In Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s trial, Depp’s ex-wife took the stand for the first time. Heard describes acts of violence by her ex-husband.
Fairfax – Johnny Depp and Amber Heard have been in court in the United States for several weeks. The reason for the process is a defamation lawsuit and damages of 50 million dollars (almost 48 million euros) from Depp. The “Pirates of the Caribbean” star accuses the 36-year-old of having seriously damaged his career with false allegations of domestic violence.
The background is a 2018 Washington Post article in which Heard described himself as a victim of domestic violence without naming Depp. Heard has responded to Depp’s defamation allegation with a counterclaim against the 58-year-old, demanding $100 million in damages. She accuses the actor of “unbridled physical violence”.
Trial: Johnny Depp’s ex-wife Amber Heard cries on the witness stand
Ex-wife Amber Heard (36) took the witness stand for the first time on Wednesday (May 4th). “I’m here because my ex-husband sued me,” Heard said when questioned by her attorney. It was “terrible” for her to “experience everything again” here for weeks and to talk to Depp about her past chapter. “I struggle for words to describe how painful this is,” said the Aquaman actress.
Through tears, Heard described an incident from 2012, early in their relationship, when she was allegedly first hit by Depp. He was using alcohol and drugs when their conversation about a tattoo on his arm ended in physical assault. At first she thought it was a bad joke, but Depp hit her in the face three times in a row. “It changed my life,” Heard said, visibly upset. Depp then apologized to her in tears on his knees and promised he would never do it again.
Death threat against Amber Heard: Actress with serious allegations against Johnny Depp
Depp also assured her “that he was finally done with the drugs and alcohol”. However, he quickly relapsed into his addiction. She emphasized that “Johnny on amphetamine was very different from Johnny on opiates” and that “drinking correlated with violence.” She also revealed that she was sexually assaulted by Depp in 2013 when he accused her of stealing his cocaine. The Aquaman actress described verbal abuse in which Depp allegedly threatened to kill her. He called her a “whore” and accused her of cheating on him for no reason. Heard’s lawyers showed photos of the actress, such as a bruise on her upper arm.
However, she decided to stay with him. “I didn’t want to leave him, I wanted him to be better,” she said in court. She wants to continue her testimony on Thursday (May 5th). Depp, in a gray suit and sometimes with dark glasses, listened almost motionless to what his ex-wife said from a few meters away. He avoided eye contact, keeping his head down most of the time.
Week-long trial: Johnny Depp denies Amber Heard’s allegations of violence under oath
In his four-day testimony on the witness stand in Fairfax County Court, Virginia, Depp denied under oath that he ever struck Heard. The actor admitted that there had been arguments in their relationship. “But I never got to the point of hitting Miss Heard in any way, nor have I ever hit a woman in my life,” Depp said. Heard, in turn, had a “need for violence,” he accused his ex-wife.
After a good dozen days of the process, Depp’s team had already completed its evidence on Tuesday (May 3rd). Around two dozen witnesses had their say, including the actors’ assistants, psychologists, police officers and financial advisors. Cell phone videos and audio recordings of the couple’s arguments, some shocking, were presented in court. The mud fight in front of the jury is broadcast by court cameras. (fh with dpa/AFP))
List of rubrics: © Elizabeth Frantz/dpa