Johnny Depp's attorneys challenge Amber Heard on faeces prank, abuse claims and more

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
US actor Amber Heard testifies in the courtroom at the Fairfax County.
US actor Amber Heard testifies in the courtroom at the Fairfax County.
Photo: Steve Helber/AFP

  • On Monday, Johnny Depp's legal team began their cross-examination of Amber Heard in the couple's defamation trial.
  • The attorneys challenged Heard's claims that she suffered physical abuse before and during their brief marriage.
  • Depp has testified that he never hit Heard and argued that she was the abuser in their relationship.


Attorneys for Johnny Depp began their questioning of Amber Heard in the couple's defamation trial on Monday and challenged the Aquaman star's claims that she suffered physical abuse before and during their brief marriage.

Depp's attorneys introduced photographs of Heard making public appearances on red carpets and The James Corden Show shortly after times that she said Depp had struck her with his hands, on which he usually wore heavy rings.

The pictures shown to jurors appeared to reveal no injuries. Heard said the harm, which included what she thought was a broken nose, was not severe enough to be visible or was covered up by makeup.

Depp, 58, is suing Heard, 36, for $50 million, saying she defamed him when she claimed she was a victim of domestic abuse. Heard has countersued for $100 million, arguing that Depp smeared her by calling her a liar.

At the start of the cross-examination of Heard, an attorney for Depp asked Heard if she had abused Depp and was further harming him with false allegations.

"I could never hurt Johnny," Heard said.

Earlier, Heard told jurors that she filed for divorce from Depp in 2016 because she worried she would not survive physical abuse by him. She said she realised the relationship was beyond repair after he threw a cellphone that hit her in the face.

"I knew I had to leave him," she said. "I knew I wouldn't survive it if I didn't.

"I made the decision to file for divorce," she added. "It was hard because I loved Johnny so much."

The pair wed in February 2015, and their divorce was finalised about two years later.

'I want to move on'

Heard said the trial has forced her to live "over and over again the most intimate, embarrassing, deeply humiliating and personal things that I've survived," reports AFP.

"I want to move on, and I want Johnny to move on," she said. "I just want him to leave me alone."

Depp has testified that he never hit Heard and argued that she was the abuser in their relationship. He said she threw a vodka bottle at him in early 2015, severing the top of his right middle finger.

Heard said she did not cause the finger injury and said she only hit him to defend herself or her sister.

She also denied Depp's allegation that she had left faeces in a bed at one of his homes following a fight on her birthday. A security guard had testified that Heard told him the faeces were a "horrible practical joke."

Heard said she did not commit any prank that day, adding that she was "not in a pranking mood."

"I had just been attacked on my 30th birthday by my husband, with whom I was desperately in love and knew I needed to leave," she said.

They also grilled her extensively about a pledge she made to donate the $7 million from her divorce settlement from Depp to charity, reports AFP.

Heard acknowledged that she has not donated the entire amount yet but said that was because she needed the money to fight the defamation suit filed against her by Depp.

"I haven't been able to fulfil those pledges yet because I've been sued," she said.

The legal case centres on a December 2018 opinion piece by Heard that appeared in the Washington Post. The article never mentioned Depp by name, but his lawyer told jurors it was clear Heard was referencing him.

Depp, once among Hollywood's biggest stars, said Heard's allegations cost him "everything." A new Pirates of the Caribbean movie was put on hold, and Depp was replaced in the Fantastic Beasts film franchise, a Harry Potter spinoff.

Heard's attorneys have argued that she told the truth and that her opinion was protected free speech under the US Constitution's First Amendment.

Closing arguments are scheduled for 27 May.

Less than two years ago, Depp lost a libel case against the Sun, a British tabloid that labelled him a "wife-beater." A London High Court judge ruled that he had repeatedly assaulted Heard.

Depp's lawyers filed the case in Fairfax County, Virginia, because the Washington Post is printed there. The newspaper is not a defendant.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24