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Amber Heard, who’s spent more than half of her defamation trial listening to ex-husband Johnny Depp portray her as the abuser in their relationship, wrapped up her second day of testimony Thursday in tears, recounting an incident in which she claimed she was beaten and raped by the actor.
Heard recounted a March 2015 incident, a physical altercation fueled by Depp taking copious amounts of MDMA, roughly eight to 10 pills, she estimated. “He gets on top of me on the games table,” she said, “and is just whacking me in the face, just repeatedly.”
The fight escalated into rape when Depp penetrated her with a liquor bottle, Heard testified. Depp pinned her against a wall, she said, and ripped off her nightgown while she started to black out. “The next thing I remember, I was bent over backward on the bar, meaning my chest was up,” she said as Depp stared downward away from the witness stand. “It looked like he was punching me, but I could just feel this pressure. It was, like, just pain and pressure on my pubic bone.”
Heard concluded, “I’ve never been so scared in my life. I couldn’t breathe.”
Over several days on the stand, Depp denied ever hitting Heard. He portrayed her as instigating most arguments, accusing her of hitting him several times over the course of their relationship. According to him, Heard took advantage of his status and money to boost her career while allowing her friends and family to leech off of him. His attorney claimed Wednesday that Heard’s “the abuser in this courtroom.”
Heard detailed a competing account of their marriage, which ended in 2017. While acknowledging that they both hurled insults at each other, she testified that she only got physical in self-defense. She detailed how Depp allegedly abused her, physically, emotionally and psychologically, often under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
The alleged rape, which was said to have taken place in Australia while Depp was there filming 2017’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, has been a point of contention in the case. Depp has said that Heard severed the top of his middle finger when she threw a bottle of vodka at him.
During her second day of direct testimony Thursday, the Aquaman actress detailed multiple instances of Depp allegedly hitting her. Once in 2014, Heard recounted, Depp erupted into a jealous rage when he found out that she was going to do a movie with James Franco, whom, she said, her ex-husband hated.
“Johnny sits down in front of me at one point because I’m not answering,” she said, “and he slaps my face.”
As she walked away from him, Heard testified that he kicked her, causing her to fall to the floor. A text message in which Depp, who was allegedly using drugs at the time, apologized and said he “will never do it again” was shown to jurors. “My illness crept up and grabbed me,” the message, referring to his alcohol and substance abuse, reads.
Depp suspected the two were having an affair because they had worked together in Pineapple Express, Heard said.
The central question of the high-profile trial is whether Heard defamed her ex-husband in an op-ed published in The Washington Post that didn’t name Depp but correlated with their time together. She described herself in the column as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” Depp sued for $50 million over the piece, alleging that he’s being boycotted by Hollywood over what he’s called a hoax orchestrated by Heard, who countersued for $100 million.
Depp presented his case-in-chief, which wrapped up Tuesday, in the first three weeks of the trial. He testified about childhood abuse from his mother, his opioid addiction and recovery, and the extent to which his career suffered when he was alleged to have abused Heard. He played an audio recording of the couple talking about a fight in which she admits to hitting him and another in which he claims she kicked a bathroom door against his head.
In the clip, Heard says, “I didn’t punch you. I’m sorry I didn’t hit you across the face in a proper slap, but I was hitting you. I was not punching you.”
Heard has maintained throughout the trial that all she has to prove is that Depp abused her at some point, even once, in any form.
On Thursday, Heard showed multiple images to jurors of herself with cuts and bruises, allegedly a result of abuse from Depp. Responding to arguments from Depp that she faked the injuries, Heard testified that she often disguised her wounds with makeup so no one would know.
When promoting The Danish Girl on The Late Late Show With James Corden in 2015, she said that she had her hair and makeup team work “around the lesions on my head” and cover her busted lip with “super heavy, red matte lipstick.” She concluded on the issue, “I did what I always did: I told people that I had an accident.”
The trial will resume May 16 with Heard continuing to testify. Closing arguments will be delivered May 27.
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