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‘He Proceeds to Do a Cavity Search’: Amber Heard Paints Gruesome Portrait of Physical and Sexual Abuse on First Day of Testimony

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp

Amber Heard testifies that Johnny Depp did a “cavity search.”

Painting a graphic portrait of physical and sexual abuse, Amber Heard told a jury on her first day of testimony that Johnny Depp flew into paranoid and jealous rages when abusing drugs and alcohol. In one alleged incident, Heard said that Depp believed that she had been hiding his stash.

“He’s like grabbing my, my, my breasts,” Heard said, pushing back emotion. “He’s touching my thighs and he rips my underwear off. And then, he proceeds to do a cavity search.”

“He said he was looking for his drugs, his cocaine,” she said.

It is not the first time the claim became public at the trial. A forensic psychologist retained by Heard’s legal team testified about the alleged incident earlier in Heard’s case, alleging Depp also sexually assaulted her with a liquor bottle.


Heard’s testimony began with the simple reason that she is on the stand sharing these accusations. Depp sued her for defamation over a 2018 Washington Post op-ed describing herself as a survivor of domestic abuse. He wasn’t mentioned by name, but the editorial alluded to accusations Heard made when she filed a restraining order against him two years earlier.

After she countersued Depp for calling her allegations a hoax, the ex-couple’s mudslinging has played out in public fashion. Depp delivered his testimony with bitter irony, musing philosophically about his fall in the public eye, literary giants and drug consumption.

Heard’s testimony was as fiery as Depp’s was detached, beaming joy when describing their courtship and openly weeping when describing alleged abuse. Betraying no reaction to his ex-wife’s allegations, Depp spent the most emotional moments of Heard’s testimony staring at the computer screen at the plaintiff’s table. He wore tinted glasses, tipping his head slightly down, grazing a finger at his goatee and making no eye contact with his ex-wife.

The startling, split screen contrast played out time and again throughout Heard’s accounts of physical and sexual abuse.

On March 3, 2013, Depp allegedly tried to set fire to a painting by Heard’s ex-girlfriend, believing she was having an affair with her. The fact that her former partner was a woman led Depp to derisively call her a “lesbian camp counselor,” she testified. Heard claims that Depp hit her so hard that night that blood from her lip hit the wall—and that Depp described that fight to her in a text as a “disco bloodbath” incident.

That year, Heard says she sent a photograph to her mother of her bruised arm, which was shown in court and then released publicly.

On a car ride, Heard claimed, Depp held his 4-lb. teacup Yorkshire terrier named Boo out the window and howled.

“No one did anything,” she said. “I pulled his arms gently back into the vehicle and got the dog back on the seat.”

In another alleged incident, Heard said that she had been comforting his daughter Lily-Rose Depp, and her father accused Heard of making his children aware of his drinking.

Alleging that Depp slamming her against a wall and holding her by her neck, Heard said: “He tells me that he could fucking kill me and that I was an embarrassment.”

Heard claimed that the “embarrassment” line packed more of a sting because the death threat just “sounded like hyperbole.”

In 2020, a U.K. judge credited most of Heard’s domestic violence allegations when presiding over Depp’s defamation suit against The Sun, a tabloid that had described him bluntly as a “wife-beater.” The Virginia trial marks the first time her claims have gone before a jury, and Heard told the jurors that she stayed in the relationship because Depp felt “like my soulmate, as cheesy as that sounds.”

Heard testified that she also believed she had been helping Depp get clean because he allegedly told her: “You saved my life. Baby girl, you saved my life.”

“Everyone else was saying that to me and I believed him,” Heard said. “I was looking at that man twice my age and saw hope.”

Heard’s testimony continues on Thursday.

(Screenshot via the Law&Crime Network)

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Law&Crime's managing editor Adam Klasfeld has spent more than a decade on the legal beat. Previously a reporter for Courthouse News, he has appeared as a guest on NewsNation, NBC, MSNBC, CBS's "Inside Edition," BBC, NPR, PBS, Sky News, and other networks. His reporting on the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell was featured on the Starz and Channel 4 documentary "Who Is Ghislaine Maxwell?" He is the host of Law&Crime podcast "Objections: with Adam Klasfeld."