Amber Heard Details Abuse Allegations Against Johnny Depp During Defamation Trial
As the defamation suit that Johnny Depp has filed against his former spouse Amber Heard kicked off on Tuesday, Heard’s attorneys alleged a litany of instances of abuse by the actor, ranging from sexual abuse to domestic violence during their relationship and two-year marriage.
This lawsuit began after Depp took issue with a 2018 opinion piece Heard penned in The Washington Post, which did not name him but wrote about her experiences with abuse and added, “I had the rare vantage point of seeing, in real-time, how institutions protect men accused of abuse.”
Depp has claimed that Heard’s implication of him being an abuser in the article constituted defamation as it affected his career negatively, and his lawyer wrote in his initial complaint that it was “part of an elaborate hoax to generate positive publicity for Heard and advance her career.”
Heard and her attorney Elaine Bredehoft are not backing down from these claims and used their opening argument in the case to allege several chilling instances of abuse by Depp during their marriage. Depp and Heard first met while filming The Rum Diary in 2012. They began dating years later, before marrying for only 15 months from 2015 to 2016.
Among several claims made in court, it was alleged that Depp was frequently verbally and physically abusive, aggravated by his supposed reliance on drugs and alcohol throughout their marriage. Depp once reportedly slapped Heard in the face multiple times when she asked about his since-modified “Winona Forever” tattoo he got while dating Winona Ryder. After knocking Heard to the floor, he apparently sat down next to her and said “I thought I had put the monster away for good.”
The most alarming instance of abuse that was alleged was when Depp was driven into a rage after taking around eight ecstasy pills and proceeded to rip off Heard’s nightgown, drag her around the floor, and repeatedly strike her. “Then he penetrates her with a liquor bottle – that’s the Johnny Depp you’re going to hear about in this case,” Bredehoft claimed.
Depp’s team argued that he was a victim of emotional manipulation by Heard. Camille M. Vasquez, Depp’s attorney, claimed after Heard pursued Depp relentlessly, “the real Ms. Heard emerged,” when they got together, and in response to alleged manipulation, “Mr. Depp started coping with Ms. Heard in the same way he did a child.”
They also responded to Heard’s accusations following the opening arguments by trying to paint them as no more than, “Hollywood shock value of which Amber has mastered and used to exploit a serious social moment.”
Some notable witnesses will likely be called to Virginia for the court case including Elon Musk, and James Franco, who are both speaking on behalf of Heard. Heard allegedly opened up to Franco about a time Depp gave her bruises in a fight, and she dated Musk from 2016 to 2018, who offered to provide her security from the actor. Actor Paul Bettany will likely testify in defense of Depp in relation to text messages the two men exchanged in 2013.
This trial is set to last for about six weeks, and Heard has filed a counterclaim asking for the defamation suit to be dismissed.