Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are currently squaring off at the Fairfax County Courthouse in Virginia, where private details about their former relationship are being aired out.
The actor launched a $50 million lawsuit against his ex-wife in 2019, after she wrote about being an alleged victim of domestic violence in an op-ed for the Washington Post in December 2018.
While Johnny’s name was excluded from the piece, his legal team have argued that the op-ed implied that he “perpetrated domestic violence against her.”
The trial is expected to last until late May.
Back in November 2020, Johnny lost his highly publicised UK libel lawsuit case against British tabloid The Sun for calling him a “wife-beater.”
The court upheld that the tabloid’s claims were “substantially true,” and Amber testified to back up the claims. In March 2021, his attempt to overturn the decision was overruled.
However, in this case, he is suing Amber directly.
Johnny has testified that his “goal is the truth” as he seeks to clear his name in this trial, which is being televised via various outlets.
Speaking about his decision to launch legal action against Amber, Johnny told the court: “I felt it my responsibility to stand up not only for myself in my instance, but stand up for my children who at the time were 14 and 16..”
“They were in high school and I thought it was diabolical that my children would have to go to school and have their friends or people in school approach them with the infamous People magazine cover with Miss Heard with a dark bruise on her face.”
“It’s been six years of trying times. It’s really strange when one day you’re Cinderella so to speak, and in zero point six seconds you’re Quasimodo. And I didn’t deserve that, nor did my children, nor did the people who believed in me for all these years. I didn’t want anybody to believe that I had done them wrong or that I had lied to them or that I was a fraud.”
Read on for some of the biggest bombshells and revelations of the trial so far:
Amber describes the first time Johnny Depp allegedly hit her
Amber took the witness stand for the first time in the defamation trial earlier this month, and told the jury that Johnny physically abused her multiple times during their relationship.
The actress said the early days of their romance was “a beautiful and strange time” before things allegedly turned violent.
The Aquaman star brought up an alleged incident in 2013, which she said “changed her life.”
Amber claimed Johnny slapped her after she asked him to explain a “muddled, faded” tattoo that read “Wino”.
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“He said it said ‘Wino’. I thought he was joking and laughed, it was that simple, I laughed as I thought he was joking and he slapped me across the face and I laughed because I didn’t know what else to do. I thought this must be a joke,” she explained.
“I didn’t know what was going on. I just stared at him kind of just laughing still, thinking he would start laughing to tell me it was a joke.”
“He said ‘You think it’s funny b***h, you think you’re a funny b***h?’ and he slapped me again and it was clear it was not a joke anymore.”
“I as a woman and never been hit like that. He slapped me for no reason it seems like and I missed the point. I just stared at him, I didn’t react or move or freak out or defend myself, I just stared at him, he slapped me one more time, hard.”
“I didn’t know what to say, I didn’t know how to react, ‘God did he just hit me?’ I didn’t want this to be the reality, I know you don’t come back for that, you can’t hit a woman or a man or anyone, you can’t just hit someone.”
“I knew it was wrong and I knew I had to leave him and it broke my heart as I did not want to leave him.”
Amber said she decided to stay with Johnny after the alleged incident because he apologised and promised to never behave that way again.
However, Amber claimed Johnny was violent on multiple occasions during their relationship, usually when he was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. “This happened several times,” she told the court.
Earlier in the trial, Johnny testified that he never hit his ex-wife, and claimed that Amber was the abuser in their relationship.
Amber accuses Johnny of sexual assault
Amber made allegations of sexual assault along with other forms of domestic abuse against Johnny during opening statements.
The Aquaman actress’s attorney Ben Rottenborn told the courtroom Amber suffered domestic abuse by Johnny that “took many forms,” including physical, emotional, verbal and psychological.
Mr. Rottenborn said she “did suffer sexual violence at the hands of Depp…You will hear in the most graphic and horrifying terms about the violence that she suffered. You’ll hear that straight from her. She will get on the stand and she will tell you that. It happened.”
A spokesperson for Johnny denied the allegations and called it “fictitious” and “for the purpose of Hollywood shock value of which Amber has mastered and used to exploit a serious social movement.”
During her testimony earlier this month, Amber told the jury that Johnny threw her onto a countertop and sexually assaulted her with a liquor bottle during a trip to Australia in 2015.
Amber claimed the fight was prompted by Johnny’s jealousy and her concern about his drug use.
She said Johnny had repeatedly hit her, threw bottles at her and choked her against a refrigerator, before finally getting her on top of a countertop and penetrating her with a bottle.
Amber said: “I remember just not wanting to move.” She also said she remembered thinking: “Please, God, I hope [the bottle is] not broken.”
The 36-year-old claimed her ex repeatedly said: “I’ll fucking kill you.”
Amber also said she ended up with cuts on her arms and feet from the broken glass and claimed that at one point, Johnny held a broken bottle to her jaw and threatened to “carve up my face.”
Johnny sent texts about Amber’s ‘rotting corpse’
Among the many texts that have been read out in court from Johnny and Amber’s phones was one from an October 2016 exchange between Johnny and his longtime friend Isaac Baruch.
Johnny had texted to Isaac: “Hopefully that c***’s rotting corpse is decomposing in the f***ing trunk of a Honda Civic!!”
During a cross examination, Johnny said he is “not proud of any of the language that [he] used” in those texts.
Another one of Johnny’s texts brought up in court was one about drowning and burning Amber, in which Johnny added: “I will f*** her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure she is dead.”
Johnny says his daughter Lily-Rose skipped his wedding to Amber
Johnny revealed in court that his daughter Lily-Rose declined to attend his February 2015 wedding to Amber.
He said: “My daughter Lily-Rose did not come to the wedding. She and Ms. Heard were not on particularly great terms, for several reasons.”
The 22-year-old actress is the older of Johnny’s two children with ex Vanessa Paradis.
Johnny claims Amber did drugs on their wedding day
While taking the stand, Johnny accused Amber of being high on MDMA on their wedding day in February 2015.
He testified: “Amber, a couple of friends of mine… All of her gang were all partaking in the MDMA.”
When asked if he also took drugs that day, the actor claimed that he didn’t do any MDMA or drink alcohol, but admitted to smoking marijuana.
Johnny and his sister recall an abusive childhood
Both Johnny and his older sister Christi Dembrowski have testified that their late mother Betty Sue Palmer was abusive towards them growing up, as well as toward their father John Sr., who is 84.
Johnny said in court: “When Betty Sue, my mother, would go off on a tangent toward my father — and of course, in front of the kids, it [didn’t] matter to her — he amazingly remained very stoic and never, as she was rationing him with horrible things, he stood there and just looked at her while she delivered the pain, and he swallowed it. He took it.”
When asked why he stayed in his marriage to Amber despite the alleged abuse he faced, Johnny said: “I suppose because my father stayed [in his abusive marriage]. … And I didn’t want to fail. I wanted to try to make it work. I thought maybe I could help her. I thought maybe I could bring her around.”
“Because the Amber Heard that I knew for the first year, year and a half was not this, suddenly this opponent. It wasn’t my girl, she had become my opponent.”
Johnny shows his healed ‘mangled’ finger from fight in Australia
A point of contention in this case involves the infamous fight between Johnny and Amber in Australia, where he was filming a Pirates of the Caribbean movie in 2015.
This fight resulted in his right middle finger being severed at the tip after Amber allegedly threw a vodka bottle at his hand as it rested on a bar top. Amber’s legal team have denied this version of events, however.
During his testimony, Johnny’s team showed graphic, bloody photos of his finger taken that night and in the hospital.
At the time, he told doctors that it happened when his hand was caught on a door. Johnny said he lied at the time in order to keep Amber’s name out of the situation.
Johnny held up his now-healed “mangled” finger for the courtroom to observe and called it “funny-looking.”
Amber admitted to starting a physical fight
In audio recordings played by Johnny’s legal team, Amber admitted to having started a physical fight, in which she claimed to have “hit” him instead of “punching” him.
Amber could be heard saying in the recording: “You didn’t get punched; you got hit. I’m sorry I hit you like this, but I did not punch you. I did not f***ing deck you. I f***ing was hitting you. I don’t know what the motion of my actual hand was. But you’re fine. I did not hurt you. I did not punch you. I was hitting you.”
“I’m not sitting here bitching about it, am I? You are. That’s the difference between me and you. You’re a f***ing baby. You are such a baby. Grow the f*** up, Johnny.”
Johnny, who has testified multiple times that he has never struck Amber or any woman, was asked about a December 2015 incident when he allegedly head-butted Amber.
Johnny “vehemently” disagreed with this statement and argued that it could have been an accident while he attempted to restrain her.
A video was also released by Amber’s legal team that showed Johnny slamming kitchen cabinet doors and threatening to cut himself with a knife as Amber begged for him to stop.
Johnny recalls the ‘lowest point’ in his life
During his testimony on April 20, Johnny said he broke down crying during a trip to the Bahamas when he begged Amber to give him his medication amid a withdrawal from the opiates he had been taking after dental surgery.
He recalled: “That was the lowest I’d ever felt as a human being. Tears streaming down my face, begging another human being, ‘Please, please give me the meds that will take this away.’ And she would not.”
The makeup debate
Amber and her lawyers have claimed during the trial that she used a particular correcting kit to cover up bruising on her face, allegedly caused by her ex-husband.
Her legal team even showed the makeup palette to the jury, and said: “This was what she used. She became very adept at it.”
“You’re going to hear the testimony from Amber about how she had to mix the different colors for the different days of the bruises as they developed in the different coloring, and how she would use [this] to touch those up to be able to cover those.”
However, Milani Cosmetics has since claimed they didn’t release the product Amber said she used until after she and Johnny ended their relationship.
Milani stated that the brand did not release the concealer until 2017, while the alleged abuse was said to have taken place between 2013 and 2016.
The company wrote in the caption of their now-viral TikTok video: “You asked us… Let the record show that our Correcting Kit launched in 2017. We are here to provide the facts of the case.”
Therapist claims Amber and Johnny engaged in ‘mutual abuse’
Laurel Avis Anderson, a therapist who worked with the former couple, testified on April 14 that the couple engaged in “mutual abuse”.
When discussing Johnny’s past partners, she said: “I thought he had been well controlled. With Ms. Heard, he was triggered. They engaged in what I saw as mutual abuse.”
The therapist, who saw the couple several times between October and December 2015, testified that Johnny denied being violent. She also said the pair had “terrible skills” communicating.
She testified: “Ms. Heard had a jackhammer style of talking. She was very amped up. He had trouble talking at a similar pace…She loved him. He loved her. She believed that she wasn’t stupid. She knew what they were doing wasn’t healthy.”
Amber claims Johnny assaulted her on their honeymoon
On day 16 of the defamation trial, Amber claimed Johnny assaulted her on their honeymoon in July 2015.
The actress alleged Johnny slammed her against a wall and wrapped a shirt around her neck during their honeymoon on the Orient Express, shortly after he finished filming the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie.
In a sleeping car on the train, the 36-year-old claimed her now ex-husband slapped her across the face and repeatedly slammed her body against a wall.
She also alleged Johnny took his shirt off and wrapped it around her neck.
Amber said: “That’s how I woke up the next morning. I woke up with it still around my neck and a giant knot on the back of my head.”
On day 16 of the trial, Amber detailed multiple incidents of alleged abuse, and told the court: “Violence became normal towards the end [of the relationship with Johnny Depp].”
“It’s hard to say now, but the brain does with trauma what it does – puts it away as best it can.”
Amber recalled one incident that allegedly took place on 21 May 2016, when the actress claimed Johnny threw a phone at her face.
The court was shown a series of photos of Amber’s face looking red and blotchy, which were taken by her friend Rocky Pennington and shown to officers as evidence earlier in the trial.
Amber said her friend took the photos after the incident to “protect” her, and said: “We didn’t know what Johnny was going to do, so [Rocky] wanted to protect me.”
Amber denies ‘poop prank’
On her third day of testimony, Amber responded to allegations she deliberately left faecal matter in Johnny’s bed after they got into a fight in April 2016, shortly after her 30th birthday.
The actress said: “First of all, I don’t think that’s funny. I was not in a pranking mood. My life was falling apart.”
“I had just been attacked on my 30th birthday … it was not really a jovial time, and I don’t think that’s funny, period. That’s disgusting.”
Johnny previously alleged that he was “shown a picture” of faecal matter left on his side of the bed.
And on April 28, the actor’s longtime executive chauffeur and security guard Starling Jenkins II testified that he heard Amber say she left a “surprise” in Johnny’s bed while he drove her to Coachella after the alleged incident.
The actress said she doesn’t recall seeing any faecal matter on the bed, but suggested it could have come from Johnny’s Yorkshire Terrier dog Boo.
Amber claimed the dog has had “bowel control issues” since she was a puppy, after it allegedly ingested some of the actor’s marijuana.
Why Johnny won’t look at Amber
Johnny Depp’s lawyer revealed the real reason the actor won’t look at his ex-wife Amber Heard in court this week.
Since the trial kicked off last month, people tuning into the live-stream have noticed Johnny’s dedication to not looking at Amber in court, even when she was on the witness stand.
The 58-year-old’s refusal to look at his ex-wife was brought up in court on Monday, as one of his attorneys cross examined the actress.
Camille Vasquez said, “Mr. Depp hasn’t looked at you once this entire trial, has he?” to which Amber replied, “Not that I’ve noticed, no.”
— Law&Crime Network (@LawCrimeNetwork) May 16, 2022
After Johnny’s lawyer continued, “You’ve looked at him many times, haven’t you?” Amber said, “Yes, I have.”
Ms Vasquez then followed with, “You know exactly why Mr. Depp won’t look back at you, don’t you?”
The actress responded, “I do.”
“He promised you you would never see his eyes again, is that true?” Johnny’s attorney asked, before Amber told the court, “I don’t recall if he said that.”
Vasquez then played an audio recording of the former couple’s final meeting, which took place at a hotel in San Francisco in 2016, after she filed for divorce and obtained a restraining order against him.
In the audio clip, the court heard Amber try to hug Johnny, as she said, “Please I just want to hug you and say bye.”
But the actor refused, and told the actress, “I am nothing to you, and I will always be nothing to you. You will not see my eyes again.”
During the trial, Amber has detailed multiple incidents of alleged abuse, and has told the court that “violence became normal” towards the end of their relationship.
However, Johnny has testified that he never hit his ex-wife, and claimed that she was the abuser in their relationship.
The 58-year-old has said the allegations he was a “drunken, cocaine-fueled menace who beat women” have cost him “everything”.
The actor launched a $50 million defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife in 2019, after she wrote about being an alleged victim of domestic violence in an op-ed for the Washington Post in December 2018.
While his name was excluded from the piece, Johnny’s legal team have argued that the op-ed implied that he “perpetrated domestic violence against her.”
Amber has countersued Johnny, asking for $100 million and claiming she suffered “rampant physical violence and abuse” at his hands.
Back in November 2020, Johnny lost his highly publicised UK libel lawsuit case against British tabloid The Sun for calling him a “wife-beater.”
The court upheld that the tabloid’s claims were “substantially true,” and Amber testified to back up the claims.
In March 2021, his attempt to overturn the decision was overruled. However, in this case, he is suing Amber directly.
The trial at Fairfax County Courthouse in Virginia is expected to last another two weeks.
Johnny and Amber met in 2009 on the set of the film The Rum Diary, and were married in February 2015.
Their divorce was finalised two years later.