Amber Heard took the stand for a second day Thursday in the defamation suit filed by her former husband, fellow actor Johnny Depp, who accused her of falsely alleging he abused her.
Heard took the stand Wednesday for more than two hours and described meeting Depp, the beginnings of their romantic relationship and when she alleges things turned abusive. She accused Depp of taking cocaine and abusing her, as well as performing a cavity search on her after he accused her of stealing his drugs.
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Court adjourns for a week; judge reminds jury no social media
Fairfax County Circuit Judge Penney Azcarate ended Amber Heard's testimony for the day at about 5:30 p.m. ET, adjourning the court for about a weeklong break.
Court will resume 9 a.m. ET on May 16 and continue until closing arguments scheduled for May 27. Azcarate reminded the jury not to read, watch or listen to anything about the case in the interim.
That includes television, news and social media sites, the judge emphasized.
"What you learn about this case is limited to what you learn in the four walls of this courtroom when proceedings are underway, OK?" she said.
Heard is expected to continue her witness testimony May 16, including cross-examination by Johnny Depp's legal team.
'I just decided to believe that it wouldn’t happen again,' Heard says of alleged violence
Amber Heard said she flew to the Bahamas for Christmas in 2015 with Johnny Depp's kids. Around that time, she said, the two spoke "with the understanding we were done."
She said she was heartbroken at missing Christmas with his family. She said experiencing domestic violence was like losing a piece of herself.
"For every hit, every instance of violence, every time I was choked, every single one of these instances, is like a heavy coin put into a piggy bank. ... It’s almost like, for each one of these things that happens, you lose the will or resolve to leave," she said. "You know, it’s like every single heavy coin you put in this piggy bank is like an investment into the future.”
Eventually, she said, the metaphorical piggy bank, full of future investments, became a weighted ball.
“This time was the last time, because it couldn’t be worse than this, right? It couldn’t be worse. And part of me thought: 'Well, maybe it just needed to get this bad to get, you know, like now we can’t go back. There’s no way this could happen again,'” she said.
“I just decided to believe that it wouldn’t happen again,” she said. “This is the last time, ’cause it couldn’t get worse than this, right?
Heard alleges she was head-butted, repeatedly punched by Depp in one instance
Amber Heard alleged she was head-butted and repeatedly punched in the face by Johnny Depp in an attack she believed was going to end in death.
Heard said Depp sounded a like "an animal in pain" as he kept screaming, "'I f----- hate you, I f----- hate you, I f----- hate you,' over and over."
"He was just pummeling me," she said, describing Depp on top of her in the alleged attack. "I thought: 'This his is how I die. He's going to kill me now. He's going to kill me, and he won't even have realized it."
Heard on volatile Australian trip: 'I felt destroyed'
Amber Heard told jurors that she was "destroyed" and that her marriage to Johnny Depp was irreparably harmed after a series of violent attacks in Australia.
"I felt destroyed, like my heart was broken," she told the court about the alleged March 2015 incidents. "I didn’t know what to do."
Heard said that as she was packing to leave, she saw evidence of massive cocaine use that she somehow hadn't seen before.
“I found all these empty bags, coke bags, dime bags with white residue on them and in them. They were in books, in the bedside table. There were so many I wondered how I didn’t see it before," she said.
"So I was worried he would die. I was worried that we couldn't come back from what happened. I was worried that there was just no way to turn this around. There was no going back. Shock."
Heard admits hitting Depp in defense of younger sister
Amber Heard said the first time she "landed one" on Johnny Depp in a fight was in defense of her younger sister, Whitney.
The argument was sparked when Heard accused Depp of cheating on him with a woman he'd been with years before, saying she found out he had been to the woman's home after she and Depp were married.
Depp and Heard were in their Los Angeles penthouse weeks after their dispute in Australia.
"I immediately, like, confronted him about it," Heard said. "I was ... I didn't care in that moment if he did kill me."
She told the court she yelled obscenities at Depp and at one point went into a neighboring penthouse, which Depp also owned, to see her sister, who had been staying there.
Heard alleged that Depp followed her there and grabbed at her. She returned to their shared penthouse and onto the top floor with her sister, she said. He threw a can up at them, then "bolted" up the stairs and grabbed the back of her head, Heard said.
"I just remember this brief struggle we had. ... Whitney, my sister, all of a sudden put herself in between," Heard said.
In that moment, Heard said, she feared her sister might fall down the stairs as she saw Depp raise his hand to assault her.
"And I swung at him," Heard said. "In all my relationship to date with Johnny, I hadn't landed a blow. ... For the first time I hit him, like actually hit him square in the face. But he didn't push my sister down the stairs."
Heard said she had previously fought back at Depp, flailing her limbs and trying to block any blows, but never once "landed anything."
"Johnny kind of looked stunned and then laughed at me," Heard said. "And then he hit me again."
Heard recalls seeing blood on the walls after alleged assault
After she described being penetrated by a bottle in what she alleged was an assault by Depp, Amber Heard said she woke up to hear Marilyn Manson music playing. She then noticed a brown substance on the wall, which she later identified as blood, she said.
Depp had previously testified about his finger’s having been cut off and about using his blood and paint to write messages on the walls of one of the couple's homes. In his testimony, Depp claimed Heard had become enraged, throwing a bottle of vodka at him and severing his finger.
According to Heard's account in court, after she was assaulted the night before, she woke up to discover the messages on the wall and later discovered that Depp's finger was injured.
"You could see where it looked like he ran out of blood, because the markings became clearly letters ... like, I could see where he had clearly run out of blood or wasn't bleeding enough and went and got paint," she said. "You could see both."
Depp testified that he initially lied and told doctors he had hurt his finger in accordion doors.
"I didn't want to disclose that it had been Ms. Heard that had thrown a vodka bottle at me and took my finger off," he claimed.
Heard testified that she was also bleeding.
"I wasn't thinking about that [pain]. I was heartbroken. I realized eventually that I could be hurt, because I was bleeding. But I convinced myself it wasn't broken or that the bottle wasn't broken or it would be a lot worse, and the discomfort paled in comparison [to the heartbreak]. ... I had just married this man," Heard said. "I just married him."
Heard breaks down in tears recounting 2015 fight
As she recounted a March 2015 fight in Australia, Amber Heard broke down in sobs on the witness stand as she alleged that Johnny Depp had penetrated her with a bottle.
"I can't believe I have to do this," Heard said at one point.
Depp hadn't slept for some time and had been screaming on the phone at the time, Heard said. She told the court she had tried to calm him down and urge him to sleep.
But Depp, who had been drinking, was in a rage, Heard testified.
"He was just belligerent, belligerent, throwing things," Heard said. "Screaming at me."
Heard said that she had gone down to the kitchenette in the home to make Depp something to eat but that he slammed her up against the wall and she hit her head. Depp called her names, telling her that she had ruined his life and that he hated her, she told the court.
"At some point I shove him hard, to get him off me, and he shoved me back," Heard said. "And he said, 'Do you want to go, little girl?'"
At some point in the argument, Heard said, she threw a bottle on the floor. Depp choked her during the fight, Heard said, ripped her nightgown and pushed a bottle against her pubic bone.
"Johnny had the bottle inside of me, and he's shoving it into me over and over again," Heard said.
Heard recalls wedding day with Depp
Amber Heard testified that she felt joy the day she married Johnny Depp, when they codified their "complicated" union.
They tied the knot on Feb. 3, 2015, during a simple ceremony before a justice of the peace at the home of Depp's mother. Heard said she had talked herself into believing it was the right things to do.
"We were making the right decision," Heard told jurors, recalling her frame of mind on her wedding day. "It was magic. I was marrying the love of my life. It was complicated. But I thought it was the love of my life."
Depp, in email to Heard, said he was a 'savage'
An apologetic Johnny Depp pleaded for Amber Heard's forgiveness and vowed to seek counseling to cure the "savage" in their toxic relationship, according to an email shown to jurors.
"I'm sorry for being less ... For your disappointment in me ... For my behavior. I'm a f------- savage," Depp wrote in the Dec. 18, 2014, email to Heard that was entered into evidence.
The message was a typical one, Heard said, after violent episodes.
"The language he used after particularly violent episodes was ‘savage,' 'monster,' 'devil.' That's what we ended up both calling his other side," Heard said.
"This is typical of the apologies I would get when he took it too far physically. I was encouraged, because I thought it meant that he understood he could really hurt me. Sometimes I didn't think he understood how much he could hurt me, physically."
Court breaks for lunch; Heard testimony will run longer into the day
The court took an hour lunch break at 1 p.m., with plans to continue Amber Heard's testimony until about 5:30 p.m.
Fairfax County Circuit Judge Penney Azcarate alerted the court at the start of the day about to an altered schedule going forward to make up lost time. The court will break for a week after Thursday, and it will start an hour earlier beginning May 16 to move the trial along.
Depp tried to keep Heard from working, she says
Depp tried to limit his former wife's acting career during their relationship, Heard testified Thursday.
Heard described difficulties in her relationship with Depp while she was searching for a new project around November 2014, saying he would get upset when he learned about her taking meetings and auditions.
"He found something that had been sent to me to consider auditioning for and he blew up at me for... what he said to me is that I didn't tell him, that I didn't ask him," Heard said.
She ended up not taking the audition, Heard said, after Depp accused her of hiding it from him. Another time, Depp was allegedly furious with Heard for taking a meeting with a science fiction writer at his home.
"The man was very ill, like terminally ill, and not able to leave his bed or his home," Heard said. "He was under home care."
Depp oscillated between accusing her of trying to sleep with the writer for the part and accusing the director of having an ulterior motive for having her meet in a home, according to Heard.
"Nothing I said, no amount of explaining, apologizing, accepting, not accepting, agreeing to not go," Heard said. "Nothing worked. Nothing changed."
Heard: Depp struggled with detox in summer 2014
Amber Heard testified that Johnny Depp's struggles with opioids led them to undergo a detox effort in the Bahamas in 2014, which added more stress to their already strained relationship.
Depp alternated between moments of being "calm and sweet" and fits of rage, which included a tearful slap to her face, according to Heard.
"He got so angry at me, he slapped me across the face — but he did it while crying," Heard told jurors. "It was the weirdest thing. He was crying saying, 'No woman had ever embarrassed him like that. No woman had ever made him feel like that.' I heard that through the rest of the trip, on repeat. I felt bad. I feel bad, I still feel bad."
Social media users rally around Depp amid Heard’s testimony
Many social media users have continued to defend Johnny Depp amid Amber Heard's testimony this week.
On platforms like TikTok, many have mocked Heard’s delivery of her testimony, with many claiming she’s either a “bad” actor or deserving of “an Oscar” as she recalls her relationship with Depp.
Since Heard’s testimony began, videos have appeared on TikTok of users lip syncing to audio of her voice from the courtroom.
On Twitter, the hashtag “#AmberHeardIsALiar” has been used in more than 31,000 tweets, eclipsing the hashtag “IStandWithAmberHeard, which has more than 21,000.
On TikTok, the hashtag “#JusticeForJonnyDepp” has climbed to more than 7.6 billion views. The hashtag “#JusticeForAmberHeard” has also grown, but is still dwarfed by Depp’s. It has 26.5 million views.
'He just kicked me in the back:' Amber Heard recounts alleged assault by Johnny Depp
Heard alleges Depp kicked her in the back during plane ride from Boston
Amber Heard testified that Johnny Depp kicked her in the back during a 2014 private plane ride from Boston to Los Angeles, giving a conflicting account of the trip than Depp did while he testified.
According to Heard, she had been picked up in New York and met Depp on the plane in Boston with the intention to travel to California together. Depp had been filming the movie "Black Mass" at the time, according to his own witness testimony.
Depp appeared angry with her when he joined her on the plane and Heard said that she "just knew in every cell of my body something was wrong."
"I had already become really sensitive to these little changes, because my life changed depending on what he was on," Head testified.
At some point during the plane ride, Heard said that Depp began asking her questions about whether she had anything to tell him, about her time on set with a costar, and saying "sexually explicit" things about her.
"I already knew he was drunk...he reeked of weed and alcohol," Heard said. "I mean his breath smelled so bad, and I could anticipate that there was a no-win situation here."
Heard said that Depp slapped her, and when she attempted to walk away, kicked her in the back.
"I caught myself on the floor... I thought to myself, 'I don't know what to do,'" Heard said. "I can't believe he just, he just kicked me."
She told the court she was embarrassed that he would do such a thing in front of others, and that no one said anything.
Depp previously testified about the 2014 plane ride, denying being drunk and denied hitting Heard. He told the court that she was angry over a previous day's fight and instigated an argument.
He told the court he did not recall having any alcohol before the flight except for possibly a glass or two of champagne. Depp was addicted to opiates at this time and told the court he took a "double dose" of a narcotic. He said that he locked himself in a bathroom during the fight and went to sleep.
Heard's legal team pushed Depp during cross-examination regarding his claims that he wasn't drinking prior to the flight. They showed the court a test message he sent about the plane ride, in which he told a friend he "drank all night" before picking up Heard, consumed half a bottle of whiskey, Red Bulls and vodka, as well as "powders" and two bottles of champagne on the plane.
Depp wrote in the message he planned to "properly stop the booz thing," describing his behavior as "angry, aggro" and that he was "too old to be that guy."
During cross examination, Depp said the message was an exaggeration and that he'd have needed his stomach pumped if it was true.
Depp's security guards allegedly carried him 'like a baby' when inebriated
Amber Heard described the moment she believed Johnny Depp hit "rock bottom" over his drug and alcohol use, describing a time when he had to be carried back home.
"I watched it," Heard said. "Actually, I was shocked that he could do it. One of the security guards carried Johnny like a baby into the house."
She said that the scene was watched by both guards and assistants. Depp felt "very, very sick" in the days after that moment, Heard testified. In that time, she described having serious conversations with those in Depp's inner circle.
"I felt encouraged that we were in a new chapter, that Johnny had finally hit rock bottom," Heard said. "And finally, he felt like changing for good. And I felt really, you know, supported by the conversations I was having with these people that he was close to that he trusted."
Amber Heard returns to the stand
Amber Heard picked up on her testimony Thursday morning by describing Johnny Depp's changing moods through their relationship.
She told the court that she picked up on her former husband's changed behavior by the second year into their relationship. He would often cycle between being wonderful and difficult depending on whether he was sober or not.
Heard described him as often passing out, getting sick and losing control. In this time, Heard decided to take photos after Depp challenged her over whether certain events happened, she said.
"There was no one to back me up, just his employees and everyone who had been taking care of him versus my word," Heard said. "And so I started to take pictures to say look, this is happening."
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation trial: Summary and timeline
The defamation case brought by actor Johnny Depp against his ex-wife Amber Heard is ongoing and will likely take weeks to conclude.
But what preceded the case? Depp and Heard’s relationship began more than a decade ago, and eventually devolved into what appears to have been a toxic marriage.
What to expect from Heard on Thursday
Amber Heard is expected to stay on the witness stand for all of Thursday, according to sources close to Heard.
“She’s in July of 2013 right now and we’re going to kind of go through the rest of the relationship with Mr. Depp," a source told NBC News.
"I suspect and expect that it’s probably going to be all day long on direct, but I suppose they could be starting their cross. But it’s going to be Amber all day. And then we’re on a week break."
‘It changed my life’: Amber Heard describes alleged abuse by Johnny Depp
Heard described a whirlwind romance with Depp, saying the two bonded over blues music and literature while promoting the 2011 film “The Rum Diary.” Depp similarly characterized the beginning of their relationship, previously testifying that Heard seemed to be his “perfect partner” at first.
In her retelling, Heard said that Depp shifted about a year into their relationship after breaking his sobriety after a period of abstaining from alcohol. She described him as jealous, often accusing her of having affairs.
She told the court about the first time Depp allegedly hit her, after she asked about a tattoo of his. Depp told her the tattoo said “wino” and slapped her when she laughed about it, Heard said.
“I will never forget it,” Heard said. “It changed my life.”
OPINION: What the memes about the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial reveal
The case should provide a sobering look at domestic violence and how it affects both men and women. Instead, the trial has turned into a circus of misogyny and delusion. I am an abuse survivor, and it’s particularly damaging to see social media pile-ons focused on a woman who didn’t even initially name her abuser. It reminds me that when women allege abuse, they’re often put through the wringer — famous or not.
Alongside the frightening level of sexism, there’s a jocular vibe surrounding this case that’s disturbing. These are two human beings talking about one of the darkest parts of their lives, and we’re treating it as entertainment. There’s the willful conflation of an actor, Depp, with his most famous and beloved role, Captain Jack Sparrow, the charismatic pirate — blurring the lines between his real life and the public’s fantasy. And there’s the toxic fandom gone amok as people mindlessly cheer on a man who has already lost a libel trial against the British tabloid The Sun after it called him a “wife beater.”
We don’t know the truth in this situation. Both sides have made upsetting accusations. The problem is the reflexive assumption that Depp is being wronged, along with the gleeful way social media is harassing the woman who accused him of violence.