Johnny Depp Has Won His Defamation Lawsuit Against Ex-Wife Amber Heard
Heard told jurors that Depp began hitting her early in their relationship and sexually abused her multiple times. Her evidence included photos of bruises and red marks on her face, and testimony from her friends, sister, and makeup artist, who said they either saw Depp be physically violent or had been told about the attacks at the time.
On May 5, Heard testified about how the two started arguing during a 2015 trip in Australia, and Depp became physically and sexually violent toward her. She said Depp “whacked” her, threw bottles at her, and penetrated her with a bottle.
“Johnny had the bottle inside of me and was shoving it inside of me over and over again,” Heard said.
Heard also testified about the first time Depp allegedly hit her after she laughed at one of his tattoos. She said Depp slapped her, and when she began laughing because she thought he was joking, he slapped her again. After he slapped her a third time, she said, she lost her balance.
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“I’m all the sudden realizing that the worst thing has just happened to me that could possibly happen to you,” Heard said. “I realize — I wish so much that he would have said he was joking.”
But over the weekslong trial in Fairfax, Virginia, Depp’s team tried to paint him as the domestic abuse victim, using audiotapes and text messages as evidence. Depp’s sister, best friend, former employees, and a psychologist testified that the actor would often hide from Heard when she became violent.
Depp testified that during a flight to Australia, Heard threw a vodka bottle at him, severing his finger. (Heard’s attorney told jurors Depp cut his own finger.) Lawyers also played audiotapes that Depp recorded in which Heard confirmed she threw pots and pans at him. In another recorded conversation, Heard said she hit Depp but didn’t punch him.
“I did not punch you,” Heard says in the audio recording. “I did not fucking deck you.”
The actors met on the set of The Rum Diary in 2009 and were married in 2015. Heard filed for divorce a year later and obtained a restraining order, alleging Depp had assaulted her. Depp responded by accusing her of “alleging abuse” to “secure a premature financial resolution.”
In 2016, they settled the divorce and released a joint statement saying their relationship was “intensely passionate and at times volatile” but that “neither party has made false accusations for financial gain.”
“There was never any intent of physical or emotional harm,” the statement added.
Two years later, Depp sued UK tabloid the Sun for libel after it called him a “wife beater.” In that case, Heard testified that Depp physically abused her 14 separate times. Depp ultimately lost the lawsuit.