her face,” said Depp on the stand.
In light of all this, Heard confided in her therapist and her mother. “I felt safe talking to my mom because I knew that she understood these dynamics and she wouldn’t judge me for staying with him, for loving him,” Heard’s father was reportedly physically abusive toward her mother.
Vulture reports that Heard also described Depp allegedly raging during a couple’s getaway, penetrating her with his fingers to search for drugs. Heard described this alleged encounter as a “cavity search.” Heard, who started crying several hours into her testimony, said that, throughout their relationship, she had to figure out what Depp had ingested to know how to react.
Throughout her attorney’s line of questioning, Heard’s vision often panned the room, looking to Johnny every now and again whilst her ex-husband maintained his gaze to the floor.
This is a developing story. Amber Heard is expected to return to the witness stand this coming Thursday.