Amber Heard ended her testimony Tuesday after four days on the stand. Her relationship with James Franco was once again an issue in court. But aquaman Star, 36, seemed prepared for what Johnny Depp’s lawyer threw at her, including a long-standing domestic violence charge in 2009.
“I have never assaulted Mr. Depp or anyone else with whom I have been romantically linked, ever,” Heard told the court when cross-examination concluded.
Heard was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence after a fight with his ex-wife, Tasya van Ree, at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The old story was leaked to TMZ shortly after Heard filed for a temporary restraining order (TRO) from Depp in 2016. Ree released a statement at the time calling the disagreement a “misunderstanding” and that Heard was “wrongly accused” of assault. The charges were eventually dropped.
Whether Heard or Depp were responsible for leaking stories to the press was a point of contention between the actress and her attorney, Camille Vasquez. Heard accused Depp’s divorce attorney, Laura Wasser, of planting negative stories. Vasquez suggested that Heard sold the video of Depp breaking cabinets to TMZ and that the outlet owns the rights. Vasquez accused Heard of setting up a photo shoot and calling paparazzi when she applied for the TRO.
“What does that give me? If I wanted to leak things about Johnny, I could have done it in a much more successful way, in a bigger way for years,” Heard said, denying telling TMZ about their divorce.
“Not when you were extorting $7 million from him,” Vasquez said, referring to the divorce settlement Heard received.
“By the way, I got a fraction of what I was entitled to in the state of California,” Heard replied. “What extortion?”
During the redirect, Heard’s attorney, Elaine Bredehoft, asked why Depp promised never to look her in the eye again after they met in July 2016.
“Because he’s guilty,” Heard told the jury. The 36-year-old actress was moved. “He knows he’s lying. Otherwise why can’t he look at me? I survived that man and I’m here, and I can look at him.”
Depp seemed to find Heard’s response amusing.
Heard told his attorney that he was not seeking a financial settlement by pursuing abuse claims and that he could have gotten around $32 million from Depp.
“I realized it was what I was entitled to, but I didn’t want it. It’s that simple,” he said.
Earlier on Tuesday, a video was played in court of James Franco visiting Heard on May 22, 2016, the day before she filed for divorce from Depp. The late-night visit was after 11 pm I heard that Depp “hated” Franco, with whom he worked on two movies, and that he was extremely jealous of the actor.
The video of Franco and Heard was taken inside the elevator of the Eastern Columbia Building in Los Angeles, where the actress lived with Depp. Franco appears to put his head on Heard’s shoulders and she leans towards the actor.
Heard explained that he was trying to get “as much friendship as possible at the time” and that Franco was a neighbor.
“What did Mr. Franco do in the elevator before he put his head on your shoulder?” Bredehoft asked.
“He touched the side of my face and responded to what he saw,” Heard replied.
Franco was listed as a possible witness for Heard, but apparently will not testify. The actress’s team continued to present her defense case Tuesday afternoon after the actress ended up on the stand. Depp is suing Heard for $50 million over an op-ed she wrote in the Washington Post. Heard countersued the actor for $100 million.
Heard’s friend, iO Tillett Wright, was the second witness called. He testified about it in a video statement. The photographer lived in one of Depp’s penthouses during the former couple’s relationship. Wright claimed that the actor was “very open” in confiding in him about his substance abuse.
“Alcohol would bring out a very ugly side of him,” Wright said.
Wright testified that he witnessed Depp verbally abuse the actress. He also said that he heard of a case in which Heard was allegedly physically attacked on May 21, 2016. The topic returned to the apparent “human fecal matter” left in Depp and Heard’s bed weeks earlier. Depp believed that it was either Heard or Wright who defecated during the prank. Heard called Wright during her meeting with Depp.
Wright “started laughing”, which reportedly angered Depp. The actor allegedly threatened to “strip” the actress’s hair, according to Wright, and yelled, “You think I hit you.”
“I remember her screaming,” Wright said. Depp previously testified that no such attack occurred.
Heard’s former best friend, Raquel “Rocky” Pennington, was the next witness called. Her video testimony of her will resume on Wednesday.