Key moments in the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation trial

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Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard.
Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard.
Photo: AFP

Content warning: This story discusses sexual assault and abuse and contains strong language.

  • Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are suing each other for defamation.
  • A Virginia jury is hearing the case with closing arguments scheduled for 27 May.
  • Here we take a look at key moments in the trial so far.


Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are suing each other for defamation, each claiming they were abused before and during their roughly two-year marriage.

A Virginia jury is hearing the case with closing arguments scheduled for 27 May.


Below are key moments in the trial so far:

- Depp testified that he never hit Heard or any other woman. He said she was the one who became abusive and "bullied" him with "demeaning name calling."

"It seemed like pure hatred for me," Depp said. "If I stayed to argue, eventually, I was sure it was going to escalate into violence, and oftentimes it did."

- During an argument in Australia in early 2015, Depp said Heard threw a vodka bottle that severed the top of his right middle finger. The actor said he went into shock and wrote messages to Heard on the wall using blood from the finger.

Heard offered a different account, sobbing as she told the jury that Depp sexually assaulted her that night by inserting a liquor bottle in her vagina. "I was scared," she said. "I had just married him."

- A few months later, Heard said, Depp broke her nose and ripped out chunks of her hair during another violent encounter.

- Heard's attorneys introduced photos that they said showed injuries after various arguments, including scars on her arm that were visible as she posed on a red carpet, and redness and swelling around an eye that she said was struck by a phone thrown by Depp. Attorneys for Depp showed images from public appearances that they said were taken around the time of their fights and appeared to show no injuries.

- Depp testified that faeces were found in the couple's bed in 2016. One of his security guards said Heard told him it was "a horrible practical joke gone wrong." Heard denied any involvement and suggested one of the couple's dogs was responsible.

- Heard said Depp first became physically abusive when he slapped her after she laughed at a tattoo that said "Wino Forever." The tattoo previously said "Winona Forever," referring to Depp's former girlfriend, Winona Ryder.

- Jurors heard an audio clip of Depp threatening to cut himself with a knife during one of their last in-person encounters.

"That's psychologically, emotionally where I was," Depp said. "At the end, I was broken ... I thought the only answer is here, take my blood, that's all I've got left."

- Heard's lawyers introduced text messages in which Depp called Heard a "filthy whore" and said he wanted her dead.

- Writing to actor Paul Bettany in 2013, Depp said: "Let's drown her before we burn her" and "I will fuck her burnt corpse afterward to make sure she is dead."

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