Amber Heard returned to the stand as a rebuttal witness for her defense ahead of Friday’s closing arguments in ex-husband Johnny Depp‘s defamation case against her, sharing details about what she’s experienced since the highly-publicized trial began on April 11 in Fairfax County, Va.
The actress countered claims previously brought forth by Depp’s defense, including that she leaked videos and information to paparazzi and faked bruises. In emotional testimony, Heard also spoke about how she has suffered publicly following comments made by Depp’s attorney Adam Waldman, wherein he called her allegations a hoax, sharing that she receives death threats on a daily basis.
“I am harassed, humiliated, threatened every single day — even just walking into this courtroom [and] sitting here in front of the world, having the worst parts of my life things I’ve lived through used to humiliate me,” Heard testified. “People want to kill me and they tell me so everyday. People want to put my baby in the microwave. They tell me that. Johnny threatened, promised me if I ever left him, he’d make me think of him every single day that I lived.”
She called the experience “agonizing” and humiliating. “The campaign against me that’s echoed every single day on social media and now in front of camera in this room — every single day I have to relive the trauma,” Heard testified. “I received hundreds of death threats regularly, if not daily, since this trial started — people mocking my testimony about being assaulted… I hope no one has to go through something like this. I just want Johnny to leave me alone. I’ve said that for years now.”
During cross-examination from Depp’s defense, Heard vehemently denied leaking information to TMZ, including an anonymous Dropbox video that showed Depp slamming cabinets in his kitchen (which was previously shared in court) and information about her whereabouts when she filed her temporary restraining order against Depp in 2016, bruised face in tow. “I did not call TMZ or any other news source,” Heard testified. She had nothing to do with the video, nor photographers showing up to the courthouse where she obtained the restraining order, she testified.
Heard also elaborated on previous audio shared in court in which she told Depp, “Tell the world, Johnny. Tell them, ‘I, Johnny Depp, a man, I’m a victim too of domestic violence,'” challenging him to see if anyone would believe him. She pointed to the mounting evidence of abuse towards her as context. “People don’t have this type of evidence,” Heard testified. “Thats what I was saying, [that] it would be crazy to challenge it this way.”
Heard’s testimony comes after she finished four days of initial deposition last week, doubling down on allegations that Depp physically and sexually assaulted her and recounting the violence in emotional testimony. She also maintained that her op-ed at the center of the trial is not about Depp. It only reflects her personal experiences after she became associated with domestic violence, she testified.
Depp returned to the stand as a rebuttal witness for his defense Wednesday, once again denying the abuse allegations. “It’s insane to hear heinous accusations of violence, sexual violence, that she’s attributed to me,” he testified. “I don’t think anyone enjoys having to split themselves open and tell the truth, but there are times when one just simply has to because it’s gotten out of control.” He called Heard’s allegations “ridiculous,” “humiliating,” “ludicrous,” and “savage.”
The actor is suing Heard for $50 million over a 2018 Washington Post op-ed she wrote chronicling her experiences as a domestic violence survivor. Though Heard never mentions Depp by name, his lawyers argue that references to their client (and Heard’s previous abuse allegations following their 2017 divorce) are clear, claiming the essay damaged Depp’s career and reputation. Heard filed a $100 million countersuit, claiming Depp and his legal team defamed her by calling her allegations a hoax.
Witnesses so far include Depp and Heard’s sisters, as well as actress Ellen Barkin, whom Depp had a sexual relationship with in 1994 and starred opposite in 1998’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Barkin testified on behalf of Heard’s defense, sharing details about Depp’s “angry” and “jealous” behavior. Depp’s ex-girlfriend, model Kate Moss, also testified on his behalf, refuting rumors that Depp pushed her down a flight of stars, which Heard had insinuated in previous testimony. Warner Bros. exec Walter Hamada also testified on Depp’s behalf, denying assertions that Heard’s Aquaman 2 role was reduced after Depp’s alleged “smear campaign” to paint her as a liar.
Closing arguments will be presented Friday. Deliberations begin Tuesday, following the Memorial Day weekend.