“He was mad at me for taking a job with james frank,” amber heard said of her ex-husband, Johnny Depp, Thursday. “He hated, he hated James Franco.”
Such glimpses into Depp’s psyche have already become the norm over the course of Heard’s testimony this week. They’re in the Virginia courtroom because Depp is suing Heard for defamation; he told the jury during his testimony earlier in the trial that he wants to clear his name.
Heard was in the middle of a second day of testimony, recounting in the courtroom in Fairfax, Virginia, how Depp allegedly abused her for years over the course of their relationship. The details of her supposed methods of control went on and on. Depp filed the lawsuit for a Washington Post opinion piece that Heard published in 2018. She never mentioned Depp by name, but described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse”, which Depp has claimed is a clear reference to him. (Heard is countersuing Depp for defamation, which the jury is also considering.)
Heard said that Depp closely monitored her acting roles and public appearances — how she dressed, how she acted — and that she would get bouts of paranoia. “She got really nasty,” Heard said as she summed up a threatening encounter. Depp allegedly told her that no one liked her and that “everyone warned me about you.”
Heard’s testimony has become part of a timeline of her relationship with Depp, and how it became progressively violent as time went on. During an outburst, she said, Depp sexually assaulted her with a glass bottle while he threatened to “kill me.”
“I’m on the counter, he had me by the neck,” Heard said. “I just remember being very still, not wanting to move.”
The granular view of Heard and Depp’s marriage also provided a partial portrait of the protections Depp supposedly enjoyed as a wealthy and world-famous actor. Once, on a plane, Heard claimed, Depp slapped and kicked her in the back and knocked her to the ground.
“You could hear a pin drop on that plane,” Heard said. “You could feel the tension, but nobody did anything. I just remember feeling so embarrassed that he could kick me to the ground in front of people.”
Depp, who has been mostly motionless and kept his eyes on the table during Heard’s testimony, grimaced slightly and raised his eyebrows.
Whether Depp’s earlier testimony during the trial had been damaging to Heard (she reportedly changed her PR team last week after a series of negative headlines, and her fans created a visible show of support for him online and outside the courthouse), Heard’s account of her actions has been harrowing in its own way. As she finished her testimony for the day, her attorneys showed several photos of Heard’s bruised face. It would be some of the last footage the seven-person jury would see before the trial is suspended for about a week and a half. After he starts again later this month, Heard is expected to return to the stand for cross-examination.