The Most Shocking Moments From Amber Heard's Testimony During Johnny Depp Defamation Trial

Beginning on May 4, Amber Heard took the stand in Johnny Depp's ongoing defamation trial. During her testimony, the actress discussed their romance and alleged abusive behavior in private.

By Mike Vulpo, Lindsay Weinberg May 17, 2022 9:20 PMTags
Watch: Amber Heard's Cross-Examination: 4 STANDOUT Moments

Content warning: This story discusses sexual assault and abuse.

Amber Heard is ready to have her voice heard. 

On May 4 and 5, the actress took the stand and began testifying in a Virginia courtroom as part of Johnny Depp's $50 million defamation lawsuit against her. Heard is also countersuing Depp seeking $100 million in damages. Before discussing her relationship with the Pirates of the Caribbean star, Heard was asked to share why she was in court.

"I am here because my ex-husband is suing me for an op-ed I wrote," she said. "I struggle to find the words on how painful this is. This is horrible for me to sit here for weeks and relive everything here with people that I knew—some well, some not."

Heard added, "This is the most painful and difficult thing I've ever gone through for sure." (For more shocking revelations from the trial, click here.) 

Back in 2018, Heard wrote an essay for the Washington Post in which she described herself as a "public figure representing domestic abuse." Although the article never mentioned Depp by name, his attorneys previously said in court documents that Heard's op-ed was all part of an "elaborate hoax."

The Most Shocking Revelations From Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's Defamation Trial

Depp's lawyers argued that Heard ruined the actor's reputation by "choosing to lie about him for her own personal benefit." 

On May 5, a spokesperson for Depp reacted to Heard's two days of testimony. "As Mr. Depp's counsel correctly predicted in their opening statements last month, Ms. Heard did indeed deliver ‘the performance of her life' in her direct examination," the statement read. "While Ms. Heard's stories have continued to grow new and convenient details, Mr. Depp's recollections have remained exactly the same throughout the six painful years since her first allegations were made."

Nothing Heard has said has been shown to be true or false and cross-examination has not happened yet. For those who missed Heard's testimony, keep reading to see some of the highlights. 

Brendan Smialowski/AP/Shutterstock

Amber Heard Gives Her Take on James Franco’s 2016 Visit

In court on May 17, Depp's lawyer asked Heard if she knew Depp was out of town the week of May 21, 2016. She responded, "I don't know what I knew of his schedule at the time."

A video played in court showing her with Franco in an elevator at their penthouse on the evening of May 22, 2016.  

Heard's attorney later asked her why Franco visited her at the penthouse.

"He was my friend and he lived next door. Quite literally next door," she replied. "And I had frankly exhausted my support network with my usual friends. I was happy to welcome as much friendship at that time that I could possibly get." 

Her lawyer asked her to describe the elevator interaction and Heard noted, "He touched the side of my face."

E! News has reached out to Franco's rep for comment and has not heard back. 

Johnny Depp's Lawyers Question Amber Heard's Physical Injuries

When Depp's legal team began cross-examining Heard on May 16, they presented the actress with numerous photos of her following incidents of alleged abused. When asked if she could see any visible signs of injury, Heard responded, "None that you can see."

Depp's attorney further asked why there were no visible injuries on Heard's face after she testified to the actor frequently hitting her while wearing rings on his fingers. She responded that she was wearing makeup in several of the photos and said she used ice to reduce swelling on her injures.


Amber Heard Testifies to How She Allegedly Covered Bruises With Makeup

Heard's lawyer asked whether her client would cover up any alleged bruises or cuts when going out in public.

"I'm typically photographed in L.A. when I leave the house, paparazzi type of photographs, so I always, I'm you know somewhat aware of that anyway," Heard responded. "And no woman wants to walk around with a bruise on her face."

So, she said if she did have a bruise on her face or somewhere visible, she said it's important to ice it to reduce any swelling and recommended Arnica cream as a "remedy." 

"Then, if you want to cover up a bruise," she testified, "you obviously put foundation first, concealer and then on top of that, I used like a bruise kit. Not a bruise kit—it's a theater makeup kit, a color correction kit, but I called it my bruise kit." 

Johnny Depp's Lawyers Question if Amber Heard Donated $7 Million Divorce Settlement to Charity

When Heard received a $7 million divorce settlement from Depp, she publicly vowed to donate the money to charity including the ACLU and Children's Hospital Los Angeles. The actress previously testified that she had "pledged the entirety of the settlement," but Depp's lawyer argued on May 16 that she has not yet actually given the full sum, saying that pledging is "not how donations are paid."

Heard later admitted under oath, "I have not been able to fulfill those obligations yet." 

As for why it has taken so long to donate, Heard said, "I haven't been able to fulfill those pledges because I've been sued." She added that she "didn't want anything" and she "didn't get anything" from the divorce settlement.

When Depp's lawyer suggested she wanted positive publicity from donating, Heard replied, "My motives were being questioned. I did see it as important to clear that up. I wanted to make a statement to make sure there was not any doubt."


Amber Heard Shares the Makeup Products She Used as a "Bruise Kit"

Earlier on in the trial, Heard's attorney held up a Milani Cosmetics color-correcting palette that she said her client used to help hide bruising allegedly from Depp. Milani Cosmetics, however, refuted that statement online, saying its Conceal + Perfect All-in-One Correcting Kit was not released until December 2017, which was more than a year after Heard filed for a temporary restraining order. 

When testifying on May 16, Heard held up another palette and explained the products. "This is not, obviously, the exact one I used to carry, but I used to carry [one] with me all the time," she said. "The idea is that you want to counteract whatever color you're working with on the bruise. So first day of bruising, well the immediate is red. The red is what shows up right away. So you want to go with the opposite on the color wheel by dabbing on a bit of the green or something to counteract the red."

Amber Heard Explains Why She Filed for Divorce From Johnny Depp

Despite reading books, attending therapy and visiting Alcoholics Anonymous in hopes of improving her relationship, Heard said that she had no choice but to end her marriage to Depp in May 2016. "I knew I wouldn't survive it if I didn't, so I filed for divorce," she said. "I knew if I didn't, I'd likely not literally survive."

Heard said the stress of her marriage led to her losing hair and experiencing panic attacks. "I really didn't want to leave him," she added. "I loved him so much, but I couldn't do that one thing. I couldn't stay."

Amber Heard Shares How the Public Divorce Impacted Her Career

After starring in 2017's Justice League and 2018's Aquaman, Heard received a role in the upcoming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. According to Heard's testimony, however, her role was greatly reduced after Depp's former lawyer, Adam Waldman, called her abuse allegations a "hoax."

"I was given a script and then given new versions of the script," Heard testified. "Without giving any spoilers away...they basically took a bunch out of my role." Heard said that she has only been able to work on one small independent film in recent years called Into The Fire.

Amber Heard Blames Johnny Depp's Dog for Poop Incident

When court resumed on May 16 after a week-long break, Heard denied under oath that she was the one who left feces in Depp's bed in 2016. Instead, the actress blamed the act on Depp's dog Boo.

"She had eaten Johnny's weed when she was a puppy and had bowel control issues for her entire life—among some other issues," Heard told the jury. "We regularly had to take her to the vet to try to figure out what was wrong with this dog. I've never met a dog that was quite like this."

Heard testified that Boo "liked to burrow in the bed" and would sleep with the couple. She also said that they had to "leave her in bed so she wouldn't be encouraged to go to the bathroom, which would happen almost immediately when she put her down on the floor and sometimes it happened in bed too."

Depp previously testified that he believed Heard was the one who left the feces on his bed. Shortly after the incident, Depp said he approached Heard about getting a divorce.  

Amber Heard Explains Why She Published Her Op-Ed

When discussing her 2018 essay in The Washington Post that prompted Depp to file his defamation suit, Heard testified that she was trying to raise awareness around gender-based violence. "It's not about Johnny," she said. "The only one who thought it was about Johnny, was Johnny. It's about me. It's about what happened to me after Johnny. It's about what happened to me after I escaped my marriage. It was about me, and my life and what I endured."

Why Amber Heard Took Photos of Johnny Depp Passed Out 

At the start of Heard's testimony on May 5, attorney Elaine Bredehoft asked her client why she took photos of Depp passed out during a trip to the Bahamas in the summer of 2013.

"He wouldn't either remember or deny it or accuse me of something that happened and it didn't," Heard testified. "I had no one to back me up." The actress later said that Depp's team would take care of him in the midst of substance abuse, but that she didn't feel supported.

Did Johnny Depp Try to Keep Amber Heard From Working?

Depp would get upset when he learned about his partner taking meetings and auditions, Heard said. "He found something that had been sent to me to consider auditioning for and he blew up at me," she testified in court. "What he said to me is that I didn't tell him, that I didn't ask him."

In another instance, Heard recalled Depp's anger when she went to a science fiction writer's house to meet about a possible project.

"The man was very ill and not able to leave his bed or his home," Heard said. "Nothing I said, no amount of explaining, apologizing, accepting, not accepting, agreeing to not go. Nothing worked. Nothing changed."

Amber Heard Admitted to Hitting Johnny Depp

During her testimony on May 5, Heard recalled accusing Depp of cheating on her with a woman he had been with years prior. She said her suspicions came after Depp had been to the woman's home. "I immediately confronted him about it," Heard testified. "I didn't care in that moment if he did kill me."

After yelling obscenities at Depp, Heard went into a neighboring penthouse where her sister Whitney Heard was staying. At that penthouse, Amber said a struggle occurred between the couple.

"I swung at him," Amber 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."

Heard said Depp "looked stunned, and then laughed at me and then he hit me again."

Amber Heard Shared Her Concerns About Johnny Depp's Daughter Lily-Rose Depp

In her testimony, Heard said she "started to feel protective" of Depp's daughter Lily-Rose Depp after "a famous musician over the age of 18" stayed at their home. She also feared Lily-Rose was learning about cannabis. 

"Naturally they were not my children, it's not my place and I understand that. I know it's a sensitive subject, so I understand why Johnny got so upset with me," she said on the stand. "But that—and the introduction of the weed with his daughter, she was so young—I felt protective. It's not my place and I made him really angry by weighing in on that."

During Depp's testimony in his 2020 libel suit against the U.K.'s The Sun, the actor said he "never encouraged my daughter to use marijuana." He also urged his daughter to not "experiment with drugs with people you don't know."

Amber Heard Said Johnny Depp Questioned If She Had an Affair With Eddie Redmayne

When filming The Danish Girl in 2015, Heard said Depp began to question her relationship with her co-stars. "I got the sense that he thought I was sleeping with the director, and then it was with the actor I was filming with," Heard said on the stand.

When asked to identify who the actor was, she answered, "Eddie Redmayne." Heard denied ever having an affair. E! News has reached out to Redmayne's team for comment and hasn't heard back. 

Amber Heard Alleges Johnny Depp Injured Her Nose After 2014 Met Gala

After attending the 2014 Met Gala, Heard—who identifies as bisexual—said Depp accused her of flirting with another woman. When the couple returned to the hotel after the event, Heard alleged in her testimony that Depp became violent.

"He threw a bottle at me. It missed me, but it hit the chandelier," she testified. "At some point, he just whacked me in the face. I was unsure what that feeling was, but I suspected I had a broken nose." Heard later found out her nose was simply bruised. 

Johnny Depp Thought Amber Heard Was Sleeping With James Franco 

When Heard filmed The Adderall Diaries with Franco in 2014, Depp became more suspicious that she was having an affair with her co-star. "He hated James Franco," Heard said, "and was already accusing me of having a relationship with him in the past because we already did Pineapple Express together."

"It went from asking me about how the kissing scene went or how the sex scene went to asking me what James Franco had done in the scene," Heard said, "and being really explicit about my body."

When Heard reunited with Depp on a private plane, the actress claimed she was attacked in front of others.

In her testimony, Heard said that Depp slapped her and when she tried to walk away, the actor kicked her in the back. "I caught myself on the floor," she said. "I thought to myself, 'I don't know what to do.' I can't believe he just, he just kicked me."

Depp previously testified about the 2014 plane ride and denied being drunk and hitting Heard. Franco has not publicly commented on speculation of a romance between himself and Heard.

Amber Heard Recalls Filming The Rum Diary With Johnny Depp

While making The Rum Diary in Puerto Rico, Heard recalled a kissing scene with Depp where tongue was involved. "It didn't feel like a normal scene anymore," she said. "It felt more real." Heard said that they were both in relationships at the time of filming. At the same time, she testified that there was a chemistry both parties couldn't deny. "We just had this friendship flirtatious thing," she said. "I felt this other thing that went beyond the pale of my job for sure. Johnny clearly felt that way about me. He indicated that in many ways."

After filming ended, Heard said they went their separate ways and she didn't hear from him for a "long time." 

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp Take Their Relationship to the Next Level

In the fall of 2011, the actors participated in a Los Angeles press day for The Rum Diary. After a full day of interviews, Heard testified that Depp invited her to have a drink with him and the director. When she arrived, Depp said the director was unable to make it.
"The reconnection was instant," Heard said. "It felt like there was an electricity to the room." When she got up to leave, Heard testified that Depp grabbed both sides of her face "and he kissed me and I kissed him back." According to Heard, "for the rest of the press tour, it was on." 

Viral Moments From Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's Defamation Trial

Johnny Depp Impresses Amber Heard's Parents 

While testifying in court, Heard said that Depp spoiled her parents with generous presents. "They really seemed to get along really well," Heard said. "Johnny just showered my dad and my dad is a working man and he was just floored with all these amazing gifts."
"They were definitely taken by him," Heard added. "He did anything to make them feel special and they did."

Johnny Depp's Critiques Amber Heard's Outfits

According to Heard, Depp became very critical of her fashion choices when she went to auditions or events. After dressing up for a charity function, Heard recalled Depp's response left her feeling less than gorgeous. 

"I wore a dress to an event and I felt beautiful in it," she said before recalling Depp's reaction. When she asked whether he had seen the dress, Depp replied: "'I think the whole world saw it kid. That's how they'll remember you. That's how the world will remember you.'"

Amber added, "My dress was low cut, I get it, but I felt really embarrassed and horrible that I wore it. I started to believe him. But it didn't stop with that. It was clothing in general." 

Amber Heard Recalls the First Time Johnny Depp Allegedly Hit Her

During her testimony, Heard recalled a moment when she was sitting on the couch with Depp and asked a question about his famous arm tattoo, "Wino Forever." What came next, Heard alleged, was a violent interaction that the actress "will never forget." 

"He slapped me across the face and I laughed," she said. "I laughed because I didn't know what else to do. I thought this must be a joke because I didn't know what was going on. I just stared at him thinking that he was going to start laughing too."

But according to Heard, Depp proceeded to slap her again. "As a woman," she testified, "I had never been hit like that." Heard later said that Depp got down on his knees and apologized for his actions while crying.

Amber Heard Shares Her First Meeting With Johnny Depp's Kids

After more than a year and a half of dating Depp, Heard said she had the opportunity to meet Lily-Rose Depp and Jack Depp, who Depp shares with ex Vanessa Paradis. "I was dying to meet them," Heard told the court, "and dying to get to know these kids."

While specific details about their meeting were not brought up, the moment happened during the summer 2013 premiere of the Lone Ranger at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif. Heard later testified that she "quickly developed a bond" with them.

Amber Heard Explains Why She Stayed With Johnny Depp

During her testimony, Heard painted two pictures of Depp: One side being a loving, supportive partner while another was unpredictable and scary. "He was the love of my life but he was also this other thing and this other thing was an awful, awful thing that would come out and take over," she said. "You couldn't see the Johnny I loved underneath it."

Heard said that nobody around the actor "was honest with him" about his alleged drug abuse. But when he tried to get sober, Heard said that she was hopeful things would change.

"He'd get clean and get sober and become this thing that made me feel so loved," she said. "I just felt like he knew me and I recognized something in him…that I just got him." 

(Originally published Wednesday, May 4, 2022 at 1:37 p.m. PST)

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