Deep, 58, is suing his former partner for $50 million (40 million pesos) over an article he wrote in 2018 that claimed he was a victim of domestic violence. During the first three weeks of the trial, Mr Depp told jurors that he suffered from Ms Heard unstable mood and her tendency to mistreat and abuse him. But this week, Mrs Hurd, 36, told a different story, instead of describing the overbearing and abusive Mr Depp, prone to jealous rampages and drug binges. He, in turn, sued Mr Depp for $100 million.
Both denied any abuse.
This story contains descriptions of violence that readers may find shocking. The high-profile process captivated viewers around the world. Mr Depp’s fans have taken to social media to accuse Ms Heard of testifying and crying. But Ryan Baker, a Los Angeles-based lawyer representing clients in defamation cases, told the BBC that Ms Hurd’s testimony is compelling. After a month of testing, take a look at this week’s highlights and what to expect next.
Among the only similarities between Mr Depp and Ms Hurd were their descriptions of their first days together. Ms Heard, like her ex-husband, described a close and immediate connection. I couldn’t see straight,” he said.
“I have never felt such love. I felt that he recognized me, and I recognized him.” But that bond was broken, he said, by a sudden transformation.
First slap ‘changed my life’
According to him, Mr Depp disappeared for several days and returned drunk, drunk and angry. “He was the love of my life,” Ms Heard said. “But it was different. And that other thing was terrible.”
He recalled the first incident of alleged abuse after asking for a tattoo on Mr Depp’s arm that read “Win Forever”. “I laughed…and he punched me in the face,” she said. Miss Heard laughed again, she declared, thinking she was joking. According to him, he hit her two more times.
“It changed my life,” he said. “I knew you wouldn’t come back from there.
Earlier in court, Mr Depp testified that the tattoo controversy “didn’t happen” and never involved Ms Heard. According to Ms Hurd, Mr Depp’s rages were easily triggered by feelings of jealousy. “He accused me of having an affair,” Ms Hurd said. “I’m trying to defuse the situation by telling him I’m not sleeping with this person, and I’m not sleeping with that person.”
Jealousy over ‘hated’ James Franco
Mr Depp particularly hated Mrs Heard’s “Adela Diaries” co-star James Franco. “He hated, he hated James Franco,” he said. He testified that the jealousy escalated into a fight on a harrowing flight from Boston to Los Angeles in 2014, in which he was allegedly beaten.
“He just kicked me in the back. I fell to the ground,” she said.
This particular fight has already been told to jurors several times. According to Mr Depp and members of his entourage, Mrs Heard was the aggressor.
The actor said he locked himself in the plane’s bathroom to avoid his then-partner. “I knew she was ready for some kind of fight,” Depp told the court. “I went to the bathroom, locked the door, lay on the bathroom floor and fell asleep. I stayed there until the end of the flight.
Mr Depp’s substance abuse was another common topic during the trial. The actor admitted to being addicted to the opioid Roxycodone, which he claims was prescribed for a back injury. But after rehabilitating in 2014, he said he maintained a healthy relationship with drugs and alcohol.
Miss Heard described it differently. During her two days at the booth, she spoke of countless instances of alcohol, cocaine and painkiller abuse by her ex-partner. “He would pass out, get sick, lose control of himself,” he said.
According to Ms Hurd, one of Mr Depp’s happened in front of his children. In court on Wednesday, he told jurors that Mr Depp was upset while on vacation on his private yacht because he had to sell the boat to author JK Rowling. According to him, Mr Depp was drinking and trying to hide alcohol in a cup of coffee.
Rampant drug abuse
As he became more and more — and more visible — drunk, his then 14-year-old daughter became more and more distraught, Ms Hurd said. “He jumped off the boat,” he said. “It looked a little intimidating like no one would do that if they were all right.” The girl began to cry and breathe rapidly, in her words, “almost like a panic attack.”
According to her, Mr Depp was angry when Miss Heard tried to comfort her. Mr Depp accused her of “talking about him” and “calling him an alcoholic in front of the kids”. He allegedly rammed Ms Heard against a wall inside the yacht and called her an “embarrassment”. Jurors heard several disturbing allegations of sexual assault. Ms Heard said that during a weekend with friends in May 2013, Mr Depp accused her of encouraging suggestive advances that he believed were women.
The woman “leaned over me, put her head on my shoulder and put her hand on my arm,” Ms Hurd testified. Mr Depp got angry, he said. The two returned to their trailer park, where the fighting intensified. According to Ms Hurd, Mr Depp ripped open her underpants and conducted a “cavity search” looking for cocaine.
A violent ‘cavity search’
American actress Amber Heard testifies in Fairfax County District Court in Fairfax, Virginia, on May 5, 2022. Earlier in court, psychologist Don Hughes testified that Ms Heard told her the same story about this alleged attack. Later, Ms Hurd struggled not to cry as she told jurors that Mr Depp had raped her with a bottle.
The court adjourned for a week. When jurors return to court on May 16, they will hear more from Ms Heard. He will answer other questions from his lawyers before being cross-examined.
The court of public opinion has not been favourable to her until now. TikTok, Twitter and YouTube are inundated with fan accounts supporting Mr Depp and accusing Ms Hurd of making false accusations of trying to ruin her career. “In the beginning, the cards were against her,” said reporter and writer Cooper Lawrence, who has written extensively on celebrity culture.
“He’s the biggest star, he has a huge following, and they believe him.” Throughout Mr Depp’s career and past relationships, nothing like this has come out before, Ms Lawrence notes. “So what is this new factor?
But in court in Virginia, Mr Depp faces his biggest challenge yet, lawyer Ryan Baker told the BBC. Baker said the critical question was whether Ms Heard could claim to be a victim of some form of domestic violence, as she wrote in 2018. Mr Baker believes the abuse could be widespread – physical, emotional or verbal – as Ms Hurd did not report any specific cases of abuse in the editorial. “For the jury to be on Johnny Depp’s side, they will have to completely ignore Amber Heard’s testimony that she is a liar,” he said.