Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard defamation trial: This week’s craziest and most disturbing moments

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There was no shortage of explosive moments during the fourth week of Johnny Depp’s defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard, who took the stand in her own defense and accused the actor of repeated sexual assaults.

The “Pirates of the Caribbean” star is suing his ex-wife for $50 million over a 2018 op-ed by Heard published in the Washington Post in which she referred to herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.”

Although the piece didn’t identify Depp by name, the impact on his career has been “catastrophic,” his agent, Jack Whigham, testified. 

A series of photos of Amber Heard testifying May 4, 2022, at Johnny Depp’s defamation trial against her.
(Elizabeth Frantz/Pool/Reuters)

Depp, once among the highest-paid actors in the world, can no longer land a studio movie role, his team claims.

Heard, 36, has countersued for $100 million, accusing Depp, 58, and his former attorney of conspiring to “destroy and defame” her.


The trial broke for a scheduled one-week break Thursday and is set to resume May 16, with Heard returning to the witness stand in the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Virginia.

Amber Heard says Johnny Depp raped her with a liquor bottle 

The pair had just married, and Heard flew to Australia to visit Depp while he was filming “Pirates 5” in March 2015. Depp was high and drunk and allegedly beat and sexually assaulted her for three days, she told jurors in between sobs.

Amber Heard testifies May 5, 2022, in Fairfax, Va.
(Jim Lo Scalzo via Reuters)

Depp allegedly tore off her nightgown, dragged her across broken glass and repeatedly punched her. 

“At some point, he’s on top of me,” she told jurors. “I’m looking in his eyes, and I don’t see him anymore … It was black. I’ve never been so scared in my life.”


The next thing she remembered was being bent over on the bar with her chest up and something inside her.

“I thought he was punching me. I felt this pressure. I felt this pressure on my pubic bone,” she said. “Johnny had the bottle inside of me and was shoving it inside of me over and over again,” while he threatened to kill her, she testified.

Amber Heard testifying May 5, 2022, in ex-husband Johnny Depp’s defamation trial against her.
(Jim Lo Scalzo via Reuters)

She looked around and saw all the broken glass on the floor. 

“I didn’t know if the bottle he had inside me was broken,” she said.

Heard’s lawyer, Elaine Bredehoft, showed Heard a photo of two empty liquor bottles. She identified one that appeared to be Maker’s Mark whiskey as Depp’s alleged weapon. 

The liquor bottle Amber Heard says Johnny Depp used to sexually assault her.
(Evidence photo)

Depp has accused Heard of being the abuser and told jurors she hurled a vodka bottle at him that smashed and severed his finger. She implied in her testimony that Depp severed his own fingertip while punching a wall-mounted phone.

Jurors were shown photos of the extensive damage to the property after the savage blowup, including a blood-smeared sofa, defaced art and shattered glass strewn on floors.

The actress described other alleged sexual assaults during their toxic relationship.

Jurors see photos of Amber Heard with two black eyes

Jurors were shown a series of photos of Amber Heard with two black eyes, a busted lip and what she said was a broken nose after a vicious brawl in December 2015 at the couple’s Los Angeles apartment.

Evidence photos showing Amber Heard with a black eye, an alleged broken nose and a clump of her hair on the floor.
(Evidence photos)

“I thought this is how I die. He’s going to kill me now,” Heard testified. She said Depp repeatedly hit her and headbutted her during the alleged Dec. 15 beating that left her with two bruised eyes. 

He dragged her to their bed and allegedly kneeled on her back and ground her head into the mattress as he railed, “I f—king hate you, I f—king hate you,” she said. The bed splintered during the struggle. 

Evidence photos showing Amber Heard with a split lip and a bed with a splintered frame.
(Evidence photos)

“I remember trying to scream, and I couldn’t scream. I was suffocating in this pillow top,” she told jurors.

She lost consciousness and awoke when she heard her best friend’s voice.

The photos also showed a clump of hair on the floor that she alleged Depp yanked out, spilled wine and a bizarre message written in a Sharpie pen on the countertop.

Depp ‘hated James Franco,’ Heard testifies 

Heard said Depp was constantly accusing her of having an affair with her co-star James Franco. “It was a nightmare,” she told jurors.

James Franco and Johnny Depp.
(Mario Anzuoni/Jim Watson, both via Reuters)

Heard and Franco starred in “Pineapple Express” and, in 2014, Heard started filming “Adderall Diaries” with him, enraging Depp.

“He was mad at me for taking the job,” she said. “He hated, hated James Franco.”


After filming a sex scene with Franco, Heard said Depp lost it on a private flight from Boston to Los Angeles. She said he kept asking her “If I liked it and if I was wet” in front his friends and security.

He allegedly kicked, slapped and berated her, and at one point passed out on the floor of the plane’s bathroom. Heard described Depp as jealous and controlling.

Pysch expert says Heard was at risk of ‘lethal domestic violence’

Defense expert Dr. Dawn Hughes told jurors Heard was abused by Depp and at risk of “lethal domestic violence.”

Amber Heard testified May 5, 2022, during Johnny Depp’s defamation trial. 
(Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool Photo via AP)

“Mr. Depp threatened to kill her. The increase in severity of the abuse, the forced sexual activity, the choking behavior, his obsessive jealousy, the control aspect and his threatening suicide — to kill himself” were factors that played into this determination, she said.

“This means a woman is at risk for more serious, more lethal domestic violence,” Hughes testified. The forensic psychologist said Heard suffered from PTSD caused by “intimate partner violence.”

Ex-wife’s op-ed cost Depp $40M: accountant

Depp’s team called forensic accountant Michael Spindler Tuesday as its final witness before turning the stage over to Heard.

He told jurors the actor lost a whopping $40 million in earnings due to the op-ed that described him an abuser between Oct. 18, 2018 and Oct. 31, 2020. 

Johnny Depp and wife Amber Heard attend the red carpet event for “Black Mass” at the 72nd Venice Film Festival in northern Italy Sept. 4, 2015. 
(Manuel Silvestri via Reuters)

Three days after the piece landed on the front page of the Washington Post, Disney informed Depp he was out as Jack Sparrow in the sixth “Pirates” movie, a loss of $22.5 million, minus agent’s fees.

The “Black Mass” star also missed out on other potential movie roles and endorsements based on a comparison with his earnings in 2017.  

But Spindler conceded during cross-examination that he did not evaluate whether anything other than the op-ed could have led to the loss of revenue, like Depp’s lawsuit against The Sun newspaper in London for calling him a “wife-beater.”

Between 2009 and 2019, Depp earned about $459 million.

Heard gave Depp a black eye: security guard

Bodyguard Travis McGivern told jurors he saw Heard slug Depp in the face as he tried to separate them during a wild brawl in Los Angeles on March 23, 2015.

Heard had already chucked a can of Red Bull at Depp, hitting him in the back, and spat on him as she yelled, “‘You’re f–king washed up, you’re a f–king c—!'” McGivern testified. He was the first witness during the trial to say Heard got physical with Depp. 

Amber Heard testifying May 5, 2022, against ex-husband Johnny Depp.
(Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via Reuters)

“I saw a closed fist contact Mr. Depp in the left side of his face,” McGivern testified. 

The punch left Depp with a “shiner,” said McGivern, who insisted they leave immediately. Jurors were shown photos of Depp’s injuries taken by another security guard after the altercation.

Evidence photos showing injuries Johnny Depp says he sustained after ex-wife Amber Heard allegedly slugged him in the face in March 2015. 
(Evidence photos)

“I let him get hit by a Red Bull can, I let him get punched,” he said. “My job is to ensure the safety and well-being of my clients, and I felt like I hadn’t done that.”


Heard has admitted she decked Depp during the argument but has claimed it was only after he shoved her sister, Whitney Heard.  

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