The biggest bombshells from Amber Heard's final day on the stand in Johnny Depp defamation trial
Amber Heard was grilled by Johnny Depp's legal team during her fourth and final day on the witness stand Tuesday, fielding questions about alleged infidelity, sexual assault, her wedding day, and, yet again, the fecal matter found in the bed she once shared with Depp.
The Pirates of the Caribbean star is suing Heard for $50 million over her 2018 Washington Post op-ed detailing her experiences as a domestic violence survivor. Though Heard never mentioned Depp by name in the piece, his lawyers argue that references to him (and Heard's previous abuse allegations) are clear, and damaged Depp's career and reputation. Heard has filed a $100 million countersuit, claiming Depp and his legal team defamed her by calling her allegations false.
In court Tuesday, Depp's legal team challenged Heard's abuse allegations and attempted to paint her as the aggressor, presenting images of Heard without visible injuries and repeatedly pointing out that she didn't seek medical treatment after the alleged assaults. Heard pushed back: "It's always been my own testimony that I hit [Depp]," she testified at one point. "I had to defend myself the best I could, but it was after years of not defending myself."
Following redirect, Heard's friends, writer and photographer iO Tillett Wright and former neighbor Raquel Pennington, testified in pre-recorded depositions. Below are key moments from Heard and company's time on the stand.
Depp's attorney questions Heard over alleged sexual assault in Australia
Depp's defense returned to Heard and Depp's altercation in Australia in 2015 and questioned Heard about the alleged sexual assault in their shared residence. Heard previously testified that Depp penetrated her with a liquor bottle and "said he would kill me." She said of the aftermath, "I remember being in the bathroom. I remember retching. I remember I couldn't control my bladder. I remember there was some blood on the floor."
When pressed on why she didn't seek medical treatment, Heard testified that she did not need it and did not want anyone to know about the alleged assault. She also denied Depp's previous testimony that she severed the tip of his finger after smashing a liquor bottle on it. "Mr. Depp lost the tip of his finger after you threw a bottle at him, is that right?" Depp's attorney asked in redirect. "That is incorrect," Heard said. "You're the one who assaulted someone with a bottle in Australia, isn't that right, Ms. Heard?" Depp's attorney pressed. "I didn't assault Johnny in Australia," Heard testified. "I didn't assault Johnny ever."
Heard fields questions about her own drug use
Much has been made about Depp's alleged substance abuse during the trial so far, and on Tuesday his attorneys tried to show that Heard also used drugs and alcohol to excess, repeatedly grilling her about her own habits. The actress denied doing cocaine (one of Depp's alleged drugs of choice) but admitted to taking MDMA with Depp, and mushrooms. Depp's attorney questioned Heard's characterization of Depp as a drug-fueled "monster" with an email itinerary from their wedding, which included a blurb that read "Dance party and drugs and music." Depp's attorney asked, "You planned to have drugs at your wedding to someone who you characterized as a drug addict?" Heard testified that she and Depp planned to attend "separate parties."
"I was not with Johnny," Heard said. "We just weren't around each other that evening when we had kind of separate parties."
Depp's team presents more audio clips, photos, and videos, including surveillance footage with James Franco
During a tense cross-examination, Depp's team again presented audio of Heard admitting to striking Depp. "You f---ing hit me last night," Depp can be heard saying to Heard, who replies, "I pushed you… Don't act like you don't participate." In another, Heard says to Depp, "I didn't punch you. I was hitting you… you're a f---ing baby. You are such a baby." Heard said it's "always been my own testimony" that she hit Depp, adding, "I had to defend myself the best I could, but it was after years of not defending myself."
In another audio recording, Heard laughs excessively and calls Depp a "washed-up piece of s---," while Depp responds with insults of his own. Heard testified that she was "trying my best not to show my pain" in the audio.
Later, photos were shown of Heard at public events, including a 2015 appearance on The Late Late Show With James Corden, after Depp's alleged attacks without visible injuries. Heard maintained that she had bruised eyes and a split lip during her Late Late Show appearance, testifying that she covered them with makeup.
Depp's team also pulled surveillance footage of Heard's former costar James Franco arriving at her penthouse after she filed a restraining order against Depp in 2016. Depp's team alluded to a possible romantic relationship between the two, but Heard maintained that they were just friends and neighbors. (Franco and Heard's ex-boyfriend Elon Musk are included on Heard's witness list, but neither is expected to testify.)
Heard doubles down on claims the op-ed isn't about Depp
Depp's team revisited the op-ed at the center of the trial, directing questions toward Heard centered on their belief that she wrote the piece about her ex-husband. To prevail in court, Depp must prove Heard made false and defamatory statements with malice. However, the omission of his name in the piece presents challenges for Depp. "The testimony that she [initially] wanted his name included [in the op-ed] may suggest malice," Jill Huntley Taylor, a legal analyst and CEO of a trial strategy and jury consulting firm for civil and criminal cases, previously told EW. "But the timing prior to her movie release may suggest her real motive was to benefit herself."
Heard doubled down on claims that the op-ed is not about Depp. Instead she said the article reflects her personal experiences after she became associated with domestic violence. In one passage of the op-ed, Heard writes: "Imagine a powerful man as a ship, like the Titanic. That ship is a huge enterprise. When it strikes an iceberg, there are a lot of people on board desperate to patch up holes — not because they believe in or even care about the ship, but because their own fates depend on the enterprise."
When Depp's team asserted that Heard was referring to Depp as the "powerful man," the actress denied the characterization. "I'm making an analogy to a powerful man as a ship. I was talking about a bigger issue than Johnny," Heard said, adding that she wanted to show that "when powerful men, in general, do something horrible… there is a system in place to clean up after them." Heard testified that she wrote the op-ed in the context of a "larger phenomenon" amid the #MeToo movement.
Heard's friend testifies Depp said he 'can punch her in the face' after their wedding
In pre-recorded deposition from March, Heard's friend iO Tillett Wright testified about Depp's drug use and discussions he had with Depp about the actor's fights with Heard. During one instance with Depp, "He told me that he had struggled with never not drinking and not doing drugs," Wright said. "He told me he didn't enjoy being sober but people around him were concerned."
Wright said Depp confided about his "great bouts of jealousy" that "led to drinking," which impacted his relationships with former partners, including Winona Ryder and Kate Moss. "He could be mean and vicious when drunk or high," Wright said. Later Wright recalled an alleged conversation with Depp after his wedding to Heard. Depp allegedly told Wright, "We're married. Now I can punch her in the face and nobody can do anything about it."
Wright also addressed Depp's previous testimony accusing Heard of leaving human feces on his side of the bed after an argument in 2016. (Heard denied the allegations in her own testimony earlier this week.) Through emotional testimony, Wright said Depp accused him and Heard of leaving the feces on the bed, allegations he called "ridiculous." After the incident, Wright said he received a call from Heard and overheard Depp screaming at her: "What if I peel your f---ing hair back?" Wright testified that he called the police, saying, "I heard the phone drop and heard her screaming. I remember her screaming."
While Heard's time on the stand is now over, the trial will continue on with additional witnesses on Wednesday.